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Legalise betting to counter spot-fixing: FICCI

May 24, 2013 15:00 IST

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FICCI) has called for legalising sports betting in the country in the wake of the IPL spot-fixing scandal.

“Despite several attempts to ban it, betting is continuing albeit in an underground way and substantial resources have been invested into enforcing such a ban," said FICCI, in a statement.

"...middle way out is it should be regulated in a way which reduces this to an acceptable level. Hence, the government should think of legalising and regulating betting," it added.

FICCI said India is losing billions of dollars in taxable revenue (an estimated Rs 12-20,000 crore annually) through black marketing operations in sports betting.

"According to FICCI, the greatest advantage of regulating sports betting is going to be the accountability for the large amounts of money transferred through illegal channels and reduction in cases of match fixing, money laundering and crimes," it said.

"If gaming and betting is regulated in India, it will benefit exchequer and could potentially fund sports development, social protection or welfare schemes and infrastructure development plans."

FICCI said it has already explained to the government, the benefits of legalising betting.

"FICCI has highlighted how blanket ban on sports betting has been impossible to be sustained without a proper regulation. In fact, this representation also highlighted the number of international examples of different countries who have benefited from regulating the betting."