Cricket Governance

Cricket Governance

Following the spot match fixing scandal in IPL and the issue of extreme political interference in the working of BCCI, the Supreme Court (SC) had appointed a committee to look into the matter under the chairmanship of former CJI RM Lodha  The Committee suggested sweeping reforms in the troubled BCCI. 

2015 : Supreme Court appointed Lodha Committee to improve cricket administration in India.

Recommendations of Lodha Committee

Analysing Legalising Betting

July 2018 : Law Commission has reported to Government of India that since it is impossible to stop illegal gambling in India, the only viable option is to “regulate” it . Law Commission has recommended “cashless” gambling

  • Transaction between Gamblers to be linked to PAN & Aadhar card
  • Cap on number of gambling transactions
  • Regulations to protect vulnerable groups from exploitation

Present Law

  • The law— gambling is largely governed by the Public Gambling Act of 1867
  • Only  gambling in ‘games of chance’ is prohibited. Games of skill have no restriction. This distinction essentially means horse-racing is only sport in India in which gambling is legal. 

Other problem (legal)

  • Betting is a state subject — to legalise sports betting pan India,  each state have to make law legalising it separately .
  • A shorter route would be for the Council of States to pass a resolution stating that Parliament should legislate on sports betting in national interest.

Arguments that betting should be legalised

  • Gambling cant be eliminated and thrives underground . Hence, it is better to regulate it.
  • Taxing the gambling will generate revenue which can be used in public welfare measures (about ₹20,000 crore in tax revenue)
  • It will reduce money laundering
  • Western Nations have legalised it and results are good. We can take example from other countries & sports like betting on football is legal in UK and this has helped in making football Premier League more attractive & opportunity to fans to bid legally on their teams .
  • Gambling is not new to India and is part of Indian traditions.
    • Betting on Horse races already legal in India
    • Naradasamriti describes gambling as lawful amusement when carried in public gambling houses
    • Kautilya also says gambling should be done in regulated way

Arguments that betting shouldn’t be legalised

  • Not good especially in India due to huge poverty in India. Given the bitter results, many states have banned lottery in India, since poor people spend their money to test their fortune .
  • Gambling will lead to other social evils like alcoholism, drug abuse, sex trade etc .
  • Lessons learned from Mahabharata : Pandavas and teachings of Gandhi .
  • It’ll be very difficult for the government to curb illegal cricket betting as it is very efficient closed-door system (why to pay tax if underground betting provide same without paying tax) .
  • India can take example from Brazil where socio-economic situation is more like India . In  2014(near World Cup) Brazil realised it was missing out on a huge revenue generator, and  made betting legal . This led to gambling addiction, and even a rise in crime.
  • If cricket betting is legalised, there will be efforts to fix more games. It will be a nightmare for law enforcement agencies.

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