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Cricket Fueling India's Illegal Betting Industry

19 March 2004

INDIA – As reported by the BBC: "Bombay has long been regarded as the betting capital of India.

"…Betting is illegal in India, but it's a booming industry.

"…And for this cricket-crazy nation, nothing is bigger than India pitted against its historic rival, Pakistan.

"The current India-Pakistan cricket series in Pakistan, the first in 14 years, is reported to have spurred on the bookies who expect the betting graph to reach unprecedented heights.

"According to one bookie in Bombay (Mumbai), the first one-day international in Karachi on 13 March saw over $1bn placed in bets across the entire country.

"…According to a rough estimate by India's top police investigative agency, the CBI, 'the turnover for a one-day match in any part of the world which is being telecast live in India is to the tune of millions of dollars'.

"…Attempts at a crackdown have just pushed the problem out of town - only 10% of the total business is now based in Bombay, one of the bookies told the BBC, a fact confirmed by the police.

"…And according to media reports, most of the industry is controlled from Dubai.

"…Many Indians advocate legalising the betting system, known as satta, to generate revenue for the government…"

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