Most of the nation mourns when India loses a game of cricket, especially if it is a knock-out game in a major tournament, but there are always a few who are ecstatic when this happens as they rake in a load of money. These are the illegal bookmakers of course.
India’s Loss Was This Man’s Gain
Us Indian will remember the heartache of the semi-final defeat to New Zealand in the 2019 Cricket World Cup for a very long time. When MS Dhoni was run out by Martin Guptil in the 49th over with just Bhuvenshwar Kumar and Yuzvendra Chahal left to bat and 23 runs still to get, we all knew the game was up.
Most of us would have turned off our televisions and sulked about the result for some time to come, but one man, who does not want to be identified, broke into a smile because India’s loss was his financial gain. You see, he is an illegal bookmaker, one of many, who netted 500,000 Indian rupees that day. This was because many rich businessmen had bet with him that India would win.
The Fight Against Illegal Bookmakers
Betting on sports is popular in our society, but it is also illegal. Therefore, it is not surprising that people like that man above don’t want to be identified. The police are often carrying out raids to catch illegal bookmakers, but to be honest, they are fighting a losing battle.
Even when they are successful and catch illegal bookmakers red-handed, the perpetrators, are often granted bail and are soon back out on the streets earning a load of money as an illegal bookmaker again.
It is estimated that the underground sports betting scene in India is worth anywhere between 45 and 150 billion dollars. Whenever the Indian cricket team are playing an ODI, it is estimated that $190 million is bet on it.
The Rewards Are Far Too Tempting
The potential for earning untaxed large sums of money is too tempting for many to pass up, meaning the number of illegal bookmakers is just going to increase. This is also detrimental to the game itself as it is leading to a rise in match fixing and spot fixing.
What Can be Done to Decrease the Generation of Black-money?
Well, decriminalising betting would be the main option. This would help to create legal jobs for people, protect those who are vulnerable, and allow the police to spend their resources and time on other things. To add to this, it would generate billions of dollars every year for the country. This money could then be used to improve the sports infrastructure across India, ultimately improving cricket in India.
However, until the Indian government acts, illegal bookmakers will continue to prosper and make loads of money when the Indian team lose matches where they were heavy favourites.