Satta Bazaar bids cross Rs 150cr on India-NZ semi-final tie

On the eve of the World Cup semi-final clash between India
and New Zealand, the betting bazaars in Delhi have gone crazy: the police
estimates that the bids in the illegal satta (betting) market could have
crossed the Rs 150-crore mark in the National Capital Region (NCR).

Punters, mostly from the trading class, and bookies linked
to underworld syndicates are known to have wider network in Delhi’s adjoining
towns of Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Noida and Gurugram.

Delhi Police have put their electronic surveillance in top
gear.

“We are taking all measures to monitor the satta
operators in the wake of the crucial India-New Zealand semi-final match on
Tuesday,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Madhur Verma told IANS.

“We are keeping a tab on five star hotels and guest
houses, particularly in Karol Bagh and Old Delhi area that are hired by
big-time punters. These operators have strong networks, which are often
difficult to crack, but we are on the job.

“On previous occasions, the police arrested top bookies
from north Delhi, who had a sophisticated internet software of betting linked
with mobile phones.”

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Police sources said odds were placed on New Zealand as India
seem the favourites in Tuesday’s tie. The bids are not only placed on who wins,
but also over-to-over and ball-to-ball.

Individual bids are placed on who will take maximum wickets
or who will hit the most sixes. The betting starts right at the toss.

“Most punters place their bids on which team will win
the toss. Besides, after winning the toss, bids are placed on the decision of
the captain, whether he would decide to bat or field. This time the base
betting rate on Team India is Rs 4.35 and Rs 49 on New Zealand,” a punter
from West Delhi told IANS.

The punters in the capital’s satta market — in Khari Baoli,
Karol Bagh, Old Delhi and South Delhi’s guest houses and big hotels — are
siding with Team India. But they have not handed them a clean sweep, like in
the 2011 World Cup as New Zealand is also a strong competitor this time.

“Like every year during IPL matches, in this World Cup,
most college-going youth, businessmen, hoteliers, cricket lovers, traders,
corporate women and hawala operators are betting with us. Over 60 per cent
bidders are in favour of India’s victory. That means thumbs-up for skipper
Virat Kohli and his team,” a punter said.

Bets are also being placed on the margin of victory in terms
of runs and wickets and also on whether runs scored by India and New Zealand
could be 400-plus or below 400.

An interesting bet is on who will take more than three
wickets from both sides — whether it would be spinners or pace bowlers. Also,
will it be India’s Jaspirt Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal or New Zealand’s Trent
Boult or Lockie Ferguson?

The base betting rate of Indian players, for example, in
case of Bumrah, it is Rs 20, while for Boult, it is Rs 7, said a source.

The other bets are on star batsmen — Indian skipper Virat
Kohli, his deputy Rohit Sharma, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson and Martin
Guptill — whether they would score half-century or century.

Gurugram Police PRO, Subhash Bokan said: “We are
already keeping tight vigil to crack the betting racket on the ongoing World
Cup. We have arrested over a dozen of gamblers in the city in the last few
weeks. A circular was issued to guest houses and hotel owners to avoid bidding
in their premises,”

The satta bazaar operators are closely monitoring the tweets
of the players, captains and coaches to know the status of the players who will
be in or out. They are also keeping a tab on weather reports and newspaper
clippings.

Police sources said that this time, punters have sent some
of their middlemen to the UK to keep tabs on all updates, the weather included.

-GK

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