In the recent years, the game of cricket has been ruined by illegal betting and match-fixing allegations. Three former Cricket captains — late Hansie Cronje of South Africa, Mohammad Azharuddin of India and Salim Malik of Pakistan — were banned for dealing with bookmakers. Three Pakistani cricketers Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif, and Mohammad Amir allegedly found guilty of spot-fixing were jailed last year in Britain. But each time the regulators claim to on the verge of closing in the illegal bookmakers, punters and spot-fixers they seem to invent new ways to stay afloat. They manage to carry on their trade hoodwinking the law enforcement agencies.
Though betting is officially illegal in India, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Nagpur have emerged as hubs of betting in cricket.
Dubai is another gambling and money laundering den for illegally transfer money through Hawala and Hundi.
Likewise, there more than 100 gambling dens in different parts of Karachi placed bets worth more than one billion rupees on the Pakistan vs. West Indies World Cup 2015 match..there more than 100 gambling dens in different parts of Karachi placed bets worth more than one billion rupees on the Pakistan vs. West Indies World Cup 2015 match.
Even the recent Pakistan vs. India witnessed record gambling of three billion rupees.
The stakes are high. Betting on World Cup alone is expected to be over Rs 50,000 crore business.
Traditionally betting on Cricket is carried through bookies and punters. The Gamblers place the bets from home over the phone on win/lose, score, wickets and over basis and entered into the ledgers of the bookies. But the biggest risk in this method is that the phone call being tracked by the police.
The gamblers thus evolved Live betting or ‘pitch-siding’, to gain an upper hand over other punters taking advantage of the time-lapse between the actual play and its live television broadcast.
Visibly upset International Cricket Council (ICC), vowed to stamp out live betting and ensure corruption free Cricket World Cup 2015.
Anyone caught breaking these rules will be banned from the tournament, the ICC announced.
As a counter move, some innovative punters have come up with a wider and more sophisticated network of illegal betting in the Indian sub-continent and beyond.
A novel method adopted by some Mumbai bookies is to shift out of Mumbai. At least till World Cup is on because Mumbai police is anyday better equipped to foil their plans than any small town police.anyday better equipped to foil their plans than any small town police.anyday better equipped to foil their plans than any small town police.
The bookies then carry out their activities from a rented apartment in a small town. All they require to do so is a laptop, printer, tape recorders, LED television and a number of mobile phones. Some bookies also use voice recording softwares to keep record and avoid disputes later.
The modus operandi is to access the latest bets and rates from websites like Betfair and bet365.com. Once confirmed by bookies in Mumbai, the bets are offered to punters. As the bets were placed by phone a day or two after the match, the punter’s account is settled and the money collected for each match is transferred through a Hawala network.
The UK-based online betting site “Betfair” offers 2% to 3% commission to the bookies who register and then give their passwords for clients to bet online.
Anyone registering on the site has to deposit an equivalent betting amount in advance.
Incase a person loses, the amount is deducted from the deposit.
Though online betting is just 10% of the overall betting — it is an ideal way of hoodwinking the law.
In the online version, the rates change automatically after every ball. A punter can see that on the computer and accordingly hedge his risks unlike traditional betting where by the time a person comes to know the whole scenario might change.
The online mode being new that too in its initial stages, very few bookies and punters are at present using it.
Another big deterrent is that the gamblers have to pay the total amount in advance. The bookie too does not earn much commission, but at least does not need to bother about loss due to payment default.bookie too does not earn much commission, but at least does not need to bother about loss due to payment default.bookie too does not earn much commission, but at least does not need to bother about loss due to payment default.bookie too does not earn much commission, but at least does not need to bother about loss due to payment default.