Editor's note: Deeksha Malik is a final-year student at
National Law Institute University, India. Her main interest areas are corporate
law, arbitration, and sports law. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 2015, while interrogating
cricketer Sreesanth and others accused in the IPL match-fixing case, Justice
Neena Bansal, sitting as Additional Sessions Judge, made the following observations as regards betting on cricket matches.
as a game of skill requires hand-eye-coordination for throwing, catching and
hitting. It requires microscopic levels of precision and mental alertness for
batsmen to find gaps or for bowlers to produce variety of styles of deliveries’
(medium pace, fast, inswing, outswing, offspin, legspin, googly). The sport
requires strategic masterminds that can select the most efficient fielding
positions for piling pressure on the batsmen. Based on above description,
cricket cannot be described anything, but as a game of skill.”
The debate on the
issue of betting in sports has since resurfaced and gained the attention of
sportspersons, media, sports bodies, policymakers, and the general public. In
April 2017, the Supreme Court bench comprising of Justices Dipak Misra and AM
Khanwilkar agreed to hear a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking an order
directing the government to come up with an appropriate framework for
regulating betting in sports. The arguments put forth in the PIL present
various dimensions. One of these pertains to economic considerations, a
submission that regulated betting would be able to generate annual revenue of Rs. 12,000 crores by bringing the earnings therefrom within the tax
net. As for policy considerations, it was submitted that a proper regulation in
this area would enable the government to distinguish harmless betting from
activities that impair the integrity of the game such as match-fixing. Further,
betting on cricket matches largely depends on the skill of the concerned
players, thereby distinguishing it from pure chance-based activities.
The issue of
sports betting witnesses a divided opinion till this day. This is understandable, for both sides to the issue have equally pressing
arguments. Aside from its regulation being a daunting task for authorities,
sports betting is susceptible to corruption and other unscrupulous activities.
At the same time, it is argued that it would be better for both the game and
the economy if the same is legalised. More...
April 2014, the Swedish Gambling Authority (Lotteriinspektionen) warned the
organisers of the Stockholm
Marathon that it would impose a fine of SEK 2
million (ca. € 221.000) for its sponsorship agreement with online betting
operator Unibet. The Authority found that the sponsorship agreement violates
§38 of the Swedish Lotteries Act, which prohibits the promotion of gambling
services that are not authorized in Sweden. The
organisers, however, refused to withdraw Unibet as its sponsor and prominently
displayed the Unibet logo at the event, which took place on 31 May 2014. As a
result, the organisers of the Stockholm Marathon now face legal action before
the Swedish administrative courts. More...
The European Commission has published the “Study
on Sports Organisers’ Rights in the EU”, which was carried out by
the ASSER International Sports Law Centre (T.M.C. Asser Institute) and the
Institute for Information Law (University of Amsterdam).
The study critically examines the legal protection of
rights to sports events (sports organisers’ rights) and various issues
regarding their commercial exploitation in the field of media and sports
betting, both from a national and EU law perspective.
In a number of posts, we will highlight some of the key
findings of the study.
“It was Hyde, after all, and
Hyde alone, that
In recent years, numerous national and European sports
organisers have called for the adoption of a specific right to consent to the
organisation of bets (“right to consent to bets”), by virtue of which no
betting operator could offer bets on a sports event without first entering into
a contractual agreement with the organiser. More...