Govt stands firm as BTC fails to get licence


The licence to conduct on-course and off-course betting expired on August 31 and until late on Thursday night, top BTC officials were trying hard to convince the government to grant them the licence.

“The managing committee had met Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday,” BTC chairman Y Jagannath told DH. “The meeting was a very fruitful one and the CM listened to our concerns very patiently. In fact, I’m hoping to meet him again. I’m very confident he will grant us the licence.

“The start of the summer season too was delayed by a couple of days because of the licensing issue but the CM resolved it eventually. A lot of money is generated through racing and both BTC and the government make profit out of it. It’s a win-win situation for all. CM is very understanding and I’m confident it will all be sorted out at the earliest.”

Sources, however, indicated that things may not be so smooth this time around as the government is awaiting a report on the Criminal Investigation Department probe into the horse-doping saga that rocked the club at the start of the summer season. The alleged doping expose opened a can of worms and the BTC managing committee passed a no-confidence motion against the then chairman N Harindra Shetty.

Shetty had written a letter to the chief minister, complaining about the affairs of the club. The State Government then opened a CID probe into the issue.

“No decision has been taken yet (granting licence to BTC),” said Additional Chief Secretary (Finance) ISN Prasad. (We are) awaiting a report from CID.” Prasad even ruled out granting a provisional licence until the investigation is complete.

Meanwhile, races are scheduled at Mysuru on Friday and if the issue is not resolved, there won’t be any betting at Bengaluru on the action at Mysuru.

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