Legalise betting in sports: Court

New Delhi: A Delhi court has suggested betting in cricket and other sports should be legalised in the country as the police have failed to check the menace and huge unaccounted money generated through the illegal activity was being pumped into terror activities and drug trafficking.

The court said giving betting legal sanctity would not only help the government to track the transfer of money but would also generate revenues which would be used in public welfare.

"It does not need divine eyes to see that `satta` in cricket and other games is reaching an alarming situation. The extent of money that it generated is diverted to clandestine and sinister objectives like drug trafficking and terrorist activities," Additional Sessions Judge Dharmesh Sharma said.

"It is high time that our legislature should seriously consider legalising the entire system of betting online or otherwise so that enough revenues can be generated to fund various infrastructural requirements for the common man and thus check the lucrative business in organised crime," the court said.

Citing a media report, the court said more than Rs 20,000 crores were pumped in by the organised syndicate in Indian Premier League (IPL) matches last year.

"A little surfing on the internet would reveal that in Delhi alone there would be operating as many as 2,000-3,000 bookies at any given point of time when cricket matches or even other matches are played all over the world. This could not be done under the very nose of police without their knowledge," the court said.

It also said that the betting activity was going on in the country as the police failed to take proper action.

"The half-hearted and lackadaisical approach of the police in nabbing the perpetrators of this organised crime on satta business leaves an irresistible impression that police is not only ill-equipped to deal with such cases but probably they have higher stake in continuance of the same under their patronage," it said.

The court made the remarks while allowing an appeal by Prashant Kumar Mallik and Vicky Grover who were held guilty of betting under the Delhi Police Gambling Act by a lower court.

It said there was not sufficient evidence to convict the two accused who were prosecuted for organising `satta` in the World Cup match between Australia and South Africa in 2007.