Even as cricket fans cheer their favourite teams, exult over their wins and mourn their losses, bookies have been having a field run this World Cup.
With the World Cup season on, crores of rupees are at stake and Delhi Police have their hands full nabbing these men. As many as 100 mobile phones, 10 laptops, six televisions, 57 calculators and data cards have been recovered since the start of the cricket World Cup.
All of these belong to bookies, who have been arrested from all over the city.
The Crime Branch of the Delhi Police has, in the last 10 days itself, busted five major betting rings. These operated from every part of the city.
On Wednesday, the Crime Branch busted a betting gang in Wazirpur village in Ashok Vihar while they were allegedly indulging in betting during the day-night match between Sri Lanka and Kenya.
"This is the fifth betting syndicate that has been busted in Delhi since the World Cup Matches began," said Ashok Chand, deputy commissioner of police (Crime).
"The arrested have been identified as Navjeet Singh (29), Shailesh Payal (28), Kalu (34) and Karan Singh Chadha (28)," Chand added.
On February 28, five property dealers were arrested for allegedly running a betting racket in East of Kailash area. Bets were being taken on their behalf by 32 bookies at different places in Delhi.
On Tuesday, another betting racket was busted, in which the gang had received bets from punters to the tune of R1 crore. "This is a pan-Delhi phenomena. Starting from south, north, west, outer, east and other parts of the city, such rackets are cropping up everywhere. These people have regular businesses and jobs but during the cricketing season, they moonlight as bookies. As much as R6 crore was at stake in the last five times that gangs were busted," Chand added.
The police added that booking rackets have differing modus operandi.
"The rate of the odds between the two cricket teams originates from outside India. On the basis of those odds, bets are taken during the match."
Chand added, "After the match is over, profit and loss is calculated by a specially-generated software known as Back 'N' Lay PRO. The rates keep fluctuating with the fall of wickets and the runs scored."
Laptops are used for data entry management while mobile phones are used for getting the rates of the odds on the match and for taking bets from the punters.
Police said the recording facility on the mobile phone is used for keeping records of the bets placed by the punters.
One set of mobile phones is specifically used for receiving the rates of betting, which fluctuates ball by ball.
For some, cricket may still the gentlemen's game but for bookies in the city, the willow-wielding sport has degenerated into just another money-making opportunity.