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Thread: Legalize gambling in India to fight match-fixing

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    International Debutant Dissector's Avatar
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    Legalize gambling in India to fight match-fixing

    I haven't seen it discussed much in the context of the recent scandals but one obvious way of fighting match-fixing would be to legalize gambling especially in India which is usually at the heart of the problem.

    The whole ban is a sham anyway since it clearly doesn't a stop a large underground industry from thriving and corrupting the game. If gambling were legal it would be taken over by legitimate corporations including multinationals. While they could theoretically indulge in match-fixing, it would be much more difficult because they would face much more scrutiny than underground bookies. It would also allow the government to collect taxes from what is now a large but untaxed industry. And it would reduce the massive corruption that any underground industry fosters.

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    International Coach G.I.Joe's Avatar
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    I don't think it'll help. The stock market is legal, but you still have parallel underground markets for tax evasion purposes. It'd be the same with sports betting. They've figured out a way to engage in an illegal activity mostly undetected all this while, they'll just continue doing it if it saves them from paying their taxes. Besides, most of the money that the big players use for placing their illegal bets is probably black money to begin with, and they wouldn't switch over to a system where they'd have to account for the source of that money. The unauthorised betting agencies would just exist alongside the legalised ones.
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    Quote Originally Posted by G.I.Joe View Post
    I don't think it'll help. The stock market is legal, but you still have parallel underground markets for tax evasion purposes. It'd be the same with sports betting.
    They are fairly tiny though compared to the legal markets. Sure, you would still have an illegal gambling industry but I suspect it would be much smaller in size with less money and therefore easier to police. Legalizing gambling wouldn't eliminate the problem but it would help reduce its magnitude.

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    State Vice-Captain slugger's Avatar
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    legalizing gambling is a step in the right direction. the culture of india and many middle easten countries follow strict religious values.. it's a very big step for any of these nations to take.


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    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    What is the legal situation of gambling in India? On sundaay I was talking to a guy who wanted as his next job overseeing the sports book operation of William Hill (a British bookmaker) in India. I said to him the I thought sports betting was illegal in India and he said that he didnt know the details but it must be legal or the job and the operation wouldnt exist. Thoughts?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goughy View Post
    What is the legal situation of gambling in India? On sundaay I was talking to a guy who wanted as his next job overseeing the sports book operation of William Hill (a British bookmaker) in India. I said to him the I thought sports betting was illegal in India and he said that he didnt know the details but it must be legal or the job and the operation wouldnt exist. Thoughts?
    Betting is legal in selected (and very few) cases like Horse racing etc. But these are strictly regulated and windfall gains from this heavily taxed as well.

    I am in favor of extending the right to bet to cricket as well. As the opening post mentioned, it is impossible to ban betting gambling etc completely as it is human nature. Legalising will open up the trade for professional and accountable entities to take over the industry, in the process can generate a few rupees for our government as well.

    But can this stop matchfixing for good? I don't think so. Because I can't find the link between legalisation of betting and match fixing to be very honest. Crooks will try to make a legal windall by still doctoring the outcome of matches, and gullible players will continue to fall for it. The only way to deal with this is to place detterent mechanisms in the short term, and develop such culture among players in the long run, by force or through milder persuasion.

    In short am for legalising betting in India but that and matchfixing don't seem to have a strong corelation imho.

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    This article has some background on sports gambling in India.

    Britain's biggest betting companies are bidding for the first online gambling licence in India to gain a slice of the country's $60bn (37bn) betting market. The high-street bookie William Hill, along with internet players Betfair and Bwin, are bidding for the internet licence in the Himalayan state of Sikkim in early September. A decision is expected in the next two weeks.

    Some 13 betting companies, including local Indian operators, are battling it out for at least three licences in Sikkim. Sources said they want their betting services live from April 2010 – in time for the football World Cup in South Africa. The bookie Ladbrokes and the online specialist 888 are also considering bidding for a licence in Sikkim.

    The licence holders will be able to promote their services in Sikkim, but they expect to be able to take bets from all over India. While Sikkim has a population of less than 600,000, India has a rapidly growing population of 1.2 billion. Furthermore, once other Indian states see the huge revenues and tax receipts flowing into Sikkim, they are likely to follow suit. Internet penetration in India remains low by Western standards, but is soaring in the more affluent states.
    So you could have some kind of de-facto legalization through online operations based on a license from Sikkim. However ideally, the Indian government should just legalize gambling through the country.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Alex View Post
    But can this stop matchfixing for good? I don't think so. Because I can't find the link between legalisation of betting and match fixing to be very honest. Crooks will try to make a legal windall by still doctoring the outcome of matches, and gullible players will continue to fall for it. The only way to deal with this is to place detterent mechanisms in the short term, and develop such culture among players in the long run, by force or through milder persuasion.
    Well, it won't stop match-fixing for good and by itself but it should significantly reduce the problem. Right now, the matchfixing seems to be coming from illegal bookies and not people placing bets. After legalization a lot of the gambling will go legal, and the illegal bookies will be fewer in number and make less money. This will make it easier to police them. Legal gambling will mean better records and will be a lot easier to monitor also deterring matchfixing. Again legalization is not a silver bullet but it will be a step in the right direction. There are several other good reasons for legalization anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dissector View Post
    Well, it won't stop match-fixing for good and by itself but it should significantly reduce the problem. Right now, the matchfixing seems to be coming from illegal bookies and not people placing bets. After legalization a lot of the gambling will go legal, and the illegal bookies will be fewer in number and make less money. This will make it easier to police them. Legal gambling will mean better records and will be a lot easier to monitor also deterring matchfixing. Again legalization is not a silver bullet but it will be a step in the right direction. There are several other good reasons for legalization anyway.
    What makes you think that today's illegal bookies will reduce their exposure tomorrow when it goes legal? They'll just go white and perhaps only increase their stakes now that they don't have that risk too. The outcome of their bets is still reliant and only reliant on player performances. And higher stakes are only going to increase their shots at controlling that factor for sure!

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    I don't think regulations put in place for the industry to go legal are in anyway going to be more effective in monitoring player-bookie relations than it is now, not even by an iota, because that isn't the purpose for making the industry illegal. The buck here stops with the players and will continue to do so regardless of any legal measures excluding them. Even if betting is made legal in India, indian bookies will continue to hunt and net Pak players.

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    If they go legal they will have to maintain records and will be much easier to monitor. There are all sorts of clever ways of analyzing betting data to detect suspicious patterns. UEFA has a Betting Fraud Detection System along those lines.

    There are now 40 games where suspicious betting patterns have been identified, 15 of those in the last two years. UEFA has been running its Betting Fraud Detection System (BFDS) since the start of the current season in order to catch suspicious betting patterns earlier than in the past. The Betting Fraud Detection System (BFDS) is an elaborate database application that can quickly compile a report if a match is considered to be manipulated. The BFDS report forms the first step of the thorough investigation phase that follows.
    The large bookmakers will have a strong incentive to co-operate with the authorities and the shadier bookmakers, even if they go legal, will probably struggle to compete with the corporations and multinationals anyway.

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    State Vice-Captain Debris's Avatar
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    Gambling is illegal in India? Just goes to show what a skewed view the media gives you sometimes.

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    International Coach G.I.Joe's Avatar
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    The fact that they'll have to maintain records is precisely why the big players with the black money will keep the illegal market alive. The illegal ones won't have to compete with the bigger legal agencies, they would just have to continue doing what they have been doing and make profits by fixing incidents on the field. The profit margins would still be good enough for them to carry on IMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by G.I.Joe View Post
    The fact that they'll have to maintain records is precisely why the big players with the black money will keep the illegal market alive. The illegal ones won't have to compete with the bigger legal agencies, they would just have to continue doing what they have been doing and make profits by fixing incidents on the field. The profit margins would still be good enough for them to carry on IMO.
    Once gambling is legalized the industry landscape will change completely and the illegal bookies will find it really hard to compete. You have have large sports gambling corporations with big marketing budgets who will have a much more attractive product for most people than the illegal bookies. Secondly once the legit industry is up and running they will have a strong incentive to drive out the illegals. They will use their political clout and especially target the bigger illegal bookmakers. You will still have an illegal industry but it will be much smaller and probably won't have the resources to engage in serious matchfixing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dissector View Post
    If they go legal they will have to maintain records and will be much easier to monitor. There are all sorts of clever ways of analyzing betting data to detect suspicious patterns. UEFA has a Betting Fraud Detection System along those lines.



    The large bookmakers will have a strong incentive to co-operate with the authorities and the shadier bookmakers, even if they go legal, will probably struggle to compete with the corporations and multinationals anyway.
    Would be hugely surprised if the network is not inclusive of monitoring players' accounts and stuff. Also note that it is implemented by EUFA and does not and cannot track the illegal market. Which anyways will continue with it's merry ways if such measures are set by ICC.

    Low salaries and an effective mechanism at player level to repel such forces, are the only real solutions to This. You eliminate either the demand or supply side and here supply is easier to concentrate on.

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