International edition
September 20, 2021

Also suggests organizing sports lottery

India's gaming body appeals to PM to legalize sports betting

India's gaming body appeals to PM to legalize sports betting
In a letter to the PM, the recently launched All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) has outlined how the lack of funds available to various sports governing bodies in the country, mainly the non-cricket sports, has affected India's performance on the world s
India | 09/06/2016

In a letter to the PM, the recently launched All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) has outlined how the lack of funds available to various sports governing bodies in the country, mainly the non-cricket sports, has affected India's performance on the world stage, the most recent example being the Rio Olympics, and how revenue generated by legalizing betting in sports can help.

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IGF is a not-for-profit organization registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 in Mumbai. The objectives of AIGF include diffusion of useful knowledge and promotion of sporting and gaming activities as well as urging the state and central governments to regulate gaming/gambling activities and suggesting measures to prevent gambling addiction. The body was launched last month in Delhi.

At Rs 19,000 crore a year, the sports betting revenue would be second only to print and television revenues in the country

According to the Ficci-KPMG Media and Entertainment report released in March this year, the size of TV and print stood at Rs 54,220 crore and Rs 28,340 crore, respectively. Other mediums such as films (Rs 13,820 crore), radio (Rs 1,980 crore), outdoor advertising (Rs 2,440 crore) and music (Rs 1,080 crore) are far behind the projected revenue from legalizing of sports betting.

It also gave the suggestion of organizing a sports lottery under the Lotteries (Regulation) Act, 1998, the proceeds of which can be pumped into sports infrastructure and welfare of sportspersons in India.


Giving the example of Britain for the same, Roland Landers, CEO, AIGF says, "The National Lottery gives a lump sum to UK Sport, which gives a proportion of it to regional sporting bodies and then specifically targets those Olympic and Paralympic events in which UK athletes have a sporting chance. They, then, choose the potential champions they will fund and pay for their coaching and in many cases give them grants to live on while they train."

Elucidating his point further, he adds, "The gambling-funded contingent from the UK (Team GB) shone spectacularly at Rio & made their country proud by winning more medals than ever before. That wasn't just a numerical increase on their last score. Part of the triumph is that Britain's tally of medals was second only to that of the US and higher than that of China, which were beaten into the third place."

In January this year, the Supreme Court had appointed Lodha committee suggested betting in cricket should be legalized to stop fraud in the game. The three-member committee was appointed by the Supreme Court to observe and suggest ways to clean up the cricket environment in India after the 2013 Indian Premier League (IPL) betting and match fixing scam. The committee pointed out that legalized sports betting is being practised worldwide and is a $400-billion phenomenon. Currently in India, legal gambling is restricted to horse racing.

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