NEW DELHI: Legalizing of sports betting can help regulate 43 lakh crore of unregulated business bringing huge funds for social development activites, Mr. Siddhartha Upadhyay, Co-Chair, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) Sports Committee & General Secretary-STAIRS.
Welcoming the Law Commission of India report on legalizing sports betting in India, FICCI said Sports betting and frauds in India have affected the credibility of sports and it is becoming increasingly difficult to punish the guilty because of lack of evidences and geographical spread of the problem.
Legalizing betting will only benefit the general masses. Figures indicate the global sports betting market could be worth up to $4 trillion.FICCI launched the debate on regulating sports betting in India in 2012, after frequent incidents of sports fraud around sports betting. Knowledge reports were also published by FICCI on “Regulating Sports Betting in India – I & II” and few conferences, sessions and workshop including FICCI delegation to UK in last 4 years were also done in last 6 years. Eminent Indian and international experts have given several compelling reasons for bringing in regulation than criminalizing sports betting.
According to FICCI, regulation is not just to restrict the illegal activities but can also create a scope of revenue for the govt. to invest in social sectors apart from sports sector. The money earned from betting can be used to augment infrastructure for other sports and tourist facilities. Globally sports betting and gambling are being utilized to generate funds for good causes and promotion of sports. There are a number of examples where gambling and sports betting have contributed towards promotion of sports, in countries like UK and China the funds from sports betting is used for funding of elite sports, training and exposure of athletes.
FICCI strongly recommends regulation of Sports betting and agrees to the LCI recommendation of linking PAN card and Aadhar card to curb money laundering.