S N Srivastava, the Special Commissioner from the Delhi police has said that he does not support the legalization of sports betting in India. Special Commissioner Srivastava is currently leading the investigation into the recent IPL spot fixing scandal.
While there are many that believe the problem of match fixing and spot fixing will be solved by legalizing sports betting in India, Srivastava has reasons for disagreeing with this. He said: “Just because we have failed to curb it, we should not resort towards regulating betting.”
Srivastava also posed the following question: “Even if we legalize betting or form a regulatory authority, does that guarantee a curb on betting?”
He further explained that if there are regulatory bodies that have been put into place, those that wish to fix matches may “use regulatory bodies to manipulate the players even more to do spot fixing and match fixing.”
There is, however, an issue that has recently been much debated and that is regarding the gambling laws in India. India urgently needs new and relevant gambling laws that take into account the modern day gambling challenges and potential problems.
Srivastava noted that if there had been a more specific law that governed these issues, it would have helped them to convict those players that may have been involved in the recent spot fixing.
He said: “We have been using IPC and MCOCA. We would file the charge sheet in the case very soon.”
Srivastava said of the existing Indian gambling laws: “Till the new laws come up, we have to follow the Indian Gambling Act of 1955.” When this law was created, online gambling was not only non-existent, it had not yet even been considered.
The Special Commissioner compared India to more advanced countries and he said that he feels that Indian society is not yet ready to have legalized betting.