The Indian government will introduce rules on sports betting, banning the use of betting machines at sporting events and forcing promoters to pay an extra fee for the right to book shows, a government official said on Friday.
The proposal will also make it mandatory for athletes to wear masks at all times.
The government has already banned betting on sports at stadiums, saying that it is against the spirit of sport.
The government official, who declined to be named, said the proposal would be introduced in the Budget on March 10.
“The ministry of sports will take a final decision on the issue on March 5,” the official said.
“Our government has not yet made any proposal on sports gambling, but we have been working on this for a long time.”
The official did not elaborate on what the government might do next.
The plan was approved in the assembly in December last year after a public hearing, and has now been sent to the cabinet for approval.
A cabinet committee has recommended a law on sports regulation, a ministry spokesperson said.
Athletics betting has become a hot-button issue in India after the death of former cricket star Sourav Ganguly in August last year, and several state governments have banned betting machines in sports.
The ban has led to an unprecedented number of deaths at sporting facilities in India.
In August last, the Indian Olympic Committee announced a ban on betting machines, but the ban was overturned by the Supreme Court in June, citing the need to protect the interests of athletes.
India is one of the most popular sports in the world.
Nearly 30 million people play the sport, which includes basketball, football, tennis, rugby and cricket.