Former Indian cricketer Ravi Shastri has said that he is all for legalising sports betting in India and it is time that the country catches up to an excellent way of generating revenue, which will only help the authorities to keep a control on it in official ways.
Sports betting is illegal in India as of now. As per reports, in 2018, the Law Commission of India had recommended the legalisation of regulated betting and gambling activities in sports. It has also been said that the efforts of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) are “ineffective and insufficient to tackle the menace of illegal and underground betting”.
Titled as ‘Legal Framework: Gambling and Sports Betting Including in Cricket in India’, the report stated: “Incapability to enforce a complete ban has resulted in a rampant increase in illegal gambling, resulting in a boom in black-money generation and circulation. Since it is not possible to prevent these activities completely, effectively regulating them remains the only viable option.”
The Law Commission also recommended classifying gambling into two categories, namely ‘proper gambling’ and ‘small gambling’.
While in conversation with an Indian media outlet Indian Express, Ravi Shastri was asked whether he will be in favor of or against if sports betting was legalised in India. The former Indian team head coach said that he would be in favour of legalising betting on sports.
He said that other countries were benefitting from it tax-wise and it would generate tremendous income for the government. He also asserted that the more the authorities tried to curb it or stop it, the more betting will rise through alternate channels, hence it was better to earn from it by legalising it in a proper way.
“I think it will generate tremendous revenue for the government. Tax-wise, it’s the way of the world at the moment. The more you try to shut it down, the more it will be in your face through alternate channels. I think it’s extremely important that it should be legalised in a proper way and it’s a good platform for things to be done officially and properly,” Shastri stated.
Meanwhile, he called the BCCI the most efficient cricket board in the world in the last 40 years and lauded the politicians for running the Indian cricket board and doing an excellent job in administering cricket in India.