Law Commission of India backs gambling in Bitcoin

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The Law Commission of India has recently submitted its 276th report to the Union Minister of Law and Justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad. One of its recommendations is to legalise gambling, especially through Bitcoin. The recommendation has created bit of a storm in the country, with political parties and activists expressing their strong protests. It must be also noted that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has recently banned Indian banks from dealing with Bitcoin and cryptocurrency entities.

The Law Commission’s report states: “Gambling transactions should be made cashless, making use of electronic means of payment such as credit cards, debit cards, net-banking, Virtual Currencies (VC – also known as Cryptocurrency), etc. Stringent law(s) should be put in place to control Foreign Direct Investment and at the same time, to prevent money laundering, while also implementing necessary tax reforms.”

The proposal has been made based on the fact that the straight-jacket prohibition on gambling has resulted in a rampant increase in illegal gambling, resulting in a boom in black-money generation and circulation. Regulated gambling could ensure the detection of fraud and money laundering and would create transparency. “Betting and gambling transactions should be linked with operator’s as well as player’s/participant’s Aadhaar card/PAN card, so as to ensure transparency and State supervision. The cap on the maximum amount that can be staked in a wager should be fixed by law and be strictly implemented,” observed the Commission.