If any match goes down to the last ball, I am ready to return the money in entirety, stated a bookie. Another, who is part of the cricket betting syndicate in India but operates from abroad, assured patrons on his personalised blog that he would reveal details of the first playoff.
These, police sources said, are bookies who have placed bets on the first ball of Tuesday’s match between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians, as well as the highest opening partnership, method of first dismissal, run outs and the probability of a batsman scoring a half-century. The bookies are expecting it to be a flat track that would see plenty of runs being scored.
Another bookie, in an expletive laden blog which had received 4,43,750 hits till Tuesday, questioned the matches of the T20 league’s current edition: “Yeh sab fixing nahin hai.. aur bechare garib 3 players ne 1 over bina kahe pitwa di to hungama ho gaya wah India cricket (This is not fixing, (but) when three players got thrashed in one over without saying anything (to the bookies), it created a ruckus).” The bookie, however, advises to play safe during the three playoffs.
“We treat betting like business or trading, not gambling,” said another bookie.
Police sources said despite agencies cracking down on cricketers, bookies and even Bollywo-od celebrities, the cricket betting syndicate continues to operate with impunity. Except for a few who have turned off their mobile phones, most top bookies continue to operate with bets being placed on the remaining matches of the ongoing season, as well as other matches across the globe. “In fact, the betting syndicate has started finalising the outcome of the upcoming India-South Africa series,” said a police officer, requesting anonymity.
Explaining the modus operandi of bookies in India, an officer said, “Most have someone, often a family member, who creates an account on an online cricket betting site. The account is then operated from India, and manipulation of bets done through the syndicate.”