A blue ribbon panel of Indian legal scholars recently made a recommendation that could shake up the sports betting market in a major way. The so-called, “Lhoda Committee,” suggested that India should implement regulated cricket wagering.

The three-member panel, which was headed by former Indian Chief Justice R.M. Lhoda, spent a year studying the viability of legal cricket wagering and issued its report on Monday saying:

We have suggested to the legislature for legalising betting with in-built mechanism and ensuring that players, match officials, administrator, team officials…will not be entitled to indulge in betting.

Of utmost concern to the panel was the possibility that legalized cricket wagering would trigger an avalanche of the kind of match fixing that’s marred international football in recent years. To that end, the Lhoda Committee recommended a series of checks and balances which includes several layers of regulatory watchdogs, an obudsman, and stiff penalties for anyone attempting to rig a match.

In that regard the panel was very serious and very specific saying match fixing is:

…neither pardonable nor a matter for regulation. The only way to deal with it is by making it a criminal offence punishable by law.

While the committee’s recommendations carry great weight, they are far from legally binding and the dawn of regulated Indian cricket wagering could still be a long way from becoming a reality.

That said, the prospect of 1.3 billion Indians, and their passion for cricket, getting access to legal betting markets is something that sports betting operators would welcome with open arms.


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