Jamshedpur, March 18: Cricket may have given select players the opportunity to churn easy money, but off the field the game has given rise to one of the biggest betting rackets in the steel city of late, luring the youths to mint easy money.
The betting trade for T-20 and IPL is soaring high in the city with students of several English-medium schools falling prey to the racket. Even college students have started betting.
According to the people involved in the racket, they are making quick money in spot betting during the match. In T-20, bets are placed on wins, losses, runs per ball, final scores of teams or batsmen, how a batsman will get out, number of overs that each team will bowl and man of the match.
“Yes a racket is involved in it as it helps to make easy money for both who operate and the other puts money on betting.
Apart from betting on a win, hundreds are likely to place their money on who wins the toss, fall of wickets, number of boundaries, runs of individual players. There are already a few enquiries about betting on scores and who will bowl the first over.
That apart, with Virat Kolhi in a good form, we are also taking bets on whether he will hit a four on the first ball of the innings,” a bookie said on condition of anonymity.
“It’s easy money that attracts these college and school kids. They place bets for as low as Rs 250. Apparently most of the bigger bookies have bases outside the city. Some of them operate from as far as New Delhi,” noted one of the bookie involved in the racket at Jugsalai
Sources reveal that though bookies have been arrested on numerous occasions, there have been no convictions so far. Meanwhile, SDO Suraj Kumar said that the administration is keeping an eye on the betting in the city and strict action will be taken against those involved.
“We have been receiving complains of betting on T-20 we have asked the police to carry search operations and keep a vigil on such activities,” noted Kumar.
The cricket betting net has raised its ugly head in the city and has posed a big challenge for police to crack down on the racket. Electronic and physical surveillance systems have been beefed up and existing links with various intelligence agencies have been put on alert.
In the fresh incident, the firing incident that took place at a Sonari apartment on Saturday was due to cricket betting. Sources in the police said that though the monetary dispute cropped up due to betting in Asia Cup cricket championship involved Rs 72,000 only, but actually the amount involved in the betting business was much more.
The main accused in the firing incident Mohammed Jamshed surrendered before the senior superintendent of police, Anoop T Mathew at his residence late last night.
Suraj Kumar said that as there are chances of more such betting activities in the city as the T-20 World Cup 2016 is already on and IPL is scheduled to begin next month.
Meanwhile, after the surrender of the main accused, a team of police officers, led by superintendent of police (city) Chandan Jha interrogated him and informed that dispute related to betting led to the firing targeting gun-shot victim Rahul Kumar.
Jha said at a press conference that the residential flat where the firing had taken place belonged to Mukul Sharma who is said to be the kingpin of the betting racket.