The BCCI’s Anti-Corruption Unit chief Ajit Singh Shekhawat on Tuesday proposed legalization of betting and sports gambling as well as introducing a match-fixing law to combat the growing menace of corruption dampening the Indian cricket scene.
In an interview with the Press Trust of India (PTI), responding to whether ‘match-fixing or spot-fixing become unstoppable in the country’ Shekhawat said: “It is not unstoppable. We probably require a law against it, a match-fixing law. If there is a clear law against it, the police will also have a clear cut role.”
Proposing legalized betting on sports as a solution to corruption in Indian cricket, the Anti-Corruption Unit chief said: “Maybe there could be thinking about legalizing gambling so that all this illegal business which goes on can be controlled. Legal betting will be done under some parameters and it can be controlled.”
“Once it is legalised you will also get the data on who is betting and how much is the betting. And while doing that, make illegal betting tougher. Right now you can get away with a fine of few hundreds or a few thousand,” he explained.
“Anything which is given wide publicity, which is telecast live, it lends itself to betting and once something lends itself to betting then it could be anything. If they find out that it is getting tough to make headway in men’s cricket, they may try to go to women’s cricket.
“If that is also tough, they may try the state leagues and if that is also proving to be tough, they may they have their own league like it was in the case of Rajputana league.”
Cricket is a Multi-billion dollar industry apart from being the most popular sport in a country of 1.25 billion people. Moreover, illegal gambling and cricket betting is rampant in India.
During this year’s IPL (Indian Premier League) season several arrests were made where the suspects were operating illegal online and in-person betting on domestic cricket games.