The Question and Answer section for The Bet is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
This relates to the fact that the State does not have the right to play God.... to take a life in punishment for a crime.
"Both are equally immoral," observed one of the guests, "for they both have the same object - to take away life. The State...
The lawyer takes the bet simply because he is greedy..... he thinks of the end rather than the means.
From the text:
On my part it was the caprice of a pampered man, and on his part simple greed for money ..."