By slapping Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (Mcoca) against the players and bookies charged with spot-fixing in the T20 league, the police have dealt betting a severe blow, as major bookies stayed away from circulating betting rates for the Champions Trophy a day before it begins in England.
Normally, the championship witnesses betting to the tune of Rs. 13,000 crore and the rates are opened four to five days in advance.
Sources privy to how the bookies operate said till Wednesday most bookies were not given ‘lines’ through which betting rates are circulated. The ‘lines’ are phone lines operated by betting syndicates, where rates are updated ball to ball. The current rate for a line is Rs. 400.
"Bookies are scared after learning that several big cricket bookies, already behind the bars, have been charged under the Mcoca,” said a bookie, requesting anonymity.
He said the bookies will wait for a few more days more to see how the situation emerges before deciding on whether to open rates or not.
Though some smalltime bookies accept smaller bets and offer their own rates, they are not popular, while the bookies that operate through ‘lines’ are accepted even abroad.
Bookies said a match in Champions Trophy generally witnesses bets worth Rs. 800 crore, while it can go up to Rs. 1,200 crore to Rs. 1,500 crore in semi-finals.