The government and religious fanatics (VHP, Bajarang Dal, Shiv Sena) have set the standards of what an Indian citizen and try to control what we should do and what we should not do. And any deviation is severely dealt. The situation in the country is so bad that even a Chinese has more freedom that what an average Indian citizen enjoys.
A classic example is that Movies like Da Vinci code can be screened in the Vatican City, but not in India.
Gambling is human instinct and bookies do a fantastic job in chanalizing it to the much needed events like sports. Its a universal truth that in areas where bookies are allowed, there is higher attendance for sports… not only the national level games, but also the college and district level ones. the teams have more sponsored, players have more generous contracts and also the city gains more taxes (income tax from the earnings, license/turnover tax from the bookies) so its a win -win situation for everybody.
Basically Indian sports which is facing a rot because of lack of interest can benefit tremendously by the legalization of bookies…
Then why are bookies banned?
Whats worse is that government thinks that if it rounds up and arrests a couple of bookies before any important cricket series, they can cure the problem of match fixing……
Well they are seriously mistaken:
1) For the tech savvy, there always exists online betting exchanges and bookies (links at the end of the post) who are more than happy to add a few new clientèles. For those who are not so tech savvy, all they need is a trip to the local paan (beetle leaf) shop and when the running cricket commentary is being played, say repeatedly… “I can bet that India is going to win this match”
2) Banning is never a solution… all it does is that it forces the entire industry to go underground and encourages the mafia and goons to manipulate it make it into a cash-cow.
3) Match fixing is as easy to detect and prevent as insider trading in the stock market… and by banning the bookies, the entire industry simply vanishes from the books of the government and law enforcing agencies. Now SEBI can regulate the BSE/NSE because they exist… but how can one regulate a industry that does not exist?
4) How can government assume that its only the indian bookie that is involved in match fixing? Cricket is a global sport played by almost all of the Common Wealth nation and the uncertainty of the sport and various twists and turns in it make Cricket an ideal place to bet.