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Betting immune to slump

The recent cricket matches, including the first one-day in the India-Sri Lanka series, have shown that the illegal betting business is booming, despite the global economic slowdown, reports Manish Pachouly.Making a quick buck

india Updated: Jan 30, 2009 01:07 IST
Manish Pachouly

Recession could be a cause of worry for many, but it has failed to dent the betting business. In fact, many day traders on the stock market have shifted to betting for some quick cash.

The recent cricket matches, including the first one-day in the India-Sri Lanka series, have shown that the illegal betting business is booming, despite the global economic slowdown. Making a quick buck

“The first India-Sri Lanka one-day international on Wednesday saw betting of more than Rs 600 crore, which is about Rs 100 crore more than usual for such a match,” said a Mumbai bookie. Though bets for the OD have come from all over India, Mumbai’s contribution to this was about 25 per cent, he added.

In the first one-day international, bookies placed India as the favourite with odds of 85 paise per rupee. This means, when India won, a punter not only got his rupee back, but also got 85 paise. Sri Lanka’s win was quoted at Rs 1.10.

In the second one-day to be played on Saturday, India is again a favourite with a rate of 82 paise for a rupee as against Sri Lanka’s Rs 1.15.

Not only matches involving India, but also those between Australia and South Africa have attracted Indian punters despite the grim economic crisis. The recently concluded three Test match series between Australia and South Africa and four matches in the One-Day series between them have witnessed betting of over Rs 4,000 crore.

Bookies now plan to make big bucks on the forthcoming West Indies-England series.

They are hoping to do a business of Rs 2,000 crore on the Mumbai horse racing season beginning on Saturday. The illegal betting in horse racing is over 10 times more than the legal bets accepted by authorised bookies.

The Lok Sabha elections in April-May are another opportunity for bookies. They have started gathering information that could help them speculate about the results. The bookies expect business of Rs 13,000 crore to Rs 14,000 crore in the entire election.