This is the news punters in India have been waiting for a long time. It finally looks like sports betting will be legalised in India. The Indian government is looking at a proposal to legalise sports betting and is carefully studying UK and US laws regarding sports betting.
Needless to say, this will have several benefits
1. There is currently a multi million dollar underground sports betting already happening in India (remember the scandal Azharuddin was involved in about a decade back and the Pakistani trio more recently). Legalising sports betting will make it easier for people to bet legally and will curb illegal sports betting.
2. Tackle Money laundering – a lot of money is laundered through illegal sports betting. Money such laundered often finds its way into terrorism and other criminal activities or could even be the proceeds of such activities.
3. This is a huge source of revenue for the government. Just like Cigarettes and Alcohol, there is a taboo regarding sports betting in India and the government can impose a “sin tax” profiting from this multi-million dollar industry.
4. Future Development – Money collected in taxes from sports betting can be used in general for the development of the country or specifically speaking, this could be used to develop state of the art sports facilities
These are early days but I believe that the Indian government is thinking in the right direction. It will be very important to ensure that the government considers all aspects of sports betting and only isssues licenses to responsible operators.