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Report No. 276

E. Suggestions by FICCI

8.29 In 2013, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), in a report titled 'Regulating Sports Betting in India', highlighted that the underground betting market in India is huge at an estimated INR 3,00,000 crore210. It was also noted that sports betting is different from the other common forms of gambling like playing games of chance and taking part in lotteries.

The Report highlighted various advantages of regulating rather than completely prohibiting sports betting. It noted that the greatest advantage of regulating sports betting would be the accountability for the large amounts of money which is otherwise transferred through illegal channels leading to the reduction of national revenue/funds primarily due to match- fixing, money laundering and crimes.

8.30 Some of the other important advantages mentioned in the Report are:

1. Protection for the young and vulnerable against the dangers of unwise betting behaviour.

2. Employment generation (more than 8000 people are employed in casinos in Goa).

3. Fairer and more trusted betting experience for consumers, offering entertainment in a controlled and responsible manner.

4. Blow against organized crime like match fixing which threaten to damage public trust both in sport and in the legitimate betting industry.

5. Generation of revenues from taxation of sports development and preventing sport betting from being linked to criminality or used to launder proceeds of crime.

6. Protection of players, coaches and all involved with sport from unprincipled approaches.

8.31 Having discussed the pros and cons of legalising regulated gambling and betting activities, it would be apt to say that the arguments in favour of the same far outweigh the arguments alluding to the immorality of these activities. The argument that had gambling been regulated in the Mahabharat period, Yudhishtir could not have put his brothers and wife as stakes, perhaps Mahabharat could not have been there, is full of substance.

This is evident especially in the light of the fact that the existing black-market operations relating to these activities are a major source of influx of black money in the economy, making, regulation rather than complete prohibition the logical step to be taken.

Legal Framework - Gambling and Sports betting including Cricket in India Back

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