India MP calls for sports integrity bill, legal online sports betting

A senior Indian politician has introduced a Private Member’s Bill in the Lower House of Parliament aimed at improving integrity in sports and calling for regulation of online sports betting.

Thiruvananthapuram MP and senior Congress Leader Dr. Shashi Tharoor introduced the bill on 28th December 2018.

“The integrity of sports is essential to preserve its beneficial aspects. Sports integrity is increasingly under threat due to unabated acts of fraud and corruption,” he said. “My Bill addresses this issue by criminalizing sports fraud, including match fixing and spot fixing.”

He noted that India’s complete prohibition on betting on sports has not been a successful and has driven the market further into the black economy.

“The law must adopt a regulatory approach and effectively demarcate the lines of permissible conduct in the field of betting or gaming in connection with a sporting event. My Bill provides the framework to make this possible,” he said.

The All India Gaming Federation welcomed the move.

“With the proliferation of sports leagues and the development of the sports ecosystem in India, the (Online gaming & prevention of fraud) Bill 2018, will be a step in the right direction in order to maintain integrity in sports,” AIGF CEO Roland Landers said.  

AIGF has been at the forefront of advocating for a regulated online gaming marketplace in India.