The Indian Premier League (IPL) may be played overseas in the UAE and Dubai; however, a significant amount of action is being seen here, in the coastal state of Goa. Here, in Goa, the quieter shores have witnessed much of the ugly side of the beautiful game – IPL betting rackets.
We have been flooded with news of almost two IPL betting rackets being busted by the state authorities every week. Yesterday, another betting racket was busted, and three persons were arrested red-handed accepting IPL game bets of nearly over Rs 1 crore. This occurred in Arpora.
So, what really makes Goa that safe den for activities of such sort to be carried out at such high rates?
During this one month of October itself, the Goa Crime Branch has busted nearly six IPL rackets, all along with North Goa’s prominent tourist belts. These illegal betting groups have found the sandy shores of Goa the perfect destination to carry out these IPL betting rackets.
The pattern noticed here among these illegal betting dens is that all persons caught to date have been non-Goans, and are domestic tourists from other parts of India who have come to Goa to conduct this business.
These betters come to Goa on the pretext as simple domestic tourists, however, they come with clear intentions to indulge in such betting activities. A suitable hotel room is looked in, or a villa is rented out for such activities. Most of the locations which have been raided are quiet and secluded locations in the northern parts of the state.
Once they have set-up their dens, they begin accepting these illegal bets from clients across the country. Most of the persons caught till date have been found entering these illegal bets through very high sophisticated technology downloaded on their laptops. These people accept bets mostly from clients from areas such as Rajasthan, Delhi, and Gujarat also.
The state’s coastal belt is most preferred as these people want to avoid any suspicion, and under the pretext of being tourists, aim to avoid any suspicion.
Crime Branch SP, Shobhit Saxena, has said that these bookies prefer Goa for accepting these illegal bets as they can easily stay in rented premises or hotels as tourists.
When asked how does the police come to know about such activities, he said that once the tournament began, the Goa police has activated its local intelligence and other informers.
These, then provide important tips to the police and keep a tab on such betting activities. The police then, after verifying the information, conduct raids at the locations.
The six raids this month, many say, are just a handful, and many other betting activities are still operated in the state. With much of the activities centered around North Goa, some say that such betting rackets may also be operational in areas of South Goa.
“We want to send a clear message that Goa police is keeping a close watch on bookies accepting bets for IPL,” the SP said.
However, as betting comes under a bailable offense, it is learnt that the accused are released immediately after they are arrested as they seek their bail.
The state touristic image has been intensely hit by such activities, as combined with these IPL betting’s, drug and other narcotic substance raids too, are on the higher side along with Goa’s prominent coastal areas.