Bookies bank on Facebook to strike it rich in CL T20

Sep 20, 2011, 09:58 IST | Sheetal Sukhija

Punters are now turning to Facebook to make the most of this cricketing season

Punters are now turning to Facebook to make the most of this cricketing season.

The bookies seem to be abuzz with several innovative ideas and appear determined to make it big during the Champions League T20 tourney that started yesterday.

When big bookies have shown little interest in the tournament stripped off many star cricketers, small-time punters are out to make the most of this opportunity.

Royal Challengers Bangalore players sweat it out during a practice
session in the run up to the Champions League at Chinnaswamy Stadium

So why did the punters decided to take the virtual route? "Last time around, there were major crackdown
by the cops at all our betting places.

Big punters always get away by bribing the officials, but small players like us bear the burnt as we don't have money to silence the money-craving cops.

So this time we are playing it safe. Facebook is apt. Since a lot of young gamblers are net savvy, Facebook can work wonders for us," said K Ramesh, a bookie operating from NR Road (Town Hall).

Business for bookies in South Bangalore too has picked up, but their modus operandi is different from their Town Hall counterparts.

Modus operandi
Operating from small bars, these bookies are placing their bets in innovative ways.

"The waiters are our men and they pass on messages to  prospective clients. We pay them enough not leak the information to the cops. The snacks that go with drinks decide who bets on what.

Besides, we have our own code language," said S Narasimha, a bookie from Banashankari.

According to bookies, as the format of the game is short and fiery, each shot hit across the ground would count and each wicket would signal green for punters.

The bets would be placed per ball and instead of betting on team performance, the number of high flyers in the match and knocked wickets would count.

"Since a lot of the big names in the cricketing world would not be playing this season, this is an off season for the big punters. But gamblers are placing bets on players, wickets and sixes.
This is a surprising new trend that has come up in our business and it means big money for small fish like us," said S Harigowda (name changed), a bookie operating from Sheshadripuram.

Cops' novel plan
While the bookies are embarking on innovative idea to avoid being traced by the metaphorical long hands of law, the police too have devised on a novel strategy to tighten the noose around these elusive bookies.

"We have identified all the places where small-time bookies function from. This time around we are not going to use the usual way of cracking down on them.
We have our men in place who have been keep tabs on the current trends. We are soon planning to take action on them," said Nyame Gowda, Special force officer, CCB.

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