Woah! Sports Betting May Finally Become Legal In India; Sports Ministry Exploring Possibilities!
In one of the biggest sports reform ever introduced, India Govt. is right now framing guidelines, which can make sports betting as a legal activity in the country.
If that happens, then approximately Rs 9.6 lakh crore worth of sports betting would be legalised, which can bring in lakhs of crores in tax revenues.
But can Govt. of India ignore the social stigma which comes with sports betting? What is the main reason behind Govt.’s push for legalising sports betting?
Legalized Sports Betting in India: The Process Is On!
As per Doha-based International Centre for Sports Security, sports betting in India is a massive market to the tune of $150 billion or Rs 9.6 lakh crore, and now, Govt. wants to legalise it.
As per reports coming in, Sports Ministry has taken the initiative and is right now consulting with countries such as the UK, where sports betting is legal and generates a substantial amount of tax income for the Govt.
In fact, right now, Sports Ministry officials are preparing a Memorandum of Understanding or MoU between Indian Govt. and UK Govt. which will explore the possibilities of sports betting in India, and derive the pros and cons.
An official said, “The department is preparing a MoU with the UK and the aspect of betting will be included therein in order to understand the mechanism and evolve a view on the possibility of its introduction in India,”
Sports Secretary Injeti Srinivas is right now in London, inking the final touches to the MoU, which can basically open the floodgates for legal betting in India, using the UK model.
Another official said, “The UK has one of the most effective gambling laws. We hope to understand their system and see if it is possible to introduce it in India,”
Why the UK For Understanding Sports Betting?
At present, only horse race betting is allowed in India, which attracts 28% GST.
Although other forms of betting, for example, IPL betting is banned, people are anyways betting, and betting huge.
And the UK has emerged as the hub of betting experts from India.
In 2015, it was found that one UK based betting portal is so popular among Indians that it received Rs 1.9 lakh crore as betting amounts. Over one crore IDs are discovered from India, on an average, $3000 was the average amount spent on each bet.
One of the officials said, “There are cases where bookies or their men sit abroad and conduct transactions. They accept money (bets) in rupees in India and pay the website in dollars. In the process, huge amounts of money are remitted outside the country..”
Apps like BET365 and Betfair have more than 10 lakh active users, who are regularly betting on various sports events, including cricket.
Hence, it makes sense to partner with UK Govt., for clearly understanding how betting works, and how it can be controlled for generating tax earnings.
Chief Justice RM Lodha Commission has already suggested to the BCCI to make betting legal, as this is booming as an unorganized sector, and Govt. is losing out on the earning from tax.
Besides, revenue generated via betting can be used to fund economically backwards section of the society, and empower them to play sports professionally, and skillfully.
Do you think that betting should be legalised in India? Do let us know by commenting right here!