Now a 500-crore rainy bet!
Bookies are expanding horizons to market their abilities. After proving their mettle in cricket, their focus is on Mumbai's rains that flood the city every year.
This time stakes are also higher. Apparently the bookies have put up a stake of nearly Rs 500 crore to predict the day Mumbai is inundated with rains!
Armed with laptops and the latest weather gadgets, bookies and punters are looking skywards to make a fast buck this monsoon. Reportedly, Rs 50 crore will be changing hands daily between June 1 and 10.
In fact, bookies are willing to shell out Rs 10 for a rupee for the monsoon hitting the city's shores on June 1. However, June 5 seems to be the hot favourite and is pegged at Rs 1.20. From there on, the rate diminishes on a daily basis, and all bets are off after June 10. Sources added that on an average Rs 50 crore changes hands every day during those 10 days.
A new breed of bookies like Dharmesh Vashi, Surendra Vashi, Lalji Indore, Kushal, Veena, and Bebli has emerged in gambling circles across Mumbai. They specialise in betting on rains, which is different from cricket match betting.
Other full-time bookies like gangster Dawood's trusted lieutenant Chhote Mian, Jayanti Malad, Laku Masalawalla alias Praful, Samrat and Shoban Kalachowkie will keep off betting circles during the monsoon season. They are expected to bet on cricket matches in other countries.
Most of the top bookies have their sources in the meteorological departments across the country, who feed them inside information on advancing rains. These tip-offs help bookies and punters to make quick money against their ill-informed counterparts.
Bookies also accept bets on the onset of the monsoon in other cities as well. Sources say that bookies who lose bets in Mumbai, try to cover up their losses by betting on other cities as well. The total betting during the monsoon season is estimated to be around Rs 10,000 crore across the country.