New Delhi, May 25: The investigation being conducted by the Enforcement Directorate with regard to the IPL betting scandal has revealed various shocking facts. Year after year there are cricket betting modules that are busted, but there seems to be no end to the problem.
The reason behind this continued effort by bookies to indulge in betting despite so many crack downs is because this is an industry worth Rs 4000 crore every year. With this amount of money being at stake, bookies chose to take the risk.
Also read: IPL betting: ED busts major racket in Delhi
OneIndia spoke with a bookie who did not wish to be named for this story. During this conversation he says that the money that is pumped in year after year is humongous and this is the primary reason why betting will remain as long as cricket is alive.
IPL and T-20 a favourite
The bookie reveals that there is fixing involved, but very rarely is the entire match fixed. It is very difficult today to fix the outcome of a game as it involves bringing the entire team and management on board for the same. However the biggest bets are placed on sessions and for this purpose roping in two to three players is sufficient and easier.
Spot fixing is another major draw and every year especially in the shorter format of the game, the highest stakes are on spot fixing, the bookie also says. The syndicate is always controlled out of Dubai which is extremely dangerous. They often can go to any length to ensure that things go their way, he also adds.
The bookies based out of Dubai are the one who write down the number of runs or wickets that would be taken in a particular session and circulate it around their members. The members are supposed to bet on the number of runs or wickets that would be taken during that session.
He also adds that the shorter version of the game is the biggest draw. There are hardly any bets that are placed on the five day games and even if they are the margins are very low. The 50 over format also is a big draw and the stakes go higher depending on the tournament. Say for instance a world cup game would have the highest stakes.
The mini modules
Enforcement Directorate officials who have been probing the betting scandal say that these modules are set up in a manner that they are fool proof. While the syndicate is controlled out of Dubai most of the time, the mini modules ensure that the betting goes down to the wire.
One module would not know the existence of another. Say for instance the Delhi module operatives would never be in direct touch with the ones at Jaipur. Between Dubai and Delhi there would be only one contact person. These persons often avoid too many players in this game since the more the number of persons the bigger the chances of them being exposed.
During the questioning of the various bookies that the ED has arrested, they have not been able to find out the names of those controlling the racket from abroad. Those abroad remain anonymous and hence their names never reach up to the investigating agency.
The hawala ring
The Hawala network continues to be the most preferred form of transaction even today. This the safest bet and money begins to come into India at least 15 days before the tournament starts. Once again the one placing the bets and the person collecting the money are never interlinked.
The money is dropped off at a neutral location and is collected each time it is needed. The key to the success of these modules is that the syndicate makes sure that the interaction between these members operating in India is very limited.
The biggest hawala network continues to be in Delhi. This is where at least 80 per cent of the money is coming into. The money that is earned in India is also sent back to Dubai through the same network.
High stake games
There is a line of difference that the investigators would have to draw now. There are instances where bets are placed and there are others where sessions are fixed. However the ED says that both instances would be approached with an iron fist as betting is illegal in India.
The other issue is that when it comes to an international syndicate controlling the racket the extradition becomes extremely difficult. The problem is that many bookies controlling the racket are based out of countries where betting is legal. This makes the legal process to bring such persons down extremely difficult.
However the investigators would need to prove that the matches are not only being bet on but fixed too. While betting may be legal in many countries, fixing the game is not in any country.
Hence it becomes all the more important for the investigators to make sure that while they probe betting links, they also need to prove that the games are being fixed.