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Indian Minister of Finance Insists For Legal And Regulated Gambling

Posted on November 27, 2020 | 10:08 am

The Indian Minister of Finance, Anurag Thakur, has declared that his country should move down the path of legalizing and regulating gambling instead of restricting or banning the activity.

The minister made those remarks at an ICICI Securities event and used the example of betting on cricket to push his idea through. In fact, a lot of people in India are betting on cricket, which is the most popular sport in the country, but they do that illegally.

That opens the door to all kinds of shady practices in the sport, from widespread match fixing to bribery and corruption. Anurag Thakur insists that moving cricket betting and other forms of gambling on the legal side would help stop those “unholy practices” and would also bring some much-needed revenues into the state’s coffers.

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Monitoring Cricket Matches to Preserve Integrity

Earlier this year, Sportradar Integrity Services signed an agreement with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in order to safeguard the integrity of matches in the 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket season.

That was a move in the right direction for the sport, but legalized betting would also add the power of the bookmakers to the table, and they would want to make sure there is no match fixing going on.

Sportradar is the biggest supplier of sports integrity solutions and sports data products at the moment, working with all major sports competitions to prevent match fixing and betting irregularities.

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“Betting Can Be A Potent Tool To Stop Fixing”

Unlicensed gambling is rampant in India, the government estimates that the illegal gambling market in the country is worth as much as $60 billion, and $48 billion of that pie is being directed at cricket alone.

Nilesh Shah, managing director of Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Company, also spoke at the ICICI Securities event and fully agreed with the minister: “If we look at the problem of match-fixing, then the trends in betting can give us leads on whether something unholy is happening or not.

Betting can become a potent tool to stop fixing. My suggestion will be to legalise betting and gambling activities, which are underground. They continue to exist in our society.”

Source: “Legalising Betting Will Help Contain ‘Unholy And Corrupt’ Practices Like Match-fixing: MoS Finance Anurag Thakur“Outlook India. November 19, 2020.

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