BCCI anti-corruption chief calls for legalization of betting

Ajit Singh Shekhawat

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)’s Anti-Corruption chief Ajit Singh Shekhawat has called for the legalization of betting to tackle corruption in Indian cricket. 

Shekhawat, who was the Director-General of Police in Rajasthan before taking charge of BCCI’s Anti-corruption Unit in April 2018, made the comments after 12 cricketers reported they were approached to assist in match-fixing in the last year alone. 

“It is not unstoppable. We probably require a law against it, a match-fixing law. If there is a clear law against it, police will also have a clear cut role,” Shekhawat said.

Last year, the Law Commission of India expressed the need to make match-fixing a criminal offense. 

Legalized betting is another way to deal with corruption in the game, he said. 

“Maybe there could be thinking about legalizing gambling so that all this illegal business which goes on can be controlled. Legal betting will be done under some parameters and it can be controlled.

“It will also bring a huge amount of revenue for the government, close to what the excise department generates. The amount of money which is bet on sports is mindboggling,” he said. 

He said the legalization will also help keep tabs on who’s betting and how much is being bet. 

“Once it is legalised you will also get the data on who is betting and how much [they are] betting. And while doing that, make illegal betting tougher. Right now you can get away with a fine of a few hundred or a few thousand,” he said.