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The ongoing debate regarding legalised sports betting in India is certainly one that has gathered momentum ever since the recommendation for the same by the Law Commission of India. Even as legal experts have effectively proved that, in the current climate of the country, a scenario where gambling can be legalised and carried out based on norms is a far ask, it now seems that the betting industry itself has given its go-ahead on the recommendation.
Former cricketing legend EAS Prasanna was all in favour of bringing it into effect immediately. “It is an excellent idea. It should be implemented immediately but what needs to be clarified is whether the current players can place bets too,” Prasanna was quoted as saying by The Hindu.
Another sportsperson and Olympian, Ashish Ballal was quoted as saying in the same report, “The government can earn billions of dollars by legalising betting which can then be used for promoting sporting activities in the country.” Ballal is a former goalkeeper and an ex-captain of the Indian Hockey Team.
Known faces from the industrial sector also seem to be down with the idea of legalised gambling. “The Law Commission’s suggestion to legalise betting in sports in India could potentially create a formal betting industry unlocking significant economic value, which will benefit the sports ecosystem while curbing the black economy practices,” Jaideep Ghosh-Partner & Head, Transport, Leisure & Sports, KPMG India, was quoted as saying.
“Certain incidents of allegedly informal sports betting in recent years created a negative image and the sports personnel; a legalised process would create a clean image of sports,” he added.
Industry body, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce (FICCI) has pledged its support for the Law Commission of India (LCI) report on legalising sports betting in India. The figures indicate that the global sports betting market could be worth up to $4 trillion.
The major argument in favour of this is that the money earned by the government in this front can be used to effectively further other sports.
With so many different opinions coming across from various factions, it is hard to think of a standardised legal climate at the moment which would prove conducive to this recommendation.