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Learning the UK experiences in sports betting

The Ministry of Sports in India has begun preparation to frame specific laws on online sports betting.  Informal consultations have already been held with various stakeholders in the government, the sources claimed.

However, another proposal of legalizing online and regulated betting in cricket by All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) has been rebuffed by Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel.

“No such proposal has been made to me. I am against betting. I am one of those who banned gambling. But the final decision rests with the Government of India,” said the Union Sports Minister.

The Sports Ministry under Goel’s leadership is simultaneously seeking assistance from its counterparts in UK, where there is a comprehensive legislation and advance online technologies in place for sports betting.

“The UK has one of the most effective gambling laws. We hope to understand their system and see if it is possible to introduce it in India,” said a ministry official. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is likely to be signed by Injeti Srinivas, the Sports Secretary who is currently visiting United Kingdom.

At present, 28 per cent GST is levied on the only legal betting on horse racing in the country. Relatively, online betting in sports in England is quite inseparable and has been subjected to considerable regulation. They have combined laws with a number of social policy measures to regulate betting.

Betting in UK, is seen with strong reputation for reliability, quality products and excellent customer service. Some people believe that to simulate same reputation in India, licensing and regulation combined with social measures should efficiently operate under government bodies.

“The UK has overcome this (poor funding) through lottery and online betting. The Department is preparing a MoU with the UK and the aspect of betting will be included therein in order to understand the mechanism and evolve a view on the possibility of its introduction in India,” said the Ministry in its presentation.

Some of the top UK betting sites are bet365, betway and WilliamHill which enjoy a massive reputation online sports betting.

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