Government can legalize online betting and regulated betting on cricket

NEW DELHI: The All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) has sought a central legalisation allowing online betting and regulated betting on cricket, saying the government stands to earn thousands of crores in tax and revenues every year.
On Monday, the federation submitted a white paper to the Law Commission, which is working on a draft law in this regard. Betting on sports, except horse racing, is banned in India but it happens illegally in an unorganised and underground manner.

The government has been mulling the idea of regulating the sector and generating tax by partially legalising the sector. On a reference from the Supreme Court last year, the Law Commission began working on a draft law to legalise sports betting. The RM Lodha committee, which was formed after a spot fixing scandal in cricket came to light, had recommended legalising betting in cricket. Based on a 2013 report prepared by FICCI, the underground betting market in India is estimated to be worth rs. 3,00,000 crore.

AIGF estimates that even by bringing half of the underground market under regulation, the government stands to gain over rs, 7,000 crore in tax every year and nearly rs. 10,000 crore will come in through FDI.

“Just like cricket is a game of skill, so is betting on the outcome of the game. This is similar to horse racing and we want the law to allow betting on one, on the basis of the other,” Roland Landers, CEO of AIGF, told HT.

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