Jun 042010
 

Events after events are going by in the world of sports. We had that controversy filled IPL, then the T20 world cup. The Roland Garros is on at the moment. And up next is the much awaited FIFA 2010. The enthusiasm around the world is highest during the soccer world cup. Every one is getting busy preparing for the event at this moment. But long before the even will start, the books are open around the world and bets are being accepted. Few people play by heart and bid on their hot favourite, and others play by mind to maximise the chances of winning.

I would be glad to bet on someone for the first time in my life. But I am in India, where gambling is illegal, except on horse racing, at few casinos and the online lotteries run by few states. The only bet I am allowed to take is by travelling in a suburban train compartment, and I have managed to come out alive till now.

Anyway, why is it not legallised in India? I do not understand the logic behind it, if the government is unable to curb all the illegal betting that goes on during the sporting events. I was recently told that the bets are accepted even on the propability of the rains in India, illegally. Stock market, which many consider as a gamble is legal in India. But betting on sporting events isn’t.

India has an estimated $60 billion turnover per year through betting channels. This proves how inefficient our governance is in curbing it. So why not legalise it. First of all the government would surely do well with additional revenue that will be generated through legal betting. Secondly the bookies will be under government scanner, reducing the chances of matches being fixed. Black money will have restricted access into circulation. Of course, illegal betting will still flourish as the bookies have lots of tricks(and powerful men) under their sleeves, but the common man will prefer legal channels, reducing the load on them. Lots of new jobs will be created for the man at the betting hubs and kiosks( and I do not intend sarcasm in that statement).

So if the government of India legalises betting, they manage to reduce the fiscal deficit, they curb illegal practices in sporting events, they create employment, they put some bottle neck to the flow of blackmoney.

And Nilesh Gonsalves here gets to bet on one of his favourite FIFA worldcup teams.

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