Thursday, 4 February 2010

More on China

PA Sport published news yesterday about the scale of illegal football gambling in China, saying it has been estimated at an incredible US$14.6 billion. Meanwhile, the Chinese Super League season, which normally begins in mid-March, could apparently be delayed after the arrest of around 20 top officials in the ongoing match-fixing scandal. (Unfortunately, I only get PA Sport on a subscription, and I can't find a live web link to it.)

Aside from the implications of this which I have commented on before, for me, the most extraordinary thing about it was that a meeting of the Beijing Lawyers' Association, "lawyers and insiders" concluded that "current laws are not tough enough to prevent soccer gambling, which is categorised as ordinary gambling"; and they called for laws to be strengthened!

Given that the Chinese have proved themselves not frightened to jail people involved in gambling, this reads to me as "Prohibition doesn't work (even in the most authoritarian major jurisdiction in the world); let's strengthen prohibition."

It also rather puts into context the likelihood of 'stick' methods of controlling gambling being successful in Europe.

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