India’s sports minister is denying media reports that he is holding early talks on finally legalizing sports betting in the country.
Last week, the All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) submitted a White Paper to the Law Commission of India (LCI) urging the adoption of central government legislation allowing legal betting – both land-based and online – on sports events. Betting on anything other than horseracing is currently illegal in India.
The White Paper suggests leaving decisions regarding land-based sports betting (and other forms of gaming) to India’s individual states, but because online activity “is so fluid, it makes sense to have a central law.” The AGIF also advocates for the creation of a National Gaming Council encompassing sports federations, the judiciary and investigative agencies to oversee gaming regulations.
Late last year, India’s Supreme Court ordered the LCI to study the pros and cons of legalized betting, leading the LCI to request public input into this process. LCI chairman, retired Justice Balbir Singh Chauhan, met with AGIF representatives on Monday, and the LCI told local media that it was “considering the industry’s demands.”