ESSA – the European Sports Security Association – has advised the Law Commission of India that regulating sports betting would bring fiscal and integrity benefits to the country.
In an official response to the Law Commission of India’s consultancy on gambling, ESSA firstly welcomed the review itself and then went on to express its take on the country’s current situation.
“It is clear that, whilst currently illegal in much of India, betting on sport, and particularly the national game of cricket, is widespread and yet largely unregulated and untaxed,” the ESSA response said.
“This has benefited criminal elements, been to the detriment on sport, related investment and public revenues, whilst also denying consumer demand and access to a regulated product. On the basis that prohibition of betting has proved ineffective, and where a renewed drive to impose it would appear impractical, a continuation of the status quo is clearly not advantageous.”
There are concerns in India however, that legalising gambling might have the inadvertent effect of proliferating match-fixing in sports.
Addressing these concerns, ESSA argued that “Responsible regulated betting operators have a clear inherent operational business need to ensure the integrity of sporting events and their associated betting products.”
ESSA also warned that imposing stringent market restrictions, such as banning live sports betting, would only undercut efforts of the regulated industry.