This year, cricket fans are not the only ones gearing up for the World Cup. The Mumbai police have started cracking down on cricket betting syndicates that work in the city, after the state made it clear that it wants no bookmakers operating from Mumbai.
Police commissioner Rakesh Maria has asked all 93 police stations in the city to watch cricket bookies in their jurisdictions and ensure they do not operate during the World Cup, which will be played between February 14 and March 29. Maria also has his set of informers who tell him about bookmakers in the city. These were the informers who helped the police bust a top bookie network in Malad in December last year.
The Mumbai crime branch, which has shut down high-profile bookie rackets in the past, has also stepped up its vigil. Joint commissioner of police (crime), Sadanand Date, has told all units senior inspectors will be held responsible if a betting racket is found to be operating in their jurisdiction.
A list of bookies has been prepared. The police said bookies will be under electronic surveillance.
With the police stepping up its game, top bookies have decided to work in safe havens, such as Macau. A bookie, who has been arrested in the past, started preparing for the World Cup as early as November last year, but is working in Australia. “We have information that he set up shop in Australia, under the guise of an automobile parts dealer,” said a senior police officer, requesting anonymity.
Officials said even middle-range bookies are likely to skip the city. The only bookies who will organise betting inside Mumbai are the part-time ones, sources said.
Such bookies either have businesses or are working. They take up betting during the cricket season, but they cannot afford to go elsewhere. Even for these part-time bookies, the police have a plan to keep them in check. According to Dhananjay Kulkarni, Mumbai police spokesperson, the cops are keeping an eye on bookies to ensure betting does not take place.
Major raids in the city
May 17, 2012
The crime branch raided a flat in Kandivali and arrested several bookies. Investigations showed the bookies had links with Pakistani bookies and were supported by the Mumbai underworld. It was also found the bookies had invested in Bollywood
May 16, 2013
A crime branch team raided an office at Kalbadevi and arrested three bookies for placing and accepting bets. They were in touch with their counterparts in Pakistan. Later, actor Vindoo Dara Singh and CSK team principal Gurunath Meiyappan were arrested in the case
The bookies cops are watching
J K Ahmedabad
How bets work
The team with the lowest rate, per rupee, is the favourite, as this is the team most likely to win
However, the rates will change depending on factors such as players’ injuries and the team’s form as the tournament progresses
Australia: 30 paise (for every rupee placed on bet)
South Africa: 40 paise
New Zealand: 60 paise
India: 80 paise
England: 95 paise
Sri Lanka: Rs1.4
West Indies: Rs3
For instance, a person betting Rs100 on India winning, will get Rs180 (Rs100 + 80 paise for every rupee)