‘Data shows gambling rampant in India’

New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) While the recent controversy around the Indian Premier League (IPL) has revealed a network of betting in cricket, official national crime data shows gambling, in various forms, is rampant in the country, a think tank said Saturday.

National Crime records Bureau (NCRB) data compiled by think tank PRS Legislative Research showed that Andhra Pradesh reported the highest number of 267,718 gambling cases from 2007-11.

This was followed by Madhya Pradesh with 114,828 and Maharashtra 65,622.

Arunachal Pradesh and Lakshadweep did not have any gambling cases, while Delhi reported 2,177 cases during the period.

“The constitution of India specifies that laws related to gambling can only be enacted by state legislative assemblies. Most states have based their anti-gambling laws on the lines of a 1867 central law,” Chakshu Roy, head of the outreach team of PRS Legislative Research, told IANS.

While gambling is illegal in most states, Sikkim and Goa are the only exceptions where gambling in a casino is legal, the thinktank said.

“Most states do not allow gambling, but allow betting on horse races. However there are states like Goa and Sikkim which have legalised gambling by passing specific laws to that effect in their legislative assembly,” he said.

The investigations into the IPL spot fixing scandal have revealed a huge network of illegal betting and gambling in cricket.

The central government is now contemplating on a law focusing on a fresh legislation to check match fixing in sports. However, it has not been clarified if gambling in sports would be covered under the law.

“In the context of the current controversy what needs to be understood is whether current law on cheating, if implemented correctly, is enough to tackle spot fixing or if an entirely new law is needed for the same,” Roy added.

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