With the Indore civic polls round the corner, punters are trying to make fortune by betting their luck on who will win the city's mayoral seat, by what margin and how many seats the BJP will manage to win.
An exact figure on how much money is at stake is difficult to estimate, as there are a number of channels operating in every nook and corner of the city. However, a few bookies in the city, are of the opinion that the more than Rs 10 Crore is at stake in the form of betting over the upcoming municipal polls.
According to a bookie from Sarafa area, which is considered as the centre of betting, most people have put their bet on BJP mayoral candidate Malini Gaud. Betting on Gaud would pay back 30-40 paise on every single rupee at stake whereas betting on Congress candidate Archana Jaiswal, the dividend is higher at Rs 1.40, revealed sources.
"The higher the dividend, lesser is the chance of winning and vice-versa. So, indirectly betting market can be a gauge of sensing the mood of the people," a bookie said.
Apart from betting on mayoral candidates, punters are also betting on how many seats the BJP would manage to win in the polls. When the elections were announced, it was estimated that BJP would win 60 out of 85 seats. However, as the days passed by and Congress emerged as a strong contender, the estimated numbers came down to 40-45, sources said.
Gamblers are also betting on the margin of win or lose on the municipal wards where the competition would be tough between the contestants and where the rebels had challenged their party lines.
The police are not ignorant about the illegal betting business. Additional superintendent of police (Crime) Dilip Soni said, "Betting business exists and is an open secret in Indore. We are taking stringent action against any such illegal activity and act as and when we get any lead."
A few small-time gamblers have been arrested from different parts of the city, he added. It would be difficult to scale the effect of betting on the polls, but it may alter the course of voting.