Congress leader and Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor has called for sports betting to made legal in India. He backed his statement by saying that legalising sports betting would benefit both the government and the sports industry in many ways. Shashi Tharoor also stated that it would help minimise match-fixing in cricket.
Match-fixing is a big menace in Indian cricket and several high profile cases have surfaced in recent times. A couple of years ago, ICC’s Anti Corruption Unit official Alex Marshall had revealed that most of the bookies indulging in corrupt practices are Indians.
And Shashi Tharoor is of the opinion that legal sports betting could improve the situation. In a recent interview with Sportskeeda, Shashi Tharoor opened up on the significance of transforming betting on cricket games in India. He listed the advantages of legalising sports betting and added that the government could earn a fair amount of revenue in this manner.
“I not only have recommended that (legalising betting), but I also introduced a Private Members’ Bill in the last Parliament that would legalise sports betting,” said Shashi Tharoor when asked about his views on legalising cricket betting in India.
“Number one, it takes away the power from the underworld. Right now, the mafia that controls betting syndicates and bets on matches they are ones who do things like match-fixing and so on. An open above board betting system would not do that. Secondly, you can tax legal betting, and when you tax it, revenues of the tax go up,” he added.
He also expressed his surprise over the government not legalising betting yet. An ardent cricket fan, Shashi Tharoor said that the public needs to be educated on how illegal sports betting has increased corruption.
Well, the government can certainly take a take a cue from Fantasy cricket’s meteoric rise in the country. Ever since the Supreme Court gave Fantasy cricket the green light, it has only moved upwards. Nothing describes its incredible journey better than the fact that India’s most famous fantasy platform, Dream11, is sponsoring the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).