Hyderabad: As per a recent report published by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) the Centre could earn Rs 19,000 crore annually by imposing a 20 per cent tax on sports betting, particularly in cricket, after it is legalised. The Committee of GST has proposed 28 per cent tax on the gaming sector in its recommendations submitted to the Centre.
Indian betting market worth Rs 3,00,000 crore. According to the estimates of the intelligence agencies in India, the Indian betting market is worth an enormous Rs 3,00,000 crore. Intelligence agencies as well as the enforcement directorate have been time and again reiterating that the money involved in betting has been routed through the hawala and money laundering process from India through foreign countries and that the Mafia was behind the betting racket. According to the legal experts, legalising betting would bring in more competition and transparency into the secret world of bookies, which could curtail illegal betting.
Mr T. Pradyumna Kumar Reddy, criminal lawyer at the Hyderabad High Court, said that legalizing betting in cricket is a sound move. But legalising betting may also be risky as it could become a catalyst for other unethical activities like spot-fixing and match-fixing. So, he adds, the enforcing authorities must focus on curbing other illegal activities. The law makers should provide a mechanism for strict implementation of betting in the event of it being legalised.
Mr Pappu Nageswara Rao, another criminal lawyer of the Hyderabad High Court, opined that right now skill games like horse racing and 13 cards rummy have been regulated under the Gaming Acts across the states in the country. He felt that since cricket is also purely a skill game, it should be legalised and brought under the tax bracket so that considerable revenue can be generated for the exchequer.
Mr S Pradeep Kumar, criminal lawyer of the city, took a different view. He felt legalising cricket betting would have many adverse effects on society and it would encourage anti-social elements.
Mr C Mallesh Rao, senior criminal lawyer of the city, opined that legalising betting is nothing but giving permission and credibility to an unethical act which would harm the social and ethical fabric of this country....