In a report submitted by the Law Commission of India (LCI) to the Union Minister of Law and Justice, recommendations were laid out that suggest the legalization of gambling and sports betting in cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin.

Explaining its position, the law commission stated that gambling via cashless, electronic means could be made legally safe under stringent laws to prevent money laundering and ensure tax reforms. It particularly specified virtual currencies as a preferable means of cashless gambling, as well as mentioning credit and debit cards.

The decision comes as a result of problems that have arisen from an increase in illegal gambling in the country. Issues that have developed include the creation of an unregulated black money market.

Mixed levels of resistance and support

Political activists and party leaders have protested the decision, with Manish Tewari of the Congress party calling it a very bad idea that should be opposed. He further believes that gambling legalization would seriously affect “the social health of the country”.

However, the LCI believes that it is the only viable option to reduce the damage being caused by the current system of prohibition. India’s sports world is already well-known as being rife with illegal betting and spot-fixing accusations.

Ex-Supreme Court Judge N Santosh Hedge disagrees with Tewari’s views, saying that he believes citizens vices cannot be successfully abolished by law. He went on to suggest that the government should also legalize prostitution consider how widespread it has now become.

The Federation of India Chambers of Commerce and Industry also believes the move would improve the current situation and drive over $400 billion of black market currency back into the local economy. The board has been advocating to legalize gambling for over six years now without success.

Exactly how the system would be implemented is unclear, especially considering how the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has recently enacted a blanket ban on cryptocurrency use in the country. However, specific regulations regarding cryptocurrency use in the country is busy being developed.

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