Former ace cricketer Shane Warne has gone on record to say that India should’ve legalized gambling a long time ago. In an exclusive interview with Warne which Times of India published yesterday, the legendary Australian leg-spinner elaborated his views on the legal status of gambling in India.
The question asked by TOI was that ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) Chief had recently paraphrased studies showing that India is a hub for illegal bookies in cricket. Warne mentioned that the government of India does not get the bigger picture.
“They [India] should have legalized gambling a long time back. That’s the only way you can keep things in perspective. Look, everybody loves a good punt. If you legalize gambling here, just the way it is in other countries, won’t it help you figure who does big bets and who doesn’t?” Warne explained.
Warne also talked about the revenue the government would generate in taxes if gambling becomes legal and is regulated effectively. “And the money the government would make, my goodness. If someone wants to gamble, then it doesn’t matter whether you legalize it or you don’t, they’ll still do it. So might as well benefit from it. I think legalizing gambling will help. There’s nothing wrong with a bet as long as it is tracked properly,” he further added.
Warne is an avid poker player and just recently was playing at the biggest poker tournament in the southern hemisphere, the 2019 Aussie Millions, which incidentally drew a record attendance in the Main Event.
Recently, well-known Kerala MP Shashi Tharoor also tabled a sports betting bill which advised the government to regulate this industry before it becomes uncontrollable. Tharoor’s bill is titled ‘Sports (Online Gaming and Prevention of Fraud) Bill, 2018’ and will be up for debate in coming time.
Many celebrities and stakeholders have echoed similar opinions in the past. Bollywood actress Preity Zinta advocated legalizing sports betting in the country last October, while speaking at the India Today Conclave 2018. In contrasting news, many celebrities have been in fray regarding sports betting too. Arbaaz Khan was involved in illegal IPL betting last year. These problems can be tackled through legalization of this industry.
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