Lahore, the Mecca of illegal betting

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Pakistan players Amir and Asif
London, Aug 29: Lahore has been declared the one Pakistani city where illegal betting has virtually become an industry in so far as the game of cricket is concerned.

Hundreds of millions of pounds are bet on cricket every week, with illegal wagers in alone topping 1.5 million pounds a day. The cricket's exposure to massive Asian TV markets has made it a prime target for corruption.

Media reported that in Lahore, a crackdown on 1,150 illegal gambling dens revealed the lure of live cricket betting.

Underground wagers in Lahore have spiralled out of control. Criminal overlords enjoy vast profits from backroom gaming parlours dealing in games like Kamsae, popularly known as craps, and international horse races.

But this shadowy tribe really exists for the enormous gold rush sparked by transactions rapidly multiplying during international cricket matches.

A network of bookies masquerading as guesthouses, hotels, newsagents or mobile phone shops where they are connected to worldwide markets online takes the largest punts -laced by powerful figures in Asian society.

Bookies watch billions of rupees roll in during lucrative one-day internationals.

ANI

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