Illegal Online Betting In India Relocating to Rural Towns

Published Thursday, April 12, 2012 -

India is starting to look a little closer at all the illegal betting going on now that the Indian Premier League Season 5 has started. It has been suggested that illegal betting on cricket will reach Rs75b ($1.45b) this year. The vast sums of cash and the intensity of that kind of wagering usually makes the police suspicious, prompting the bookie on the street to leave town and go digital using online messages and texting to complete their transactions.

The politicians aren’t making life any easier for the legitimate book makers by hiking the taxes on bets. Some books have indicated the taxes have been ramped up by as much as five hundred percent. This has been passed on to the punter who could very well say I’ll go to an illegal wagering outlet to make better money on my bet. Seven betting agents at the Bangalore Turf Club has unannounced visits from the Income Tax department and found that some agents were doing large bets off the books to avoid the huge increases in the tax. Blackberry use is said to be less than secure as the government is close to decoding blackberry messages. Research in Motion has agreed to build a data bank in Mumbai to let government agencies with court order go through messages sent on the BlackBerry network.

Ashoke Lalwani a Bangalore bookie was quoted recently regarding the tax hikes, “If the idea is to force punters to patronize the tote, it will fail as once bookmakers go out of business, tote betting too will fail. Unlicensed bookies may prosper.” The smart illegal bookies using the internet to take bets from rural locations may work for a short time, and then they will move on to other locations and continue to flourish. Regulation and licensing is the only way to get some sort of control over what is rapidly becoming very hard to manage.

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