India not ready for legalising betting in sports: Delhi Police

New Delhi, June 25 (IANS) Delhi Police may have unearthed betting and spot fixing in the Indian Premier League (IPL), arresting three Rajasthan Royals cricketers, but one of their top investigators feels that the country is still not ready for legalising betting in sports.

S.N. Srivastava, special commissioner, Delhi Police, who is heading the investigations in the IPL spot fixing case, said Tuesday that while legalising sports betting can help in generating revenues in the form of taxes, on the other hand, it will play as a deterrent for the young who indulge in the act.

"One must not forget that betting is not approved by the society," said Srivastava during a seminar 'Regulating Sports Betting: Way Forward to Counter Match Fixing?', organised here by FICCI.

Srivastava agreed that India needs stringent laws in sports but feels that it would take another 10-15 years for the country to legalise betting in sports.

Albert Climent, founder, Bluesea-Gaming.com and adviser, Asian Gambling Brief, however, opined that India is ready for regulating sports betting and it will reduce match fixing.

"The authorities will work in tandem with betting operators and not against them. The betting operators will not encourage match fixing as they would want to earn profits and will be answerable to the authorities," he said.

Climent, however, warned that only reliable operators should be issued licences and it should be ensured that they comply with all the pre-requisites.

Climent pointed out that it would be easier to track the flow of money and once India legalises betting, it will automatically come under the ring fence which will allow Indians to bet with Indians only and help in keeping the Indian money spent on betting in the country itself.

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