Poor rainfall in Mumbai is drying out its taps, and emptying the pockets of punters in India and abroad.
A shortage of 31 millimeters (mm) of rainfall in June has caused a loss of Rs 800 crore to punters who had bet on a minimum rainfall of 300 mm in Colaba in June.
It actually rained only around 269 mm, and they lost their entire betting amount to bookies who had opened the rates for Mumbai showers in the last week of May.
The rates were opened for both seasonal rainfall and for individual months from June to September. Bookies only consider rainfall recorded in Colaba.
A Mumbai bookie said they had expected 300-400 mm rainfall in Colaba in June, which is not an unusual phenomenon. This year, though, the truant rains have proved disastrous for punters.
And the damage is not just local. Punters from Dubai, Sharjah, Kuwait and Pakistan have also sustained heavy losses. Mumbai rains attract betting from India, as well as other parts of Asia and the Middle East every year.
“A delayed monsoon was expected but we never thought it would be this bad,” said Vicky Sharma (name changed), a punter from Napean Sea Road, who lost Rs 25 lakh.
Now, the bookies are concerned that after losing Rs 800 crore, punters will drastically reduce their betting for the coming months.
Fresh bets for July rains are reportedly dismally low.
The bookies had expected a business of over Rs 3,000 crore till the end of this monsoon.
So far they’ve only done business of Rs 1,200 crore, of which Rs 800 crore was on June rainfall.
Going by current rates, 400 mm rainfall in July in Colaba would give a punter 34 paise for a rupee placed on bet.
This means if it rains according to expectation, punters will get their rupee back and an additional 34 paise.
Five hundred mm of rainfall will yield a return of 82 paise, 600 mm will yield Rs 1.35. The odds on 700 mm are Rs 2.10 per rupee bet.