India to regulate sports betting?

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The Supreme Court in India has ordered large-scale reforms inside the Board of Control for Cricket in India, a move that is being seen as a possible green light for a legalised sports betting industry in the country.

The order focuses on transforming the world’s richest cricket body by barring ministers and officials from the board and setting an upper age limit of 70 for office-bearers.

But the highlight of the judgement was that it accommodated the recommendation to legalise sports betting, according to lawyer and sports law expert Vidushpat Singhania.

“The Supreme Court yesterday has directed the Indian legislature at the central level to consider legalisation of sports betting within the country,” said Singhania.

The magistrates agreed with the committee that sports betting and match fixing were not the same when they gave their stamp of approval for the legalisation of sports betting in India. However, the decision to legalise sports betting is ultimately a matter for parliament, the judgement said.

The Supreme Court added that betting by administrators, players, match and team officials, owners, etc, should continue to be an offence under the BCCI and Indian Premier League rules and regulations.

As a safeguard against match-fixing, the court suggested educational measures such as a handbook for young cricketers, lectures and ethics sessions with sports men and women of high integrity.

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