Why ICA considers wagering as void
The history of wagering started since the evolution of mankind. It was known as gambling in ancient times and was a part of social taboo. When it came within mainstream business, the legal term betting was introduced to remove the societal stigma on gambling. But the process and methods were the same for both gambling and betting i.e., by wagering money. It was considered a social taboo as said by many ancient scholars that it not only inflicts greed in the mind of people but also is a means of risking one’s life to self-inflicted damage.
This has made betting and wagering a nuisance for the enforcement of laws in the country. To control the menace of growing cases of betting and wagering, which are giving rise to the various crimes and lawlessness, the lawmakers in Britain have used this method to deter people from betting by not providing them any legal right to make the contract and made the object of the contract void. The same idea was taken into consideration while making the Indian Contract act in 1872 where the wager was declared void which means no legal remedy will be available for any breach of such agreement. Section 30 doesn’t define what is a wager according to Indian customs and traditions, just states how a wagering contract is legal and void except for horse race and skill-based games .
After the technological advancement and a vast number of options available to bet both online and offline, the need for regulation and taxation of betting and wagering arises, just making wager void was not enough to put an end to the unregulated betting around India. While the constitution was being drafted it was opined by some of the members to keep gambling and betting in a different section so that specific attention can be given to its regulation.
Why to legalize betting in India
In past years, many sports-related wagers like match-fixing and spot-fixing cases arose in IPL, which were the result of this unregulated sports betting and online betting that was taking place. Every day we can see news of illegal gambling in various sports like football, basketball, etc., being published in newspapers, and many other kinds of gambling in casinos and clubs are also reported. In report number 276 of the law commission of India , which is based on ‘the legal framework for gambling and betting including cricket in India’, it is mentioned that even though wagering seems immoral and banning seems the only option remaining with the government, there is always a possibility of wagering still active under the nose of law enforcement officers. It is also a fact that with improving technology it is getting harder to limit gambling among the common masses which makes regulating and taxation of wagering the most plausible solution. There is a major loophole under section 30 with the fact that these government gambling houses have a lot of advantages for both the government and the society as a whole.
We can’t deny the motto of the drafting section 30 which means that the basic motto of not giving legal remedy to these people was to deter people from wagering.
That also means it might have some negative impact on society. If betting is legalized as recently proposed by Shashi Tharoor in this private member at Lok Sabha, the relevance of void wagering agreement will make no sense.If the government started to regulate all sports betting and gambling but without any legal remedy for its breach, then it will violate the right of common people to get a remedy for something which is not illegal. With the legalization of betting the society will face both its pros and cons but considering the weight of both sides only one side can be supported.
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