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Sports betting involves predicting the result of a sports game and betting on the outcome. It is not a new phenomenon by any means because wanting to gamble on the odds of a game is a result of natural human behaviour. Historians say that it was practised in ancient Rome, with bets primarily being placed on gladiator fights and chariot racing. The modern history of sports betting can be traced to the nineteenth century in the United States when people began placing wagers on potential winners of mega888 livemobile contests. The sports betting industry is now worth 130 billion dollars worldwide and is projected to grow exponentially bigger. But while sports betting is cathartic to some people, it can prove harmful if not handled well.

However, like with drugs, banning betting or gambling is not an effective solution. Individuals need to be empowered to make the right decisions and be safe while doing so. Forbidding something does not stop it from happening but only shifts the market underground and makes participators more vulnerable. 

The Case for Legalization of Sports Betting

In India, sports betting remains in a grey area legally. However, since only public gambling is explicitly banned in India, online sports betting on horse racing, the IPL and other sports is technically legal. Legalization has many advantages, however. 

  • Regulatory umbrella: An underground betting market lends itself to more scams. Whether a cricket or soccer bet, regulation allow legitimacy in the betting market and make betting safer for those adamant about taking part.
  • Entertainment value: Watching horse racing or any other live game becomes all the more enthralling if there is money involved. Sports betting is a way to make good money and also enjoy oneself. Legalizing it removes the taboo and makes it safer to have fun.
  • Employment: Sports betting, if expanded as an industry, can create jobs such as betting analysts, cashers and other middlemen. For example, Nevada was a US state that legalized sports betting. Following the move, the state earned more revenue, and many new jobs were formed due to the regulation and physical centres the industry required to stay afloat.

Like any other form of gambling, sports betting comes with its risks. However, if done properly, it can be a driving force in the economy and generate more interest in sports, such as through a soccer bet or a cricket bet. Thus, legalizing it is the right move- but regulation and regular intervention by the state is important.