Calls for Single Sports Betting Law in India

The Hindu Business Line publication has shone light on the growing calls to bring competition and transparency to Indian’s sports betting industry, calling for a long term solution that will combat problems of match fixing which plagues sporting events such as the IPL.

The article, entitled “Make Betting in Sport Legal”, points out that there is “no dearth of legislation in India to control and regulate betting and gambling. As per the seventh Schedule of the Constitution, the Union government is empowered to make laws to regulate the conduct of lotteries, while the State governments have been given the responsibility of authorizing/conducting the lotteries and making laws on betting and gambling.”

However, penal provisions exist only in name and “working around them is the rule rather than the exception.”

The piece essentially calls for a single sports betting law in India instead of a myriad of laws. It explains that the lack of laws allow free range for shady bookies and corrupt sportsmen and women to engage in match fixing under no threat of the law.

The author of the article points out that online betting has managed to curb problems such as match fixing. “International betting houses have ensured that betting online is safe, secure and subject to minimum interference by outsiders,” writes Mohan R. Lavi. “There will be attempts by operators to circumvent the system and get into private deals with cricketers, but a robust law and efficient implementation of it should act as a deterrent.”

Ideally, suggests the author, the new sports betting law should be a combination between the Public Gambling Act and the Information Technology Act, the latter which needs, in his opinion, to be rewritten so that penalties are stricter and those considering breaking the laws will think twice before doing so.