Betting rackets in and around the Capital continue to flourish despite a series of arrests made by the Delhi Police in the recent past, according to police sources.

Bets are being placed on everything from cricket and hockey matches to the outcome of the Assembly elections.

Betting on poll results

During the Assembly elections, most bets were on the Bharatiya Janata Party as the probable front-runner. The bookies were apprehensive about the Aam Aadmi Party’s prospects.

According to sources, the money involved in this murky trade runs into hundreds of crores and is channelled through hawala routes.

“Even top businessmen have been found indulging in betting in the past, but we don’t usually target punters [who put money at stake],” said a police officer.

The lid blew off this racket in 2013 when a nexus between a large number of bookies and punters was unearthed during the IPL match-fixing probe.

Investigators found that the entire racket was allegedly being run at the behest of Pakistan-based underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. He allegedly masterminds the betting operation through a wide network of bookies, sub-bookies and punters in India. The don makes huge investments in the racket and decides the rates.

“The rates are decided by the topmost people and are then conveyed to the conduits, who forward them to the bookies in India. The rates then travel down to sub-bookies and punters. Musclemen are also engaged to ensure that the punters pay up in case they lose,” the police officer explained.

Dawood and his close aide Chhota Shakeel allegedly ran the book-making and spot-fixing rackets from Pakistan and Dubai. Two of their confidants were identified by the police as Dr. Javed Chutani and Salman.

“Chutani shuttles between Karachi and Dubai. Investigations had indicated that he oversees Dawood’s real estate business in the United Arab Emirates, along with the other D-Company members,” the officer added.

Calculated rates

The investigators believe that Dawood sets the rates in such a calculated manner that he is bound to make profits in the initial phase of the match.

By the time the complex market dynamics take over and the rates start changing as the match progresses, he pulls out of the game, minimising his losses.

The punters and sub-bookies remain oblivious of such a design.

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