Legalization of Sports Betting Gaining Steam in India
There is an awful lot of momentum behind the legalization of sports betting all around the world. Now, it sounds as though India may be the next country to legalize sports betting. Recently, India’s Sports Ministry initiated talks over the potential legalization of sports gambling beyond horse racing, which is currently allowed under law. An official from the ministry has discussed ramifications with a member of the United Kingdom’s Gambling Commission.
Local politicians have been looking at the UK’s regulatory framework as a potential guideline for India’s future sports betting laws. The United Kingdom’s sports gambling market generates over $5 billion in gross gambling yield on an annual basis, according to figures from the UK Gambling Commission. The UK is home to one of the largest sports gambling markets on earth. It also continues to show year-by-year growth both online and in local betting shops.
There is an apparent growing interest in sports gambling in India. Given the country’s massive population of over 1.3 billion people, there is believed to be big potential for success in India if it’s regulated and legalized properly. Horse racing is currently the only sport on which Indian citizens may place legal wagers.
Sports Secretary Injeti Srinivas has discussed the potential for legalization with Nick Tofiluk, who is the Director of the UK Gambling Commission. India is expected to seek further cooperation with the UK regulatory body if it plans to regulate legal gambling in the country. The two reportedly discussed challenges involved with potential legalization.
Not All In Favor
Despite growing interest in legalization among Indian citizens and certain politicians, there are still other politicians that appear hesitant to make such a drastic legal change. Vijay Goel, India’s Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, has been opposed to any legislative effort to legalize sports gaming for quite some time. He is reportedly unlikely to change his stance anytime soon, either.
In an attempt to familiarize themselves with the matter, certain Indian officials have started a study that would focus specifically on sports betting’s regulatory framework and the country’s current conditions and demand for the legalization of sports gambling.
India’s Law Commission has also already heard from involved parties on any changes to the current legal status of sports betting. The Commission is working on a separate report on the matter, and the results are likely to be announced in the coming months. That report is expected to discuss the pros and cons to regulating sports betting in India, as well as how the UK’s model can be helpful.
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