Legalize Betting in Sports?

A lot has happened in 2013 in our cricket loving nation, a nation where cricket is not just a game, but a religion. But many of those who practice this religion have been, time and again, caught up in some betting controversy. Thanks to the IPL which has bridged the gap between the money minded and the game even further.

But why is betting considered a crime in India while its widely accepted elsewhere…And if it is a crime, why is it practiced so much (unofficially)!!!

I do not have any answer, but the GD evaluators love such questions that have no answers.. 🙂


  • Economic advantage: It’s clear from the various “betting scandals”, as we call them in India, that big names are associated with this form of gambling. Currently since it is illegal but still practiced in large, a lot of money is exchanged on which the government has no control. If betting is regulated, this huge amount of money can be used for economic growth of the country. Ravi Sawani, chief of BCCI’s Anti Corruption and Security Unit, said in each IPL game, legal bets from one exchange in the UK are about Rs.440 crore whereas for the tournament, bets worth Rs. 66,000 crore approximately are placed which include illegal betting syndicates as well.
  • Example of other countries : United Kingdom serves the best example as how betting is beneficial if regulated. The betting industry is reported to contribute 6 billion pounds as of January 2010, 0.5% of GDP. Furthermore it employs over 100,000 people and generates £700 Million in taxes.
  • Source of Employment : Its an untapped source of employment as it’s a industry currently thriving only in the underground. If legalized, betting can create a large number of legal jobs.
  • Not a crime to spend or earn money : Criminals have been attached to this industry only because it is banned and thus helps them to evade tax. Just like the stock markets, which is also nothing but a gamble, this can be regulated for good. It’s a democracy and everyone has the right to choose what they want to do with their money.
  • Misuse of money : The revenue generated by the betting industry, if not regulated by law as soon as possible, might prove dangerous to the governments all over the globe as it’s a huge amount of money which can be used to fund terrorism and anti-social activities.
  • Old law : Betting is considered as a criminal offence under The Public Gambling Act of 1867. A lot has changed since 1867. This law has been used as per convenience. Betting on horses is legal, Sikkim and Goa houses casinos, lotteries are legal. Its time we changed.
  • Eliminate Match Fixings : Just join the dots. Shreesant, Srinivasan , IPL , Vindhu Dara Singh, Raj Kundra, Rajasthan Royals


  • Menace for the Society : Betting is just another form of gambling. If the already not so rich Indian starts losing all his life long saving on betting, we might altogether give rise to new situation where suicides and disappearing acts maybe on the rise.
  • Cricket is a religion in India : People of all ages worship cricket in India. If its made legal, owing to the inefficiency of the law enforcement agencies, even children who are attached to this game might start betting. That’s not the kind of childhood we Indians should aspire for our kids.
  • Medical Condition : Gambling can easily become an addiction and no government can control addictions as it’s a disease and not just a social stigma. We already have tobacco, alcohol, drugs addictions to deal with. Why increase the list.
  • Can’t Eliminate Match Fixing : Match Fixings are due to human greed. Laws cannot govern that. What makes us think that bookies would not have approached Shreesant if betting was legal!
  • Corruption and Bad Governance: Indian Regulations have failed everywhere. Corruption makes it impossible to enforce a law strictly. All the benefits that can be achieved by legalizing betting will never be achieved in the law and enforcement scenario we have in India.


Legalizing betting look very tempting as the underground market for betting is vast and hence this might prove as major source of tax for the government. But in our country, this might be a very big challenge compared to UK as the law and enforcement scenario is not very promising. Gambling is considered as a social taboo and if legalized, the most vulnerable class will the BPL families, trying to make quick buck with luck. We are not ready for a full fledged legal approval of this activity.

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