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Will India Legalise Sports Betting for Cricket?

India's Virat Kohli celebrates another Test half-century
©Reuters
 

The Law Commission of India in July this year, recommended that the Government should make sports betting legal under its jurisdiction.

If the government accepts this recommendation, then sports betting, most especially for cricket, will become regulated under India’s legal framework. India could use the opportunity as a way of increasing profits and reducing black-market betting as well as problematic gambling addictions.

The Law Commission of India has underlined the importance of the following benefits for the country:

  • As it is not possible to prevent illegal gambling, the only solution that remains is to effectively regulate the activity to limit addiction and fraudulent activities.
  • Operators will need an Indian license, it will also encourage Foreign Direct Investment in the online gaming industry.
  • Licensed Indian casinos must promote responsible gambling.
  • Legal gambling would significantly increase revenues from governmental taxes, which could be put towards funding public welfare initiatives.
  • Online and land-based casinos would increase local employment and potentially tourism.

 

At present, India only allows betting on horse racing. Should the Government of India accept this recommendation, India will join a growing number of countries that allows sports betting.

Let’s Take a Look at Sports Betting Around the World

The United Kingdom

Having legalised betting in 1961, it has one of the biggest markets in the world. It is estimated that there over 10,000 betting parlours were set up over the UK within six months after sports betting was legalised. However, gambling in the UK is not just sports based. There are bets on politics, tv shows, console gaming, and even the royal family.

The United States of America

Since 1992, gambling and sports betting has been banned by the US Federal Government throughout the country except for four states. These four states had already permitted laws on sports betting, and are the only places for playing online legally in the USA. Recently this year, upon a request by the State of New Jersey, the US Supreme Court pretty much dissolved the national 1992 law, giving the capability to each individual state in America to have the possibility to form their own laws and regulations on whether sports betting should be allowed.

Mexico

Having only been legalised, sports betting in Mexico is very popular. With the preferred sport being football, there has been a massive following, which led to a whole range of benefits similar to what is being expected for India. The black market crashed, whilst revenues increased for the State of Mexico. Mexicans are able to bet in their local currency Mexican Peso as well as US dollar. The two most popular sports for betting are football and baseball.

Australia

Colonised in 1788 and formed as a nation in 1901, bets on horse racing have been legal in Australia since 1810. Australians love their sports, as well as a leisurely gamble. In 1980, Australia legalised betting on almost all codes of sport. Both land-based and online sports betting is accepted in Australia.

South Africa

As a nation that absolutely enjoys cricket, football and rugby, sports betting in South Africa is widely popular. Legalised in 1994 sports betting is allowed on nearly all sports. When sports betting became legal, there was a massive amount of job created and an increase in the generation of revenue for this developing nation.

Ghana

Sports betting was legalised in Ghana in 1960, which allowed Ghanaian’s to bet on all practices of sport. Whilst the government is continually trying to monitor addiction and promote responsible gambling, overall, sports betting has provided huge amounts of increased revenue and employment for this developing African nation.

Nigeria

Very new to the scene, for reasons very similar to India, Nigeria legalised sports betting in 2005. Gambling over $4 billion per year, Nigerians generate a huge amount of revenue for their country. Nigerians are allowed to bet on all codes of sport.

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