BIRMAHARAJPUR: After being forced to shut down operation by the then SP of Jharsuguda Diptesh Pattnaik in 2000, Phata-Phat lottery is back with a bang, this time in Birmaharajpur. The gambling game is flourishing on the main chowk of the town allegedly under the nose of police.
The game offers 10 times the money bet within an hour. The lure of earning fast buck is drawing people, mostly poor, to the game.
Under the rules of the game, one has to bet on any number from one to 10 and s/he gets 10 times the bet amount in case the number is drawn. The rest players forfeit their money. A phone call, said to be from Mumbai, decides the number.
Unlike in ‘satta’ where one has to wait for at least a day for results to be declared, here the organisers get a call every hour and the winners are declared Phata-Phat (immediately). Even children and women are hooked on the game. There are reports of children stealing money from their homes to bet.
Surprisingly, SDPO, Birmaharajpur, Balabhadra Deep feigned ignorance about any such game while betting takes place barely 200 metres from the police station. However, he assured to look into the matter.