FICCI Survey Reveals Majority Want Gambling To Be Legalised

The initial findings of a Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) survey have been revealed by Additional Director and Head of Sports at FICCI, Rajpal Singh.   The bulk of those questioned believed legalising sports betting would help reduce corruption in the game and encourage more people to become involved in the sport.

Previous Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court; Justice Mukul Mudgal has also joined in recommended lifting the injunction on sports betting in India and legalising it.

The government could earn revenue of over Rs 20,000 crore in taxes whilst at the same time, reducing the dangers that accompany illegal betting, it was stated on Wednesday.  At a “FICCI Conference on Regulating Sports Betting: A Vice to be Tamed”, Judge Mudgal noted that sports betting in India is increasing at a rapid rate.  The Rs300,000 crore which it is believed to bring in is being used to fund illegal activities, therefore becoming a valuable source of revenue.  In addition to bullying and intimidation of betting customers and sports fans; a useful tool to identify and restrict match fixing is being lost.

However, others such as former cricketer and Member of Parliament Kirti Azad believe that sports associations and federations need to be controlled first.  Sports organisations such as the BCCI have been seen to be engaging in illegal activities and with no one to answer to there is little incentive to stop.

Mudgal and Azad also believe the income from legalised betting could fund the growth and expansion of sports in India.