Further to what I, and Johnathan Pearce, and Natalie Solent, have all being saying here about cricket corruption, and about how this is a story about more than mere cricket corruption, I just noticed this report from a few days ago, at cricinfo.com. Cricinfo is one of my regular haunts, so sorry for not linking to this earlier:
Betting in cricket and other sports should be legalised in India, a Delhi court has said, pointing out that the police have failed to curb illegal betting in the country. Legalising betting, the court said, would help the government keep track of the transfer of funds and even use the revenue generated for public welfare.
“It does not need divine eyes to see that ‘satta’ in cricket and other games is reaching an alarming situation. The extent of money that it generated is diverted to clandestine and sinister objectives like drug trafficking and terrorist activities,” said additional sessions judge Dharmesh Sharma, of a Delhi trial court. “It is high time that our legislature seriously considers legalising the entire system of betting online or otherwise so that enough revenues can be generated to fund various infrastructural requirements for the common man and thus check the lucrative business in organised crime.”
Now I will willingly grant you that this is anything but a pure libertarian argument, of the kind that would prevail in Brian-Micklethwait-world. Judge Sharma is emphasising the revenue gathering opportunity inherent in legalisation just as strongly as the anti-crime point. But for what it is worth, I also much prefer a legalised and quite heavily taxed and state-regulated betting regime to total illegality, if those are the only choices I am offered. And they are, given the current state of the world and of its predominant opinions.