Betting blooms as law fails to act as a deterrent

The rise in cricket betting in the State over the last few years could very well do with a weakness in the law that treats both bookies as well as punters as equal wrongdoers.

"Under the Andhra Pradesh Gaming Act of 1974, an organiser and a punter would face the same kind of punishment. This would lead to unfavourable consequences as it would goad young punters into transitioning to the next level as for them, there would be nothing to lose," Anantapur Superintendent of Police G.V.G. Ashok Kumar told The Hindu.

While the monetary penalty is only ₹300, the maximum punishment that can be meted out is 3 months of imprisonment. All forms of betting are clubbed under one umbrella Act, which is toothless, he added.

Police confiscated ₹14.21 lakh in cash, three mobile phones and some ganja that some bookies were selling at a burial ground in Anantapur on the day of the IPL final on Sunday.

In addition to the three bookies, 11 students and other persons participating in betting were also arrested. When scanned about the social and economic background of these bookies, they were found to be petty offenders in several cases and had conducted a betting racket in Bengaluru by hiring hotel rooms and houses.

The most popular Android app for cricket betting is ‘Cricket Maaza’, where predictions are given and betting stakes are displayed during live matches. Anantapur Child Welfare Committee Chairperson Nallani Rajeswari says this social disease must be dealt with through multi-pronged strategies of bringing awareness and stricter punishment and weaning students away from peer groups.

Some of the betting organisers allegedly pays regular hush money to police to keep their activities going and it becomes easy money for some, an organiser said on condition of anonymity.

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Printable version | Oct 15, 2021 5:40:49 PM |

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