If Gaming is an Instinct, It Can be Well Controlled with a Strong Will
It’s hard to believe that most people without the ability to lie can’t resist the sound of the dice. A few days ago, I got a call from a respected friend who also happened to be from Kashmir and was working for a living in a Multinational company in Noida asking for legal advice. What he revealed shocked me and I thought it was worth sharing. My friend took out a huge loan of Rs 1.3 Lakhs and lost bit by bit in gambling, not in the traditional way but with the new online gambling norms, in ShubBet casino. The fact that my friend didn’t have any other source or shoulder to repay or share the responsibility with, introduced him to the world of depression.
ShubBet is an Indian fantasy sports platform that allows users to play fantasy cricket, hockey, football, kabaddi, and basketball. Gambling is an instinct that is present in all human beings. Most individuals and fields agree that if gambling is properly regulated and organized, it will benefit the country’s economic development.
Whether or not gambling should be legalized has been an ongoing debate for decades. Gambling activities have been legalized in many countries, such as the UK (where gambling is legal for UK residents under the Gambling Act 2005). China imposes heavy taxes on these activities to use the income from said activities to boost the economy. Proponents of legalized gambling argue that gambling has many rewards beyond economic development. For example, it will prevent gambling from becoming a source of crime or disorder, protect children and other vulnerable groups from gambling harm or exploitation, and, most importantly, will curb the generation of black money.
In many countries, new legislation has been drawn up and enacted to regulate and legalize gambling activities, both online and offline. However, in India, the area is still considered a gray area and has not been passed through a new central Legislation to regulate or legalize gambling activities.
In India, gambling is still governed by rusty pre-independence legislation passed during British rule, known as the Public Gambling Act of 1867. Gambling and betting are national subjects under Item 34 of List II of the Seventh Schedule. Each state can make laws on gambling activities within its state or follow legislation passed by the central government.
Gambling is not defined in India under any gambling-related legislation. But the three things that are excluded from gambling are horse racing betting (subject to laws and regulations), games of skill (excluded under the Gambling Act and court decisions), and lotteries (regulated under the Indian Lottery Act). Duty to declare that certain online gambling activities/games are within the scope of games of skill in the chain of judgment and are allowed to continue these activities like ShubBet. There is a difference between games of skill and games of chance, and the former falls outside the scope of gambling as skill is still the main factor in this type of activity/game and success depends on the knowledge and experience of the performer. The latter is all about luck, and the game’s result is unpredictable, which is why Game of Chance is banned in most Indian states.
In India, gambling is allowed in Daman and Diu, Sikkim, and Goa, while online or offline lotteries have been legalized in 13 states including Maharashtra, West Bengal, Meghalaya, Punjab, etc.
The fantasy sports business is growing at lightning speed. In the past 12 months, it has witnessed a three-fold increase in revenue of more than Rs 2,400 crore compared to last year’s 9.2 crores, all thanks to smartphones and free high-speed internet. That might be good for economic growth, but what about people like my friend?
Their only way out is that if gambling is an instinct, it can be well controlled through self-motivation and a strong will. If dice were soothing music, one could turn a deaf ear to it.