Law Commission seeks suggestions from BCCI's member units on legalising betting

| Updated: Aug 09, 2017 01:55 IST

New Delhi [India], August 8 (ANI): The Law Commission of India (LCI), which has been tasked to examine the possibility of legalising betting in the country, as sought suggestions of the member units of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) before submitting its recommendations before the Supreme Court. The apex court had mandated the LCI to undertake such a study after the Justice Lodha Committee recommendations that betting should be legalised by law. Sanjay Singh, member secretary of the LCI, in a letter to the BCCI's member associations, said that owing to the "intertwining nature" of betting and gambling, they would examine both of them. "While the Law Commission has been reaching out to the various stakeholders to seek their observations and suggestions, it considers that the views of your association will be valuable in formulating its recommendations on betting," ESPNcricinfo quoted Singh as saying in the letter. "I would, therefore, request you to forward the views of the association on the matter to the Commission at the earliest, as we would like to submit our report in line with the directions of the Supreme Court, at an early date," he added. The Supreme Court-appointed Lodha Committee, in its report in January 2016, had recommended the legalisation of betting in Indian cricket. "We have suggested to the legislature for legalising betting with in-built mechanism and ensuring that players, match officials, administrator, team officials...will not be entitled to indulge in betting," Justice (Retd.) R.M Lodha, who headed the panel, had said. The Committee, in its report, had stated that many respondents appearing before it were of the view that legalising betting would benefit both the sport and the country's economy. However, a BCCI official has said that legalising betting and gambling was a complex argument. "If you want to do it and make it successful, there is a lot to be done because it can't be half-baked," said the official. "If you legalise betting, then who runs the betting houses? Will it be done by the government or will there be certain companies? Is there going to be a structure in place for those companies? Have you thought of a system where you need gambling de-addiction centres? There are not enough liquor de-addiction centres in India, forget betting," he added. Ever since the match-fixing scandal rocked the sport in 2000, the debate over legalising betting has been a topic of discussion in Indian cricket. In fact, the creation of the Supreme Court appointed Lodha Committee, which recommended a structural overhaul of cricket administration in India, was a direct consequence of the 2013 spot-fixing episode in the Indian Premier League (IPL). (ANI)