The controversy over spot fixing — rigging individual moments of a match — unearthed by a British tabloid involving Pakistani cricketers has spelled trouble for bookies in Mumbai.
Local bookies, who faced loss of around Rs 200 crore in the controversial Test match played between England and Pakistan at the Lord's, have refused to settle accounts with punters.
Pakistani fast bowlers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif allegedly delivered three no balls on Thursday and Friday at the precise moment when Pakistani-origin middleman Mazhar Majeed (35) said they would, News of the World reported.
Majeed is reported to have named seven Pakistani players as being involved in the betting scandal, including captain Salman Butt and wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal.
The match had drawn bets of around Rs 550 crore from punters in India, Dubai, Sharjah and Pakistan.
"We are getting calls from Dubai and Pakistan to settle accounts, but we have still not done that as it is now open that the match was fixed," a bookie from a western suburb told Hindustan Times.
Sources said local bookies are being pressured by the underworld and its connected bookies, who reportedly were aware of the Test result.
Generally, the settlement is done within 24 hours of the match results, but bookies in India had not settled the betting amount until Monday.
Moreover, after the Indian connection with Majeed was revealed, several bookies in the city went into hiding fearing action from law enforcement agencies.
"One doesn't know if the agencies swing into action here. We have decided to stay away from our homes and offices for few days," the bookie said.
Many local bookies also suffered heavy losses because they double up as punters by putting money through big bookies in Dubai.
"When England lost seven wickets, many of us had put money on Pakistan's victory unaware of what was going to happen," the bookie said.
The bookies are not only required to pay the punters who had placed bets for England victory, but also to the big bookies in Dubai.
"We have not yet settled the accounts, but we don't know how far we all would be able to sustain the pressure from those connected with underworld," the bookie said.