The US Supreme Court has abolished the Professional and Amateur Sports Act, 1992 (PASPA). PASPA was a federal legislation that prevented states from promoting, operating, licensing and authorizing sports betting. The verdict came out on May 14, 2018, in Murphy (Governor of New Jersey) v. National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Under the aforementioned law, all but four US states were barred from permitting sports betting. The Supreme Court, on the basis of the violation of ‘anti-commandeering’ principle, ruled out the act. The historic decision of making changes in sports betting law is sure to have implications for the gaming industry, globally.

Sports Betting In India

Speaking of India, however, it might not be as easy to legalise sports betting law in the country. The framework in India is such that the centre has more power over the states. Hence, the ‘anti-commandeering’ principle may not play an important role here. Also, unlike the American constitution, the subjects under state and centre jurisdiction are clearly defined in the 7th Schedule of the Indian Constitution.

Entry 34 of the state list clearly gives the authority to the states to regulate sports betting and gambling. However, the parliament has the authority to exercise control on state subjects in the following scenarios.

  • Two or more state legislatures specifically request it to do so,
  • In pursuance of International treaties,
  • It is required to do for a limited period of time in national interest.

Apart from the above-mentioned scenarios, the centre can intervene in the inter-state trade and commerce (entry 42) and/or communication (entry 31) to regulate online sports betting.

Possibly, owing to the socio-economic conditions of India, the government will wait before it can legalise sports betting in the country. In spite of what’s going on internationally, the debate on sports betting legalization in India may not end anytime soon.

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