This post was most recently updated on April 22nd, 2022
Sports betting is big business resulting in a turnover of €1.45 trillion in 2021, with the IPL making up the third highest revenue of any competition. It’s estimated that €165 million was generated from match-fixing.
Over the last year, the Universal Fraud Detection System (UFDS) found suspicious activity in 903 matches across the world, not only in cricket, but in 9 more sports.
It should come as no surprise that in such a massive industry you’ll find a fair amount of corruption.
Even while corruption is rife, match fixing is not considered an independent offence in India and there are no laws covering it.
Instances of match-fixing have been seen in most sports over the years. Cricket, India’s favourite, is sadly not an exception to the rule.
At the same time, with the exclusion of horseracing, betting on sports is banned in most states in the country.
According to Imran Khan: “As far as the legislation is concerned, it’s quite an anomaly that you could bet Rs. 500 rupees on the outcome of the match and that would be illegal in India. However, if you are offered $30,000 to a player to underperform in that match, then there’s nothing illegal.”
The whole thing does seem somewhat hypocritical. Making it illegal for punters to place their bets on sports, while at the same time allowing sportspeople the chance to throw games for financial gain may just be the epitome of unsportsmanlike behaviour.
Even though sports betting isn’t allowed, it is estimated that there are more than 1,50,000 bookmakers in India.
On the online bookmaker’s side, there are several more challenges including; gambling compliance, advertisement and taxation. Even at an international level, sports betting sites have a lot of hoops to jump through in order to become legally compliant.
Why match fixing is cheating
In the simplest terms it’s easy to see that match fixing is wrong. It’s also unfair and robs supporters and spectators of the sport. Odds offered should be on a clean and fair sport and lose all meaning when players get involved in match fixing.
The millions generated from match fixing most likely fund other illicit activities.
Cricket isn’t actually the sport with the highest frequency of dodgy matches, that honour goes to football.
The fact that sports betting is banned in most of India poses an extra challenge to investigating match fixing. A lot of the time bets placed in the country won’t have a paper trail, further increasing the instances of corruption.
The online cricket satta bazar falls into a bit of a grey area, as most of India hasn’t updated their betting laws since the creation of online betting sites.
BCCI and ICC working hard against corruption
As a sport, cricket is governed by the ICC internationally, and the BCCI locally. To ensure the integrity of the game, it’s in the interest of both boards to keep betting clean. The same goes for fighting against match fixing.
Over the past 20 years, the BCCI has invested heavily in working towards the education of cricketers, at all levels of the game, against match fixing.
Even though no legal action can be taken in India for the same offence, the BCCI have taken a strong stance at banning individual wrongdoers.
Lifetime bans have been placed on guilty parties ensuring that even though the government might turn a blind, players are held accountable for their actions.