A trial court in New Delhi has suggested that sports betting in India be legalized. Currently, Indian gambling laws forbid sports betting in all forms, with the exception of wagers placed on horse races, a custom leftover after years of British influence.
The current situation sees police battling against illegal bookmakers year after year, yet never gaining ground. Connections between underground bookies and organized crime are strong. The problem is becoming overwhelming, and some believe that the best solution is to simply lift the ban on sportsbooks in India.
“It does not need divine eyes to see that satta in cricket and other sports is reaching an alarming situation,” commented judge Dharmesh Sharma.
Legalizing online sportsbooks in India would let the government keep tabs on the flow of money in the industry, while simultaneously taking a slice of it to be used for public welfare.
“It’s high time that our legislature seriously considers legalising the entire system of betting online or otherwise so that enough revenues can be generated to fund various infrastructural requirements for the common man and thus check the lucrative business in organised crime,” judge Sharma added.
“A little surfing on the internet will reveal that in Delhi alone, as many as 2,000-3,000 bookies operating at any given point of time whenever cricket matches or any other sport are played all over the world.” While many of these bookmakers operate out of streetfront bet shops, others are online. Many of the largest international sports betting companies like Betsson and Ladbrokes also offer internet betting in India.