Anyone that thought the International Cricket Council (ICC) would go all soft on the three Pakistani cricketers accused of spot fixing was very wrong as they received between five and ten years for their part in the scandal. There are rumours that the results of the scandal may well force India’s hand when it comes to gambling regulation though.
ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat has been discussing with his colleagues the chances of legalizing sports betting in the sport’s most lucrative territory to prevent the illegal gambling that also fuels corruption and scandals in the sport.
“I agree with the notion that if it is regulated it is a lot better than if it is not regulated,” Lorgat was quoted as saying.
“We have made inquiries, and these are the things we are working towards.”
The Times of India reports that the figure for the amount bet on an India-Pakistan one day international exceeds $20million through one illegal syndicate run out of Mumbai alone.
This is the latest pressure to be put on India to regulate sports betting in one of the continents that is at the forefront of global growth in land-based and especially online gaming. December saw a soccer league created in India that added more pressure and the fact that Asian based companies will rival US ones by 2014 only adds more weight to the regulation argument.
For now though, it will be extremely interesting to see if there’s any gambling based stories to come out of the World Cup, which starts on February 19 in Indian. One huge scandal could be all that it takes for India to move to regulation.