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Racing activities halted as BTC's licence renewal is delayed

In January, when CCB raided BTC premises after hearing about irregular bookkeeping and illegal betting, around 66 people were arrested.
Last Updated : 04 April 2024, 14:34 IST
Last Updated : 04 April 2024, 14:34 IST

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Bengaluru: Horse-racing has come to a standstill at the Bangalore Turf Club since the beginning of April as the State Government hasn't approved the renewal of its monthly licence owing to “a few discrepancies.”

According to the protocol, at the start of every month, BTC sends a file to the State Government with the complete schedule of both on and off-course betting and the Finance Minister approves after studying it. BTC dispatched the file seeking permission to conduct betting for April but the Government hasn’t renewed it.

“Yes, BTC have sent the file but we found a few discrepancies and have sought clarifications,” said a highly-placed government source who wished to remain anonymous.

“The main matter of concern was the Central Crime Branch (CCB) raids at BTC earlier this year. A lot of illegal betting and book-keeping was taking place primarily to evade the taxes. We had asked BTC for clarifications, and while they’ve replied there are still some areas of concern.

“Also, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who also is the Finance Minister, has been busy with election campaigning. Since he’s the Finance Minister, he needs to approve it. BTC officials have sought an attendance with him so that they can present their case but with the election campaign at its peak, it’s hard to find a time slot.

“We are also collecting a lot of data following the raids. This data also has to be sent to the CM,” added the source.

DH reached out to officials from BTC but none was available for a comment.

One source, in the know of things, however, revealed BTC officials just want an audience with the chief minister to explain their side of the story.

“The club is willing clarify whatever doubts the government has. But sadly because it’s the election season, CM is extremely busy. It’s just plain bad luck.”

In January, when CCB raided BTC premises after hearing about irregular bookkeeping and illegal betting, around 66 people were arrested. Sleuths had also seized around Rs 3.45 crore in cash and 55 mobile devices.

However, the racing activities remained unaffected until March 31. 

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Published 04 April 2024, 14:34 IST

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