Legalizing and regulating sports gambling is one of the best ways to have a global impact on the integrity of athletic competitions. India didn’t get that memo, though, and a debate rages over whether or not gambling should be allowed. The country’s Minister of State for Finance, Anurag Thakur, understands the benefits and has sided with sports gambling proponents trying to bring legalized sports gambling to the country, and could perhaps get some additional support from Sportradar. The sports data provider has an established foothold in India, working with a number of sports organizations, and has just renewed another partnership that should have a positive impact on sports gambling in the country. It just signed a multi-year extension with the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL), building on a relationship that began four years ago.
Sportradar will continue to use its Sportradar Integrity Services (SIS) arm to monitor all Hero ISL matches. SIS is already found in the Indian Super League and the Pro Kabaddi League, and recently renewed a partnership with the Board of Control for Cricket in India to enhance anti-match-fixing measures in the Indian Premier League. Sportradar’s Fraud Detection System (FDS), a component of the SIS, is becoming a standard element of sports activity in the country, as well as throughout the world.
Andreas Krannich, the managing director of SIS, says in an announcement about the partnership renewal with Hero ISL, “Hero ISL renewing its partnership with us only shows how committed they are towards maintaining integrity in the game and proactive towards the growth of football in the subcontinent. As a global leader in sporting integrity, we want to continue to provide our expertise and help protect the tournament against all integrity-related issues.”
In addition to providing access to the FDS, Sportradar is also opening its Intelligence and Investigation Services applications to the sports group. This allows sports organizations to identify potential match-fixing and to investigate cases as they are reported or as tips are provided. Both the FDS and the IIS can be found in FIFIA, the Asian Football Conference and more.
The commonsense approach to gambling is to legalize and regulate it. There is no intelligent reason not to, as governments lose millions of dollars in potential revenue by outlawing the activity. It’s already proven that people are going to gamble whether it’s legal or not, and countries that try to ban it have to spend massive amounts of time, resources and money combatting an illegal activity they will never fully control. The continuing efforts to keep sports gambling and online gambling out of India are enough to make people wonder what is really going on behind closed doors, and who is actually benefiting, from the lack of legalization.