Macau - one of China's two special administrative regions, and a place known as the Las Vegas of the East due to the legalised status of betting and gambling in the region- has been identified as the key place for prominent cricket bookies from India to meet.
Agencies which have been closely following cricket betting, are also investigating one of the visits tainted Rajasthan Royals pacer S Sreesanth made to Macau.
The investigating agencies also gave an example where a cricket bookmaker advertised his phone numbers on a website, which identifies him as an international cricket bookmaker. He specifies that one should call him only if they are out of India. Agencies investigating the current spot-fixing scandal have identified the bookmaker to be operating out of Macau.
Police sources said, many prominent bookies had taken part in the meeting before the league season began. Investigations are on to ascertain if the bookies have parked any money in Macau.
Apart from the cricket betting syndicate, Macau has also emerged as a top place for those associated with Bollywood, with the prestigious IIFA Awards being held there in the past. "Actress, aspiring models and actors are known to make trips to Macau. And this seems to be the place where they interact with bookies, or their punters," said a senior police officer.
The connection between cricket bookies and Bollywood starlets has emerged with the police investigating the role of Manan, said to be the face for a top bookie Virendra Borivali.
Virendra, who started off as a small-time punter from Borivali, rose up through the bookmaking hierarchy after he got close to Sharad Shetty — the gangster who ran Dawood Ibrahim's betting syndicate. With Virendra dating the sister of a famous Bollywood starlet, Shetty used Virendra to supply aspiring actresses and models to cricketers, said police sources.