IPL team chief calls for legalised betting in India

8 October 2018

Preity Zinta (pictured), who co-owns Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket team Kings XI Punjab, has said legalising betting could help the government curb corruption issues that currently surround the league.

In July, a Law Commission report called for gambling to be regulated for those aged 18 years and older, with bets linked directly to Aadhaar or PAN identity cards so as to reduce the risk of money laundering. However, the Indian government is yet to accept the recommendation.

Zinta (pictured) said legalisation would clean up the IPL, saying that if laws were to come into force, players could be made to take random lie detector tests to ensure there are adhering to rules.

Notable corruption incidents include former India star S Sreesanth being handed a life ban from the sport for his involvement spot-fixing in the 2013 IPL season.

Zinta said legalising betting would also help open up a new stream of revenue and has called on the government to take action.

A 2013 report by lobby body Ficci valued the illegal IPL betting market at around Rs 300,000 crore (£31bn/€35.2bn/$40.5bn). Tax revenue on this total would be approximately $1.2bn.

“I think it would be important if the government legalises betting because it will be a good source of revenue and stuff and secondly, we can stop all this crap because how many people can you control,” Zinta said, according to India Today.

“So, that’s why I said let’s do a random lie detector test, the Board of Control for Cricket in India should just make it part of the policy, it will be amazing.

“Because of the fear of knowing that I can get caught, that’s what you need. You can’t police people that much.”

However, Jay Sayta, a Mumbai-based lawyer, told iGamingBusiness.com that it is “unlikely” the government will take any action in the near future.

The comments come after Sayta also told iGamingBusiness.com in July that the government was unlikely to accept the recommendations “any time soon”.

Sayta said: “The benefits [of legalisation] are obviously the potential revenue for the state, which could run into billions of dollars, employment opportunities and better detection of suspicious betting patterns and thereby reduction in fixing and cheating.

“But, it is unlikely to happen anytime soon as the government has not shown any interest in taking forward the recommend submitted by the Law Commission of India and not have they shown any interest in engaging with stakeholders on this issue.

“It is a complex issue having various socio-economic ramifications and things are not going to happen in a hurry.”

Image: Pavanbhat619