India has been told to regulate its sports betting industry amidst claims it’s the centre for cricket match fixing. Ehsan Mani was head of the International Cricket Council for three years and believes that if the industry isn’t brought under control “you can’t stop match fixing”.
“There’s no doubt that India, certainly Delhi and Mumbai, is the epicentre of cricket betting,” he told the Delhi-based Mail Today. “I’m a strong advocate of legalising betting in India, and bringing it under control of regulatory authorities so that… the conduct of bookies can be monitored properly.”
If cricket betting were regulated in this part of the world, the government would reap the benefits. Mani himself put the handle on Sunday’s Asia Cup match between India and Pakistan at $500 million. It follows last year’s World Cup where over $1 billion was bet on the tournament. It’s a nation that is the second most populated on the planet and given that it’s in the most lucrative continent for gambling, they’d be on to a winner. Mani argues that by regulating, it will be a lot easier to report suspect patterns of betting and they only have to look at systems in place at many European-facing sports betting firms to realize this would ring true.
Former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns has cleared his name after being accused of fixing. One time Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Lalit Modi made the accusation over Twitter in January 2010 and the resultant court case saw him awarded £90,000. Modi had declined the chance to apologize to Cairns and the case ended up in libel court. Mr Justice Bean reported Modi had “singularly failed” to provide any reliable evidence of Cairns’ fixing. The judge added: “It is obvious that an allegation that a professional cricketer is a match-fixer goes to the core attributes of his personality and, if true, entirely destroys his reputation for integrity.”