India can Gain by Legitimizing Betting on Sports

From ages talks are on to make gambling in India legal. But till date there is no success. Gambling fanatics make use of bookies, websites or tech-enabled channels to fulfill their gaming pleasures. It has been observed that online gaming market in India is witnessing an exponential growth over the past few years. The revenue has touched up to Rs. 4,380 crore in FY18, reveals some data collated by KPMG.

There are many negative perceptions about online sports betting in India. The moral history of gambling is littered with cases of addiction. Proponents of online betting proposes that addiction can be curbed by introducing responsible gaming policies like regular audits, age verification, and enforced spending limits.

According to FICCI gambling has become a socio-economic problem due to the lack of regulation. FICCI and the AIGF (All India Gaming Federation) have a done a joint effort in proposing for a regulatory framework to remedy the ill views surrounding online sports betting during a session on July 29.

GVC is one among the multinational sports betting and gaming group that runs brands like Bwin, Ladbrokes and Casino Club. David Foster, Head of Regulatory Affairs at GVC is of the opinion that – “Regulation of the sector (online sports betting) serves to minimize fraud on the part of bookmakers. Constructive performance at regular intervals by people from across all fields like athletes, administrators, officials, supporters and other stakeholders would help in enhancing the reputation and standing of the sporting contest and of sports overall in the sporting arena.”

Shashi Tharoor who initiated Private Member’s Bill in Parliament on December 28, 2018, feels that the long-term prognosis for sports and betting is bleak if corruption is not dealt with. People have always been attracted to offers like Bectlic bonus and free spins. But a statutory framework with government will ensure service providers are following license conditions. It will also help in keeping some control over the black money.

According to Roland Landers, CEO of the All India Gaming Federation the gaming industry has created around 7,000 direct jobs, and 3,000 indirect jobs in ancillary sectors like telecommunication, marketing, and financial services in the states of Goa and Sikkim.

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