Indian cricket April 9, 2008

Legalise betting to stop match-fixing - Bindra

Cricinfo staff

Betting should be legalised in India, as it is in England and Australia, says IS Bindra, the the ICC's principal advisor-in-waiting.

"If betting is legalised, it will be in the government's interest as not only will it eliminate match-fixing but also earn the state revenues in crores [tens of millions]," Bindra said. "The [Indian] board, too, will stand to benefit."

"My personal view is that if you want anything to be regulated, it has to be legalised," said Bindra, currently the Punjab Cricket Association president and a member of the Indian Premier League's governing council.

Bindra highlighted the benefits of legalising betting. "Media estimates suggest [illegal] bets totalling anywhere between Rs 8000-10,000 crore [approx US$2-2.5 billion] are placed on an ODI match [in India]," Bindra said. "By that magnitude, one can imagine that government can easily earn Rs 5,000-7,000 crore as entertainment duty and other things.

"In England and Australia betting already enjoys legal status. Now, it is for the governments in the subcontinent to consider it."