Cricket betting on in Hyderabad

Racketeers using temporary phone lines to contact punters.

Hyderabad: With seven IPL matches to go, including the final scheduled at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad, cricket betting is on in full swing in the city. The organisers are using ‘temporary betting lines’, a phone-in system, to coordinate with punters. After the IPL matches began, police have so far booked six cases, arrested 15 organisers and punters, and recovered over Rs 15 lakh. “One gang had over Rs 10 lakh, which was collected from punters for a single IPL match,” said DCP B. Limba Reddy.

Police said that ‘temporary lines’ can be accessed only by punters. “The organisers buy SIM cards using fake IDs and insert them in cheap phones. Those phones are used for operating the temporary lines which will be switched on minutes before the IPL match begins. It will go offline after the match is over. The phone numbers of these temporary lines are circulated among punters through WhatsApp and Face-book,” said Rachakonda SOT inspector Narsing Rao.

The phone-in covers only the betting part while the money collection is done physically. There are collection agents who go out and collect the betting amount in advance. Veteran organisers in the city maintain strict discipline and a registry to earn the confidence of punters. “The organisers can earn up to 5 per cent of the bets and 10 to 15 per cent of the winner’s profit,” said another official.

In a recent case, Sonu Agarwal and Singhal Vaibhav Agarwal, who were operating from Malakpet were found to take a minimum of Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000 from each punter, police officials said. Former betting organisers said that betting stakes will go high when the knockout stage begins in IPL, and more money would flow. Police teams are on alert to bust as many rackets as possible. “There might be hundreds of small and big organisers now. Our aim is to capture as many as possible during IPL,” said a senior police official. Sources said many betting organisers in the city who were under police surveillance, have shifted bases to the outskirts to escape cops.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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