Just before the New Year was rung in, Dr. Shashi Tharoor put forward a Private Member (competitive sports) Bill in the Lok Sabah. The Lok Sabah is the lower house of India’s bicameral Parliament. The proposed bill would provide regulations for sports betting and penalties for match-fixing.
The bill is entitled Sports (Online Gaming and Prevention of Fraud) Bill, 2018 is aimed to protect the integrity of sports in India by penalizing sports fraud.
India sports have been tainted by match-fixing scandals in the past. Most notably in the sport of Cricket, which is one of the most popular India sports to bet on.
The new bill focuses on sports fraud and will impose penalties for match-fixing and manipulation of sporting events. The bill may also propose a regulatory framework for licensing and regulation of legal sports betting.
Jay Sayta the founder of Glaws.insays that fractured India’s gambling laws and regulations established by the state legislatures lack serious legislation from the federal government. Most of India’s legislation does not account for online gambling and games of skill are exempt in most states.
Sayta says that this regulation will allow regulators to monitor suspicious betting trends and investigate sports matches for bet fixing. This bill could also prove lucrative for the federal government as they will directly profit from licensing and taxes associated with gambling.
Sayta also believes that INR15 billion to INR20 billion is being passed up by the government by not regulating online sports betting or online gambling. The bill could also allow Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and could lead to billions being invested into the country by foreign operators.
Sayta goes on to say that there is not much harm that can come from this bill and if passed this bill could provide legitimacy to India sports. With strict oversight and federal punishments in place, match-fixing should cease to exist.
Until India sports betting is an option at domestic casinos, India residents can wager at legal online India sportsbooks or with any other offshore site that is licensed and located outside of India.