India Considers Legal Sports BettingPublished July 8, 2013
Majority of businesses believe legalisation will solve match-fixing problem.
India is reportedly considering legalisation of sports betting, and the plan seems to have majority support from business, sportsbooks and punters alike – who all see legal betting as a solution to match-fixing.
Business Back Legal Betting
A survey of 200 businesses by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) reported that 74 percent of respondents agreed with the statement: “Legalised sports betting will help curb match-fixing problem.”
Calls for legalised betting have been growing in recent months, with advocates saying that it will create business and job-creation opportunities and generate much needed tax revenues for the national government. But most importantly, they say it will clean up the problems of match-fixing in cricket and other sports.
Current State of Play
Indian laws written up during the colonial era in the 19th century currently ban all betting on sports, except for on specifically licensed events such as horse racing. The amount of money spent on legal sports betting is negligible, while the underground betting market is believed to be worth almost $52 billion according to the FICCI’s data.
Most of the concern over match-fixing surrounds cricket. Last month arrests were made of star players and illegal bookmakers accused of fixing Indian Premier League games. Police accused the players of signaling to bookmakers from the field – an allegedly shady practice that the business sector believes would be prevented by legal betting.