With IPL and World Cup, cricket betting bookies have an extended run this year

Bookies remain an upbeat lot even after the end of the IPL last week, as there is still the World Cup to look ahead to.

The most-awaited tournament, which will start in a couple of weeks’ time, will draw the curtains on a cricket-packed season that has been one of the busiest in years for the Indian men’s cricket team.

The bookies, however, are not complaining, and hope to make a killing in the last six weeks of this cricket season.

Godavari gangs

A former police officer who worked with CTF said that cities like Vijayawada, Anantapur and Kakinada are witnessing a rise in betting cases, which shows that bookies have a presence across the State. Recalling past cases, he said that there is a higher possibility of gangs coming from other districts, especially from East Godavari or West Godavari, to organise betting in Vizag during the World Cup. "This year has been a great run for the bookies. After the IPL, it is now time for World Cup," he said.

Students involved

According to police sources, there is a rising trend of students and youngsters taking part in betting in the last two years. After gaining some experience in betting, they graduate to becoming bookies from being punters. Even in the case of the cricket betting gang which was busted by the CTF during March 2019 at Gudlavanipalem, three of the four accused were graduates. Police investigation revealed that after gaining experience, the youngsters have reportedly been organising betting for the last two years.

Spate of arrests

In the last two years, the CTF has arrested 19 bookies and punters, from whom about ₹15 lakh in cash has been seized. Advanced equipment such as integrated call receiving systems and line mobile phones were seized.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP-CTF) Mahendra Mathe said that the police are gearing up to tackle the betting menace during the World Cup, with a particular focus being on preventing youngsters from getting into the murky racket. "They would ruin their careers and incur huge debts if they get into this. We are devising strategies to prevent this," he said.

On the lookout

The City Task Force (CTF), mindful of a rise in betting activity, have remained vigilant this year. On March 4, a CTF team of the Visakhapatnam City Police arrested four persons for betting on an India-Australia ODI. In April, as police were busy on election duty, bookies largely managed to evade police detection. However, when the IPL reached the playoffs stage, police managed to crack a case at Kothapalem area in which six persons were arrested.

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Printable version | Oct 12, 2021 5:03:15 PM |

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