Call for legalising sports betting

June 6th, 2012 - 7:52 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 6 (IANS) Retired judge Mukul Mudgal former cricket Kirti Azad called for legalising sports betting so that so that the revenue generated can be used for development activities.

Speaking at the conference on ‘Regulating Sports Betting in India - A vice to be Tamed’ here Wednesday, Mudgal was of the opinion that legalising sports betting and regulating it with proper laws could act as a deterrent to the illegal betting syndicates.

“If betting is legalised, the country stands to get close to 12,000 crores in tax. If this is regulated, this revenue can go into the development of sports. Rules can be drafted through the income tax regulation,” said Mudgal, a former chief justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Citing example of horse racing, Mudgal said if it is legal to bet on one sport, it should be legal for others as well.

“If betting on horse racing is legal then it should be applicable to all sports. FIFA has advanced match betting warning system. If an unusual betting pattern is seen they immediately closed down the market,” he said.

Azad, a BJP MP and member of the 1983 World Cup winning cricket team said: “Before we think of regulating betting in Indian sports, there is a need to regulate the sport federations and associations in the country.”

Azad came down heavily on the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and said it has been seen that sports bodies have failed to abide by the law of the land and given a leeway for malpractices like spot fixing and match fixing to flourish.

“Instances have come up where there is no accountability of money being transferred from unknown sources to a sportsperson’s account or new bank accounts being opened in foreign lands without prior permissions from the concerned authorities like Reserve Bank in India,” said Azad.

Azad said the BCCI has no authority to conduct a criminal investigation on its own and the five players should have been booked by police for their involvement in spot-fixing.

T.P. Sudhindra (Deccan Chargers), Mohnish Mishra (Pune Warriors), Amit Yadav (kings XI Punjab), Shalabh (Kings XI Punjab), Shalabh Srivastava (Kings XI Punjab) and Abhinav Bali were suspended pending enquiry by the BCCI.

“Why were the five players caught not booked? BCCI is no authority to conduct criminal investigation. The police should have handled such a matter.”

“The five cricketers who were charged of fixing should have been taken directly to the court rather than BCCI conducting an internal investigation. They violated the laws of the land,” said the former cricketer.

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