What do franchise bans mean for future of IPL?

What do franchise bans mean for future of IPL?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015 Totally Gaming
George Oborne believes that India should replace prohibition with regulation

India Bet managing director George Oborne believes that the reputation of the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket competition should be boosted by the suspension of two franchises for match-fixing.

Two-time champions Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals have been banned from the IPL for two years after they were found to have been involved in illegal betting and match-fixing by a panel appointed by India's Supreme Court.

The three-member panel, which also banned Royals co-owner Raj Kundra and Gurunath Meiyappan of Super Kings from all cricket-related activities for life, said the suspension of the two teams was to protect “the integrity of the game”.

While there are concerns as to how the competition will fare in 2016 with two of its eight franchises suspended, Oborne told TotallyGaming.com that the fact the illegalities were discovered and dealt with should be cause for optimism. 

"If anything this ruling actually enhances the legitimacy of the IPL,” Oborne said. “Two years on from when these offences were committed, people were beginning to think that the match fixing perpetrators had got away with it.These are severe punishments and send a resounding message to the entire league.

“However, if new franchises cannot be funded then the league will be reduced to just six teams, which would significantly reduce revenue and public interest in the tournament.”

The panel was established by India's Supreme Court in January after a separate committee had carried out the investigation into the scandal, which broke in 2013.

More than 20 people were arrested by Indian police with Royals players S. Sreesanth and Ajit Chandila charged with spot-fixing and banned for life by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

The BCCI released a statement saying it would decide whether to implement the recommendations after fully studying the whole report.

Oborne recently told TotallyGaming.com that while India Bet offers sports betting and other games on a free-to-play basis, real-money gaming and sports betting in India “involves shady and often dangerous deals with illegal bookmakers”. He believes the IPL ruling is further evidence that true regulation rather than prohibition is the best way to avoid illicit activities and guarantee the integrity of sport.

“I think this verdict shows what the Indian populace and courts are most concerned about - match fixing,” said Oborne, whose company has recently launched an interface upgrade and new responsive mobile site. 

“However the most effective method of preventing match fixing is via the proper regulation of sports betting. Until then police are working against the bookies, the punters and the fixers rather than working alongside the punters and the bookies against the fixers.”

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