Calcutta, July 9 (PTI): The West Bengal government will streamline the taxing system of inter-state horse-racing enabling residents of one city to participate in racing in other cities, finance minister Asim Dasgupta told the state assembly Wednesday.
Replying to questions, he said that while it was possible for an individual sitting in Kolkata to bet for races in other turf centres, not much revenue from it was going into the state exchequer, though state’s revenue from races has gone up from Rs 4.98 crore to Rs 7.66 crore in the last four years.
He also said that the his department is ready to consider a proposal on TV betting on horses instead of allowing racecourses in other parts of the state.
While asserting that the state government was against betting and gambling of any kind, he said the government was not stopping horse-racing and lottery since those were age-old traditions and fetched some revenue for the state exchequer.
Our Turf Correspondent adds: The RCTC official circles welcomed the finance minister’s statement. “It’s definitely a good news. We need this kind of support from the state government,” said RCTC secretary designate Boman Parakh.
Vineet Verma, the ex CEO and secretary, now an RCTC club member was equally pleased with the news. “It is an extremely positive step and in the right direction. The proposal, if implemented, will not only benefit the club but also help divert a considerable portion of the illegal turnover into the legal channel,” said Verma.