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Old April 24th, 2003, 05:56 PM
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Cricket betting maybe legalised in Maharashtra state

Cricket betting maybe legalised in Maharashtra state

TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ FRIDAY, APRIL 25, 2003 03:02:26 AM ]

MUMBAI: It’s a gamble that could just work. Hoping to top up its depleting coffers, the Maharashtra government is toying with the idea of legalising betting on cricket. It’s also betting that the move will weaken the underworld, which has a major stake in gambling. Although a home department official said that no decision had been taken yet, the Mumbai police have backed the plan, which has been forwarded to them for approval.



The police have recommended the amendment of Sections 4 and 5 of the Bombay Prevention of Gambling Act, 1887, officials said. It is learnt that the state government has also asked the law and judiciary department to submit a report on the plan.



Gambling on cricket generates approximately Rs 300 crore annually, an official said, adding that the figure shot up to Rs 1,000 crore during the World Cup.



The government is concerned about the enormous financial muscle that the underworld derives from its control of cricket-betting. For instance, the betting syndicates controlled by Dawood Ibrahim have operations in Karachi as well, facilitating the large-scale transfer of funds to Pakistan through the hawala route. The Chhota Rajan gang also has a major stake in cricket betting.

During the recent World Cup matches in South Africa, the city police had cracked down heavily on bookies. But their agents shifted base to Navi Mumbai and Thane, among other places, and continued their operations. In fact, minister of state for home (urban) Rajendra Darda had raided a row house in Airoli’s sector 4 and had caught 17 bookies red-handed.


In Mumbai, the police have taken preventive action against several top bookies, even detaining them at the police commissionerate near Crawford Market during a crucial India-Pakistan match.They were allowed to watch the game on television.


“There are no stringent laws against gambling,’’ a police officer complained. The law allows a bookie to be released on a fine of Rs 1,200, “which is peanuts for a person earning crores of rupees for a single match’’, he said.


But he pointed out that betting on cricket was legal in several countries. “Why can’t it be legalised here?’’ he asked. “Besides, if horse racing can be legalised, why not cricket betting as well?’’

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Old April 24th, 2003, 06:57 PM
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I have all along wondered why gambling is not permitted in India.
How different is cricket gambling from horse racing? We also have lottery. If lotter is legal, horse racing is legal, I don't understand why cricket betting is not. Infact, by legalizing it, we are giving less scope for corruption, and enabling a commom man to make individual decision.
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