Former Indian cricket team coach Ravi Shastri on Thursday called for the legalisation of sports betting in India. Speaking to the Indian Express Group, Shastri said that regularisation can help India generate revenue from the industry.  

“I think it will generate tremendous revenue for the government. Tax-wise, it’s the way of the world at the moment. The more you try to shut it down, the more it will be in your face through alternate channels. I think it’s extremely important that it should be legalized in a proper way and it’s a good platform for things to be done officially and properly,” Shastri said.

Currently, sports betting is illegal in India. In 2018, the Law Commission of India had recommended the government for effective regularisation of betting in the country to curb the menace of illegal gambling and the boom of the black market in the country. The Commission had also termed the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) efforts as 'ineffective and insufficient' in controlling unlawful activities. 

"Incapability to enforce a complete ban has resulted in a rampant increase in illegal gambling, resulting in a boom in black-money generation and circulation. Since it is not possible to prevent these activities completely, effectively regulating them remains the only viable option," the Law Commission had stated in its report.

Further, the Law Commission had also recommended classifying gambling into two categories, namely proper gambling (for rich who play for high stakes) and small gambling (low-income groups) 

Meanwhile, Shastri during the talk lauded the BCCI for their exemplary work and termed them as the most efficient cricket board in the world in the last 40 years. 

Under Ravi Shastri’s tenure as the head coach, the Indian cricket team won 25 of the 43 Test matches while making it to the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship (WTC) final in June 2021. 

Featured photo: Saeed Khan / AFP