FICCI welcomes Lodha panel’s recommendation to legalise sports betting in India

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New Delhi, Jan.5 (ANI): FICCI welcomes Justice (Retd.) R.M. Lodha Committee’s suggestion to legalise sports betting in India.

FICCI has been advocating legalization of sports betting in India for the past 4 years and have been pushing this agenda with the Central and state governments. FICCI feels that the issue should be discussed with the stakeholders in the sports sector before tabling any bill in the Parliament for further debate.

As per the report of The International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS), The Illegal Gross Betting and Gambling Revenue market in India is estimated at USD 150 billion. The global sports betting market could be worth up to USD 4 trillion, an expert quoted during a United Nations conference on targeting match-fixing in April 2015 in Qatar.

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The revenue earned from betting can be utilized to augment infrastructure for other sports and enhance tourist facilities. Globally sports betting and gambling are being employed to generate funds for good causes and promotion of sports. In countries like the UK and China, the funds from sports betting are used for financing elite sports and training athletes.

Sports betting and frauds have been affecting the credibility of sports in the country. After frequent incidents of sports fraud around sports betting, in 2012, FICCI had launched the debate on regulating sports betting in India. Much has happened since then in illegal sports betting area.

Earlier, the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha Committee in their report on Monday recommended the legalisation of betting in Indian cricket.

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“We have suggested to the legislature for legalising betting with in-built mechanism and ensuring that players, match officials, administrator, team officials…will not be entitled to indulge in betting,” Justice (Retd.) Lodha, who headed the panel, told the media here. (ANI)

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