In Indian gambling news, five men have been arrested after a betting racket was busted in Bhopal at the weekend. The five men have been accused of laying bets upon matches in the cricket Champions League.
With Indian gambling laws confusing in their scope – while federal law seems to outlaw casinos, two states have legalized them – sports betting on everything except horse racing remains outlawed in most of the country. With the Indian appetite for gambling still high, this latest raid will come as no surprise to outsiders.
The men were held after police were tipped off about an illegal betting shop in Jawahar. When the house identified was raided, four men – identified only as Yakoob, Arif, Zafar, and Azhar – were arrested, while a fifth was remanded later, at a property in Shahjahanabad. The latter’s name has yet to be disclosed by the local police.
The police also confiscated 10,300 Rs in cash, a register with details of 32,000 Rs more in bets, 13 mobile phones, three calculators, a television set, and six SIM cards.
This is just the latest in gambling related arrests in India, and is on a much smaller scale than some of the recent news items, such as the arrest of 35 people related to cockfighting in September. With online casinos in India technically not legal, and internet penetration relatively low, gamblers are still turning to more nefarious means, and the City of Lakes is just the latest regional capital to be engulfed in a betting scandal.
As legalized betting spreads to other parts of Asia, it remains to be seen whether India will jump on the bandwagon any time soon, especially with the recent cricket betting scandals that have rocked the country. Any change in regulations will be too late to save the five men arrested this weekend, though.