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Anurag Singh Thakur bats for legalising sports betting: Report

Minister of State for Finance Anurag Singh Thakur, who is also a former president of the Board of Cricket Control in India, on Thursday suggested legalising betting in India, according to reports by Outlook and Business Line. Speaking at an event organised by ICICI Securities, Thakur reportedly said that "betting can be an effective tool to curb match fixing" and the possibility of legalising it needs to be considered. He said it would help in "monitoring people allegedly involved in fixing" and contain "unholy and corrupt" practices such as match-fixing, in addition to bringing in tax revenue. Thakur was reportedly responding to a suggestion by Nilesh Shah, managing director of Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Company and part-time member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister. Shah said that Indians have a natural instinct to bet and gamble, suggesting that they be legalised. "If we look at the problem of match-fixing, then the trends in betting can give us leads on whether something unholy is happening or not. Betting can become a potent tool to stop fixing,” Shah said, according to Outlook. In January 2017, Thakur was sacked from the post of BCCI president by the Supreme Court for failing to comply with its orders. Thakur has been closely connected with cricket. Apart from serving as BCCI president for two years, he was also the president of the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) and played a key role in building the Dharamshala Cricket Stadium. Thakur's comments come amidst heightened scrutiny…

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