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Gambling legalization. India is next in line


Although volatility and uncertainty in the global economy have highly increased in 2022 due to security challenges, there are several positive global trends. The legalization of gambling is one of them. An increasing number of countries are beginning to understand that streamlined gambling legislation can be highly beneficial for the State in terms of investments and taxes.


A legal and regulated gambling market has long existed in most Western countries. Of course, because it is one of the entertainment industry sectors, legal gambling can be a significant source of income for the state budget and bring tens of millions of dollars in taxes and license fees and hundreds of millions of investments.


Recently, the trend toward gambling legalization has been emerging in developing countries. An increasing number of states with emergent economies are starting to see gambling as one of the economy sectors, like agriculture or light industry. They understood that it is better to control and benefit from it than to ban it and spend a lot of time and resources fighting illegal operators and gambling addiction.


The initiators of gambling legalization in new jurisdictions are always top political leaders or governments. It happened in Ukraine when for the first time, President Zelensky announced plans to legalize gambling, and then a corresponding law was developed and adopted.


A similar process is now taking place in India. Recently, the Prime Minister of this country presented an analytical report on the current situation with gambling. According to this report, the gambling market, especially online gambling, is constantly growing, despite being illegal in many Indian states. Experts claim that in 2022, the online segment revenue in India will exceed USD 1.5 billion. If the growth rate continues, by 2025, online gambling revenues will increase to USD 5 billion.


Given the rapid growth of the gambling market, the report recommends the creating an appropriate state online regulator to streamline the market and monitor its functioning. The establishment of the regulator is also justified by the need to protect gamblers. According to the report, along with the growth of the illegal market, the number of gambling addicts also increases.


The situation with the gambling market in India demonstrates two crucial global trends.


1. The refusal to legalize gambling creates additional issues for states and additional risks for gamblers who will still play, regardless of whether it is legal. That is why legalization is a logical step for any state seeking to build a modern economy and increase the social responsibility of gambling operators.


2. Everyone may gamble due to developed IT technologies. That is why the legalization and regulation of the gambling market are only a matter of time. And the sooner countries understand this and establish appropriate state regulatory institutions, the more their budgets will benefit.


The example of Ukraine, India, and other states that have started the process of gambling legalization shows that the attitude towards gambling should be rational and pragmatic, not emotional and populist. The proper organization of the legalization process and the creation of an efficient state regulator may turn the gambling market into a significant source of income for the state budget. In Ukraine, the past year has demonstrated that legalization is the proper, economically viable approach to managing the gambling market in any country.


Anton Kuchukhidze, Chairman of the Ukrainian Gambling Council, exclusively for the Ukrainian News

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