Former BCCI President and the current Minister of State for Finance, Anurag Thakur, has called for the legalization of betting and getting the practice in the formal economy as a measure to curb the menace of match-fixing.
Anurag Thakur made these remarks at an event hosted by ICICI Securities, when asked for his suggestion by Nilesh Shah- Mutual Fund industry veteran and part-time member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister’s Economic Security Advisory Council [EACPM]- who pitched the idea for legalizing betting in the country.
Betting on sports is legal in a lot of countries and regular reports of such cartels being busted is clear evidence of the practice prevailing in the country.
Shah suggested that betting and gambling activities are common in countries like the US, UK.
“My suggestion will be to legalize betting and gambling activities, which are underground. They continue to exist in our society,” Shah said.
Responding to the suggestion, Anurag Thakur said that legalizing betting and gambling on sports will not only help in curbing the malpractice of match-fixing, it will also bring thousands of crores of revenue, which can be used for the development of the game.
“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,” Anurag Thakur said.
The former BCCI boss further added that betting is pretty systematic and the same system can help in keeping a watch over people engaging in corrupt activities like match-fixing.