The Sports Ministry is likely to make online sports betting legal in India. The Ministry has considered framing legalisation and has reportedly held a meeting with several stake holders.
According to reports, minimum two years would be required to prepare a draft.
Sports Secretary Injeti Srinivas will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with England regarding the same. He is presently in the UK. The ministry has also decided to seek assistance from the UK where gambling is legal.
A ministry official said: “The UK has one of the most effective gambling laws. We hope to understand their system and see if it is possible to introduce it in India”.
As of now, in India, betting is legal only on horse racing.
As per the data provided by Doha-based International Centre for Sport Security, the Illegal betting in India which is currently being operated via local bookmakers and unregulated offshore websites is worth Rs 9.6 lakh crore.
This being the case, the Sports Ministry plans to nourish the sports industry in the country and to address the issue of poor funding for sports by legalising betting, the Indian Express reported.
The UK has overcome this (poor funding) through lottery and online betting. The department is preparing an MoU with the UK and the aspect of betting will be included therein in order to understand the mechanism and evolve a view on the possibility of its introduction in IndiaThe Sports Ministry
An official said that the ministry is now also looking into the social ramifications of such a move. “However, it can be beneficial to the economy as well as sports overall. We are looking at the best international practices in sports integrity and ethics framework,” the official said.
Last year, Chief Justice of India R M Lodha, in his report to the Supreme Court, had recommended to legalising betting in cricket.
“As far as betting alone is concerned, many of the respondents before the Committee were of the view that it would serve both the game and economy if it were legalised as has been done in the United Kingdom,” Lodha noted in his report.