India mulls legalising gambling amid cricket scandal

The Indian government is looking at proposals to legalise gambling to tackle corruption in cricket.

Atika Rehman/express September 05, 2010

An Indian newspaper has claimed that the government is looking at proposals to legalise the country's multi-million dollar underground gambling market to tackle corruption in cricket.

India is regarded as the hotbed of global betting syndicates, with gamblers and bookmakers involved in a massive network of illegal spot-fixing.

The shady world of Indian bookmakers came to light in a match-fixing scandal in 2000 that led to life bans for Test captains Hansie Cronje, Azharuddin and Salim Malik.

The Times of India has quoted an unnamed sports ministry official as saying that the aim is to ascertain whether legalised betting can exist in India without a stigma.

Legal sports gambling in India could prove a major tax revenue for the government, as well as allow for official regulation.

Time to recognise it

In a Hindustan Times report, former India cricket chief Inderjit Bindra has long been a supporter of legalisation for similar reasons and to help the fight against match-fixing.

"If betting is legalised, it will be in the interest of the government as not only will it eliminate match-fixing but also earn states revenue in crores (tens of millions)," Bindra, now an adviser at the International Cricket Council (ICC), said two years ago. "My personal view is that if you want anything to be regulated, it has to be legalised."

"The Indians bet on the weather, crops and even smaller and trivial things. Cricket is a religion here and India is the financial hub. So it's hardly a surprise that an India-Pakistan ODI draws bets worth $20 million," Mehra told Reuters.

Where there's cricket, there's is corruption: Rashid Latif

In an exclusive column written by former Pakistani cricketer Rashid Latif in Daily Mail, he said:

''It would not surprise me to learn that every major cricket-playing country in the world has been involved at some time in spot-fixing on matches at international and domestic level."

"The reality is that the mafia, by which I mean organised criminals, are running the illegal gambling which is behind cricket corruption. And all the time that is happening, it will be impossible to clean up the game. I have tried in the past but, sadly, there are officials and players who in effect work for the underworld."


Anoop | 11 years ago | Reply Excellent proposition. By banning it you are just pushing the activity underground. Plus, this can be a major source of income for the Govt and you are eliminating Criminals from the business.
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