Four people caught betting illegally on IPL

The existence of illegal betting in India has once again reared its head, with a number of individuals caught engaging in illegal betting activity in the last 24 hours.

What happened?

Four people have been held after police were alerted to illegal betting activity in Anakapalli. The individuals were allegedly organising betting on the IPL. The police were able to obtain evidence in the form of cash, cell phones and a TV, which all together was worth Rs 12,000. The accused were using an app called ‘Cricket Mazza’.

They weren’t the only four to get in some trouble with the law over cricket betting in India in the past 24 hours. In Hyderabad, a man in his 30s was arrested for his involvement in illegal betting. He also had cash and cell phones, this time worth Rs 80,300. The man was organising a small ring of betting, distributing money to nearly 30 punters with which to bet, and taking some commission from the returns.

What did they do wrong?

Online cricket betting is, for the time being, somewhat of a grey area with regards to the law in India. The specific laws vary by region, and many don’t explicitly state it as being illegal. Clearly though, there are many risks involved, as these five men have recently found out. 

Back in November last year, there was some discussion about the prospect of legalising online betting across the nation. The Sports Ministry had apparently begun conversations with the government, with the ultimate goal of utilising the United Kingdom’s system of online betting as a model from which to introduce it in India. The benefits of this are numerous, with one of the strongest arguments for the move being that it would simply legalise an enormous market which will exist regardless of the laws, and currently exists only on the black market. It would also have the capacity to generate more money for sports in the country, with the UK model putting a large portion of the revenue raised from betting back into the sports industry.

This would, of course, be a great result for punters across India. For the time being, however, it remains an area which is blatantly illegal in many regions, and as the five men across India found out in the last 24 hours, needs to be approached with caution.