Opinion DC Comment 04 Jun 2018 No end to cricket be ...

No end to cricket betting

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Jun 4, 2018, 12:58 am IST
Updated Jun 4, 2018, 12:58 am IST
An ineluctable law of gambling is the book always wins in the long run, never the punter.
Arbaaz Khan  (Photo: AFP)
 Arbaaz Khan (Photo: AFP)

The interrogation of Arbaaz Khan with regard to IPL betting is clear proof that illegal betting on sports, particularly cricket, is still flourishing in India. The penalty for indulging in betting is a minor fine, which any gambler would pay, provided he is not in for any imprisonment as punishment. The police will go after the bookmakers for a while until they run out of steam in the prosecution process in a legal system that has little time for cases with little relevance to the whole of society as such. It suits the police to let illegal gambling go on as it is a rich source of graft for them. Inveterate punters have no qualms in going about their probably destructive hobby. An ineluctable law of gambling is the book always wins in the long run, never the punter.

It may be embarrassing for a high-profile person like Arbaaz, brother of Bollywood superstar Salman Khan to have to turn up as a witness for the prosecution. Where the real remedy may lie is in accepting several recommendations that betting on sports be made legal, much as betting on racehorses is allowed by the law. The problem is this is not politically so important for the ruling party or even the national legislators to push through a law on gambling, which is unlikely to bring them positive feedback from the public. It would suit all to be important for sports, especially cricket to keep bookmakers and high rollers from influencing the course of matches as they did in the great IPL betting scandal of 2013. The shadowy world of sports betting will go on by its own rules and practices.

 

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