Despite the recent crackdown on betting in the city and beefed-up police surveillance subsequent to the IPL spot-fixing and betting scandals last year, punters seem to be unperturbed and are apparently still operating smoothly and nonchalantly.
According a source, while notorious ones like Kitty were detained and released, new ones have surfaced. “It’s going full-swing. In fact, the amount of money invested has doubled in this edition. Crores change hands for every match. It’s not like new ones have just come out of somewhere. They have been there for a while. It’s not a one-man institution. A lot of people are involved in this. Even if a few are arrested, others still operate,” a highly placed source informed TNIE.
Take for instance, a Chennai-based gambler plying his trade under the alibi “MM”. “Originally from outside the city, he has been making a killing this season. He owns a big transport company. But his betting centre is in the outskirts and he keeps moving. He is not the only one, there are several others too,” he explained.
Surprisingly, they are least discreet about it. “There are no reasons for them to be scared of anybody. A few years ago, there was CB-CID and they were extra vigilant. But now they are no longer here, the punters operate without any fear. It’s business as usual for them,” he stated.
Like in the previous years, they operate through cell phones. “Everything is operated through cell-phone with out-station SIM cards. Most of these cards are purchased under false names from different corners of the country, so it’s very difficult to track them down,” he said.
It doesn’t matter that the first phase is held in the United Arab Emirates or it’s coinciding with the general elections. “Nothing really matters for them. It’s a big nexus and will continue despite these scandals. Last year the issue surfaced because a lot of big names were involved,” he furthered.
Meanwhile, the punters back Chennai Super Sings to win the league. “Given their consistent, CSK are the favourites, followed by Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians. The odds, though, keep changing,” he said.