Mumbai: Bookmakers boycott last weekend's races
Pic for representation
Licensed bookmakers in Mumbai, who operate book for horse racing at Mahalaxmi, will not be seen in action today and tomorrow. The decision was taken in a meeting held in the city yesterday evening. Reliable sources close to the bookmakers' association told mid-day the sudden and extreme step was taken to protest against the extortion calls received by some of them from an underworld gang operating in the name of a city don.
It may be noted that the threatening calls demanding 'hafta' were the proverbial last straw on the camel's back as they came on the heels of a recent incident of a bookie raided by the anti-corruption branch of police during the Mumbai races two weeks ago. Banarasi Das, the bookies' organization leader who had recently sponsored a 'million' race, had called an emergency meeting of all licensed bookmakers on Friday evening in which the decision not to operate the book was taken unanimously by all members. Despite repeated attempts, mid-day could not connect with
Banarasi Das as his phone was switched off. Even Vivek Jain, chairman of the race club, was not available to comment on the development. An rwitc official said that when the club asked the bookies why they are not operating on the weekend they simply answered that they had some internal issues which they wanted to sort out.