Indian bettors have a chance to take advantage of the bets offered by outlawed bookies on the parliamentary elections in the country.
Indian gambling laws don’t allow most forms of betting on a federal level, but still gambling activities are taking place in the country. With the parliamentary elections knocking on the door, everyone who is willing to bet on the future PM can chose various ways to do so.
Election outcomes in the largest democracy in the world are usually quite hard for prediction and the official polls are not reliable enough. As far as the illegal bookmakers are concerned, they generally offer various promising bets and the satta market is often followed by the candidates.
Lalji Tandon, opposition lawmaker from Lucknow, commented for the media, the prohibited betting market: “I feel that it can be relied upon more than opinion polls. The fluctuations in the satta market paint a better picture of the mood of voters.”
Tandon is from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which leader Narendra Modi is given the highest chances to win the 2014 elections. All current polls show that people believe that BJP will be the single largest party in Lok Sabha, the Parliament’s lower house. Of course, there are no guarantees what exactly will happen during the elections where 815 million voters will show their preferences.
Illegal bookies in India seem to have higher accuracy reputation in comparison to the official polls
• The parliamentary elections in India start on 7th April and finish in May
• Narendra Modi is given the highest chances to become PM
• Numerous political leaders follow the satta market
Young and prosperous gold trader, who is also a bookie and chose to remain unnamed, commented: “I prefer my opinion polls, not the ones that are in the newspaper and on television. You can’t rely on them.”
He explained that he decides on his odds by analyzing the public opinion himself: “I have a social network. I am asking everyone.” When it comes to the mentioned networking, illegal bookies seem to be very skilled in staying away from legal inspections, despite the published reports on the outlawed bookmakers’ market, saying that it’s worth $49 billion back in 2012.
Unregulated bookmakers in India naturally seem to be extra careful who are they taking bets from and don’t risk with unverified clients. It is interesting that a lot of the betting itself is taking place in various jewelry shops, which serve as cover for huge transactions. Some examples of single bets vary from $80 to $81,000.
The unofficial gambling news inform that the odds for Modi to become PM are around 6-5 against, which means that everyone who bet 100 rupees would get 120 rupees, if he wins. It seems that the figures have changed a bit with the approaching of the elections, as the odds were 8-5 against in the beginning of the year.
Currently the prospects of one of the main opponent of Modi, Rahul Gandhi, are not very promising. Even though he is the political successor of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, the common opinion is that he is not charismatic enough, so his odds at the moment are at 2-1 against, compared to 9-5 in January.
One of the most interesting questions at the moment refers to the BJP and its chances to win enough seats, in order to have solid leverage and convince its future coalition parties to accept Modi as PM. The potential problems might come from the fact that he executes a Hindu nationalist ideology, which might be an issue for the potential partners.
Calculation of seats
At the moment bookies are giving odds of around 6-5 against, for BJP and its partners to win approximately 250 seats. On the other hand, the Congress and its partners are expected to win around 125 seats.
The satta market usually shows different voting trends during the campaign period and it also gives predictions for individual seats, in contrast to the official opinion polls, which only forecast overall national and state results.
Tandon commented: “I know of many political leaders who keep watch on the satta for their constituencies during elections,” which is not surprising given the accuracy reputation of the illegal market.
The credibility and precision of the official polls are highly doubted especially after the information, which leaked last month that some of the pollsters are reporting fake numbers in exchange for bribes.
Sanjay Kumar, from CSDS, famous Indian polling agency, criticized the comments that illegal bookies are better in predicting the popular vote: “They don’t employ any methodology, it is just whatever comes into their mind. They are just making a wild guess.”