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Sports Betting On Agenda at Comm GamesPublished October 5, 2010
British push hard to convince nations of benefits of legal sports betting.
Sports betting has been made a part of the agenda at a meeting of sports ministers on the sidelines of the Delhi 2010 XIX Commonwealth Games, following a request from the British participant Hugh Robertson.
British Sports Minister Robertson has been pushing hard for the legalization of sports betting in countries where it is outlawed since news broke of a cricket match-fixing scandal involving the Pakistani team.
Robertson believes legalizing the practice in Commonwealth countries such as India - where illegal betting is believed to be worth some INR 17.5 billion - will help stamp out such occurrences.
The Commonwealth Sports Ministers met on Monday, a day after the opening ceremony of the Games at New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
At the meeting, chaired by Indian Sports Minister MS Gill and attended by ministers and delegates from 39 Commonwealth countries, the participants unanimously agreed that national sports federations should adopt international good governance principles to ensure transparency and accountability.
Ministers also used the opportunity to congratulate India for the opening ceremony and for its "gracious hospitality," Commonwealth Games Federation president Michael Fennell said.
Seventy one nations in total are competing in the Games, which end on October 14.