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Will legalising betting mar the spirit of game? Pune speaks up

Will legal betting affect the cricket players and tempt them to win or lose matches based on the money riding on them? Speak Up finds out.

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Will legalising betting mar the spirit of game? Pune speaks up
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According to former International Cricket Council chief, Ehsan Mani, illegal betting in the country is the root cause of cricket corruption and unless not brought under control, match-fixing cannot be stopped. However, will legal betting affect the players and tempt them to win or lose matches based on the money riding on them? Speak Up finds out

If betting is legalised, punters won’t be arrested
I doubt that legalising betting in India will help in curbing match-fixing. On the other hand, it will become easier for punters as they won’t have to place bets illegally. Moreover, if betting is legalised, then punters and criminals won’t be arrested as they will have the ‘right’ to bet. Match-fixing does not concern the punters. We are concerned about the players who will get involved in it. Hence I do not support legal betting. Neither do I think that legalising betting will help in monitoring the conduct of the bookies. They can anyways approach the players and fix matches easily. Legalising betting means making the jobs of bookies and punters easy.
—Anshuman Gaikwad, former Indian coach

Implement laws strictly to curb match-fixing
With the increase in the number of cricket matches being fixed, a regulatory body is required to stop the unfair practice. If betting is legalised, then a legal body can always monitor the punters, bookies and players. Hence I feel betting should be legalised. But then when we talk about legalising betting, there should be certain laws that will help to monitor match-fixing and betting scenario. If laws can be implemented strictly then match-fixing can be controlled. There have been so many incidents that have brought disgrace to cricket.
—Harsh Dubey, cricket enthusiast

Betting will increase the chances of fixing matches
For a cricket crazy nation like India, legalising betting will corrupt the sport as more people will have access to betting and thus the chances of matches being fixed will go up. The country is anyways riddled with corruption and if we legalise betting then the crime rate is bound to increase. Cricket is after all driven by passion. If you legalise betting then the spirit of the game will suffer. It will act as a bridge between the corrupt and non-corrupt form of cricket.
—Tapas Acharya, cricket enthusiast

Former ICC chief’s take
“Unless the betting industry is brought under control in India, you can’t stop match-fixing. There’s no doubt that in India, Delhi and Mumbai is certainly the epicentre of cricket betting. I’m a strong advocate of legalising betting in India and bringing it under the control of regulatory authorities so that the conduct of bookies can be monitored properly… You’ll find that the risk of corrupting players around the world will reduce significantly… It’s a matter of how you control it because there’s no way, I believe, that it can be stamped out in India. So, if (it) can’t be stamped out, how do they control it in a way that it can stop corrupting the game? Sharad Pawar, who heads ICC and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), should take some action and legalise betting
in India.
Ehsan Mani, former International Cricket Council chief

Betting can become an addiction, leave you bankrupt
Indians are passionate and sentimental about cricket so it won’t take too long for betting to turn into addiction if it is legalised. Like gambling, people will invest a lot of money in betting. This way, many could lose a lot of money and become bankrupt. Cricket is a gentleman’s sport, so there is no point in corrupting it. Also, setting up a legal body to monitor the bookies is a bad idea. This is because no legal body has the capability to stop corruption entering its periphery.
Neeraj Pattrick, cricket enthusiast

Legal betting will help generate revenue for govt
Legalising betting will make the system transparent and help to control match-fixing. Not only in India but in the subcontinent too betting in sports is considered illegal except in horse racing. There is no doubt that a lot of money is involved in betting and if made legal, it can help to generate revenue for the government by taxing the money earned by it. In fact, the Maharashtra government is the biggest gainer as they are already earning 20% tax in horse racing. Once betting is legalised people won’t trade in hideouts.
Manik Lal, president, Western India Bookies association

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