THE response rate for the inquiry into legalising sports betting from Indian state cricket associations isn’t looking good.
The Law Commission of India sent letters to state cricket associations seeking their views on the regulation of sports betting and gambling in the country two months ago.
However, according to the Indian Express, only the Saurashtra Cricket Association has replied and it has warned against legalising betting and gambling.
SCA honorary joint secretary, Madhukar Worah, stated that allowing the country’s citizens to place bets on sporting events would result in adverse societal consequences and threaten the industry’s integrity.
“It is our belief, as also our deep concern, that legalisation of betting will, both directly and indirectly, enhance and encourage the vice and the tendency of gambling in rather unrestricted manner,” Worah wrote.
“The temptation to earn easy money through betting will be very much detrimental to economically weaker and illiterate sections of the society.
“Besides, this will also indirectly encourage the menace of match-fixing and other undesirable anti-social elements.”
Most state cricket associations, besides the SCA, have chosen silence as their response after the Justice R M Lodha Committee recommended the Law Commission contact them.
However, according to the IE some associations which represent cricket in India, are planning to hold meetings to discuss the issue including Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Andhra.
Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), Justice Vikramajit Sen, said that while the DDCA association had not replied, he didn’t see anything wrong with legalising betting.
“I think it will make the whole game much cleaner. That is my personal opinion,” he said.
Additionally, an official of another unnamed cricket association said regulating the gambling industry would help prevent “all underhand dealings” and boost government revenue.
“Speaking on a personal basis, I feel this would be a fantastic thing, because all underhanded dealings — betting, gambling etc., — will completely go,” the official said.
“It will also directly contribute to the central exchequer.
“Organisations like Ladbrokes will set up their offices here. And as everything will be official and registered, in case of spot-fixing, they can immediately find out the persons involved.
“Maybe, in a country like India, betting regulations need to be stricter compared to the UK, for example.”
Several other cricket associations, including Tripura, Orissa, Mumbai, and Himachal Pradesh have stated that they have not received a letter, while the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association secretary, Iqbal Shah, revealed that a letter was sent to the former president. Shah added that the association would not be replying, as a result.
Hyderabad and Baroda cricket associations will not be replying to the letter either, according to officials.
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