HYDERABAD: Every season of the Indian Premier League may be a cash cow for the bettors across the country. But this year, with the first phase of 2019 Lok Sabha elections already begun in parts of the country, and the election results coinciding with that of the IPL, betting has seen a change of face. The ‘astrologers’ are now earning off of predicting who will sit in the Parliament this year and by what margin.
The main organisers of betting in India may not have changed their traditional ways of working but the small timers and punters, especially in the southern parts of the country, have shifted their focus on the elections, opine police officials. According to unconfirmed sources, the stakes in betting have multiplied nearly three-fold in the election season, when compared to the cricket bets.
According to officials usually responsible for cracking down on cricket betting cases, the activity has relatively gone down this year, due to the elections. A majority of bookies, organisers operating from the capital city and cross both the Telugu states have shifted focus to the upcoming elections. But these are smaller bets, conducted with smaller amounts.
The bigger betting gangs operating across the country, with bases mostly in the northern parts of the sub-continent, have agents spread throughout the Hyderabad city. As the bettors for cricket matches decrease, these gangs are not in action this season.
However, the gangs operating on their own in the city are making the best of the elections.
“This way, they serve the interests of investors while also making some money for them without losing any share for the North-Indian gangs.” said sources.
Police officials say they usually get a tip-off if betting gangs are in action, but so far no solid information has come up.
“However our teams are keeping a tab on old offenders and monitoring their activities including their financial transactions also,” they said.
With large-scale betting rackets being busted by the police in recent past, the king-pins have shifted their bases to safer spots like Goa and Bengaluru.
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