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Racing to resume in Bangalore this weekend

  June 19 , 2024

The Bangalore Turf Club secured a major victory from the Karnataka High Court, allowing them to resume racing and betting under the same licensing conditions as in March. The club is eager to kickstart racing this week, with a program planned for Saturday and Sunday. The court`s decision means the club need not wait for government approval.

Despite this legal win, the turf club is far from being in the clear, as it now faces intense scrutiny. It`s also unclear if the government will challenge the single bench order of Justice Krishna Kumar since no appeal has been reported yet. The government has been given liberty by the High Court to impose conditions. Whether the government will opt to enforce stringent conditions and allow racing to proceed or choose to appeal remains uncertain.

In court, the turf club assured that the bookmakers implicated by the CCB chargesheet have had their licenses revoked. However, the court order did not address this issue, leaving bookmakers unrestricted unless the club enforces their exclusion. Bookmakers contribute around Rs 25 crores annually for the club as a license fee and attract significant crowds, boosting gate collections by about Rs 10 crores. The club`s finances and operational capabilities would be severely impaired without their licenses, especially given the constant legal battles draining their resources.

Previously, the Bangalore Turf Club boasted top-notch racing officials who managed operations seamlessly. Unfortunately, the quality has plummeted. The current CEO M K Kiran, who is chargesheeted for colluding with bookmakers to evade taxes, has been a major disappointment. Despite his good intentions, he lacks the efficiency to steer the club and guide the managing committee towards sound decisions.

The managing committee operates unchecked, unlike when they relied on official advice. Now, each elected office-bearer acts independently, claiming to know best. It`s high time the club strengthens its administration by removing inefficiencies and appointing competent individuals. Kiran, the current CEO, is unfit for his role in the racing industry. His lack of direction has left the club floundering, with officials pulling in different directions. The turf club committee must make tough, decisive actions to keep the club afloat.

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