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A strong case for legalising betting

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Nobody knows exactly how big illegal betting is in India. The police estimate that betting on just the IPL — which lasts only six weeks — is Rs 20,000 crore. Betting on all sports and elections is perhaps 10 times higher. If such betting is legalized, and subject to a tax of say 20 per cent, it will generate anything up to Rs 40,000 crore per year in tax revenue. Over and above this will be income tax paid by the bookmakers, all workers in the gambling industry, and by lucky winners. Gargantuan sums of black money will turn white. The rule of Dawood and other gangsters will be replaced by legitimate business. Most, though not all, fixing will be checked.

Madam Sonia, it is impossible to imagine any other single measure that can do so much good and eliminate so much harm. Please make the legalization of betting an immediate priority. It may not win you the coming election, has so many positive features that it can only help.

Instead of chasing bookies and VIP gamblers, focus immediately on legalizing them. At a time when the police lack the manpower to check even rape and murder, diverting scarce police resources to chasing bookies and gamblers is almost a crime itself.

For the full text of the article by the redoubtable Sri S A Aiyer, in the Sunday ToI, click here.

Have hardly had an occasion to differ with Mr Aiyer's suggestions, least of all here. Wish the powers that be would take it up.

Muralidhar Rao


kbsyed61's picture

There is only one Winner, all others are loosers!

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Source - Rediff

“We all win some and lose some. Only Bhai wins always. That is the only reason he can pay the winners. So betting and fixing go together. One does not work without the other. Without fixing there would be no one to pay the winners. And without bettors there would be no one to fix. You want to be a bookie, all you need to know is about 10 people who are passionate about cricket. I will be your contact.”

“At the top of the heap sits one man. Let’s take the IPL final as an example. He knows how much amount is riding on Mumbai and how much on Chennai. He knows kaunsa palda bhari hai. He realises that if Chennai wins then he has to pay out more, if Mumbai wins he has to pay less. He will make sure Mumbai wins.”

This was well portrayed in Aziz Nazan's Qawali titled " Worli Ka Matka", whose famous line is worth noting,

"Yeh unhein Kay Huay Hain, Jisnay isko Banayen Hain"

(Winner in betting is the one man who runs it)

srinidhi's picture

horse racing is clean?

159 users have liked.

The closest form of betting being legalized is in horse racing in are we saying that it is the best thing to happen for public?

Unfortunately I have only heard of lots of people loosing everything at the races than gaining anything..the only ones smiling are the mallyas and mam ramaswamys with their horses!

kbsyed61's picture

Lottery too!

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If one takes a survey among race course regulars about whether the horse racing is clean or not, I m sure majority will tell all these are fixed.

About 2 decades back, while waiting at Bus stop near  Vasanth Nagar, I was preview to a conversation among 2 horse racing addicts and now all I could say is very informative. They discussed how they pawned their wives jewellery and lost them in the racing. They admit that they have never gained anything substantially over the years and have lost all the earnings and savings including jewellery. They were damn sure that, all these races are fixed. I was there for about an hour and during that time these 2 gentlemen were freely exchanging the similar stories of their friends and relatives. In those stories I could see that people who are addicted to racing have not benefited anything rather lost everything including some their houses, some their Autorickshaws and what not.

Best is to just the see the faces of these people when they are exiting from the race course on racing days.

Lottery is another gambling avenue that has been legalized all over the world. I have seen from close quarters how families suffer when their household income earners blow major portions of their hard earned money on buying these tickets.

Casinos, another example of legalize betting where people come to lose their hard earned money.

MaheshK's picture

It's an addiction

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If betting is legalised and taxed, there could be revenue to the government. But at what cost? This could potentially create social upheaval. All sports will be fixed. Cricket will become a joke (not that IPL is any better).

Betting is an addiction. When people run out of money for betting, they look for ways to get the money, like borrow or loot. People will sell their homes, vehicles, jewels, and what not, finally landing up on the streets. As the article in Rediff said, there is only one winner, the bhai in the top of the heap.

sanchitnis's picture

Betting should be legalized, but with reward points only

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Betting (and fixing) goes on whether we want it or not. It is one of the source for back money which should be pugged.

Here is an idea to legalize it - use reward points instead of real money.

1. You can buy points by paying money online. (so all input money is white)

2. You can bet using only your existing balance.

3. Returns are only in terms of reward points which can be exchanged for goodies and not cash. (Well you can sell goodies, but it will be an overhead). Or can be used for further betting.

The goodies can be those which have more value to sports lovers than money seeking gamblers. Such as tickets to internal events, autographed/branded sports items etc. I am sure, most sports lovers will go for this rather than illegal cash based betting weaning away majority of the customers.

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