Former BCCI President Anurag Thakur speaks in favour of Betting & Gambling
Former BCCI President and current Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur on Tuesday (17 November 2020) commented on legalizing betting in order to put a halt on match-fixing. He argued for legalizing betting and getting it into the formal economy which will help contain unholy and corrupt practices like match-fixing besides giving tax revenues.
In an event organized by ICICI Securities, Thakur replied to a discussion on legalizing betting in India. He said, we as Indians have instinctive interest in betting and gambling which is seen in abundance in places like Las Vegas, Macao, and Nepal.
Betting is done in a systematic manner and that system can be replicated into legal ways to generate revenue from taxation of this industry. It is legalized in first-world countries like Australia and the UK. Betting in sports activities also helps gather audiences to enhance the reach of the particular sport.
Anurag Thakur, who was also the President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India for 2 years after handling the post of the President of Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association for 16 years, gives his perspective to the much debated topic of “Legalizing betting and gambling in India.”
According to official figures, legal operators of casinos and horse racing operations make a sum of about $400 million in India every year from an estimated total betting turnover of $20 billion. The Indian gambling market is estimated to be worth US$60 billion per year, of which about half of it comes illegally.
Apart from horse racing, lottery and rummy, betting is prohibited in India, under the Public Gaming Act, 1861. Other than this, no person is allowed to engage in any form of betting, online or offline.
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