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India's betting racket: The inside story

cricket Updated: Sep 12, 2010 08:52 IST
Heena Zuni Pandit
Heena Zuni Pandit
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Match fixing is back in focus with accusations against three Pakistani players. The other constant allegation is the involvement of the Indian betting syndicate. Betting is illegal in India, but it not just flourishes here, this is the centre of the action.

In the latest match fixing allegations that surfaced after a British newspaper's sting operation, the bookie made several references to the Indian 'market' — estimated to be Rs 14,000 crore ($30 billion). But that's only an estimate, there is no way to know the real amount.

To get some sense of how this massive market works, Hindustan Times went undercover as a prospective bettor.

The first point of contact was some local Delhi players. The first person who took our reporter anywhere near the syndicate was an ex-Delhi league player — an indication of how closely tied the illegal booking racket is to the main stakeholders in the game.

Hindustan Times didn't wager any money, but got an insider's view of how the entire system works.

Throughout, it was all done in complete anonymity, with passwords, disembodied voices and figures — the shadowy but thriving world of illegal betting.

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