How betting mafia fixes the game
Most times, bookies are random individuals who have little, or more than a little, interest in the game. Their primary aim is to create a network of punters and, if they are big players, manipulate the game in the way that would maximize their profits.Updated: Sep 01, 2010 00:12 IST
Most times, bookies are random individuals who have little, or more than a little, interest in the game. Their primary aim is to create a network of punters and, if they are big players, manipulate the game in the way that would maximize their profits. In the betting and bookmaking business, they are called ‘Kingpin’.
How they work
They are often well-connected people, who get in touch with players through mutual friends, acquaintances or business associates. They then party with them, sometimes travel with them, and stay in constant touch. In many cases they are ‘special friends’ with one or more players; players who treat them as sounding boards or confidants.
Once they become close enough to the players to call them, talk to them anytime, anywhere in the world, they start making calls of different bets, and deciding the rates for the betting market. The level of interaction and of influence depends on the person involved and where he/she wants to take the business.
The network is vast. The punters are spread all over the world, and the bookie doesn’t ever use his real name. Sometimes, a punter will not even come in direct contact with a bookie. A ‘Kingpin’ typically has some 20 to 25 people working under him, expanding the network. The network mainly consists of punters who bet at different levels. Bookies have a point spread (agreed on verbally, or in the form of chips or coupons), aiming to guarantee a profit . Like with a casino, the rule is that the house should always win.
An example, in a three horse race, if bookie offered 3-1 (bet R 1 and get R 4, for a winning bet), that would be ‘under round’ because you would have the advantage. That is, if you put a rupee on all three horses, whichever horse won, you would be one rupee in profit. If he offered 2-1, and you bet on each horse, then it would be a ‘round book’ because, if you put a rupee on each runner, you would just get your money back.
They are like the small branches of a tree. They collect money from customers and do dealings. In many cases, they bet themselves. There is no need for them to stay present in person. Almost all deals are done over the phone provided by the ‘Kingpin’.
A signature tool is a big, safe, box — called a black box or big box -— which can be seen wherever a big bookie is in operation. The box contains all the technological paraphernalia of the bookmaking operation, including the mobile phones that distributed to the agents. Laptops are used to keep a record of all dealings and allow access to the software that keeps track of the records (popularly known as ‘bookies software’).
Every phone conversation goes on record, which becomes a tool in the hands of the bookies in case people refuse to pay their dues. The internet also aids the operation. Betting websites can be checked for continuous updates on rates and odds. Rates get change as often as ball-by-ball scores.
Apart from small/pirated software available in the market, Price Per Head (PPH) is the most reliable, and widely used, programme.
Mobile phones, software and other technology have made it very easy for bookies to operate with relative impunity.
What is PPH?
PPH is a software created for online casinos, sportsbooks and poker activities. A bookie can sign up to get a PPH enabled site by paying a small fee. The software takes care of figures, moving lines and reports. The bookie can access these services anywhere, any time. Pay per head services arecheap and legal.
First Published: Sep 01, 2010 00:10 IST