Mumbai: Don't be fooled by the sound of those humble figures. It's just a clever ploy by big-shot bookies who are using those terms to accept bets worth crores on the semis and final.
If a top bookie is heard accepting dus rupaiya for a bet, don't be fooled by the humble figure. The measly amount actually means Rs 10 lakh. Whatever else they have done, the last four World Cup matches, and the Indo-Pak tussle on Wednesday, have definitely given betting parlance a fillip.
The Cricket World Cup has spawned a new jargon for big-shot bookies, who have become so used to dealing in lump sums that they had to coin simpler, modest new terms to signify the huge amounts. For instance, sau (or hundred) actually means Rs 1 crore in betting circles, and the word is being thrown around pretty casually these days.
No small league, this
In fact, such is the scale of betting that they have dismissed small-time punters, refusing to accept their puny bets. Insiders informed that some top bookies do not accept bets below pachas rupaiya (Rs 50), which actually means Rs 50 lakh.
The biggies are not accepting bets from 800-odd punters and 100 mid-level bookies across the state. They are mostly dealing with bookies of their level across the nation or their overseas counterparts.
All this big business needs a centre to operate out of, and that is where, allegedly, netas come in. Yes, the bookies are well connected in the power corridors.
According to a top bookie, at least three politicians have rented out their properties in the city and its outskirts for betting purposes. The bookies are paying a percentage of the turnover for allowing the use of the premises as a safe betting haven.
As an observer pointed out, the connivance of the ministers and politicians in the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat can be gauged from the fact not a single bookie or punter has been arrested during the last 40 World Cup matches.
This is in sharp contrast to the 47 bookies arrested during the third edition of the IPL matches last year. Most of them were booked under the Gambling Acts.
The match today is expected to bring a bonanza for hawala operators, as high-profile bookies from Pakistan are planning to 'cut' them through Dubai.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Himanshu Roy, said, "We are keeping a close watch on their activities."
The technologically-versed bettors are exploiting the web of telecom network to stay connected. A majority of the bookies, using hundreds of mobile phones, are hooked to hotlines, which give minute-to-minute updates on the betting rates until the match ends, facilitating brisk business.
The hotline can be subscribed to for as low as Rs 5,000 per connection, and the service providers are kept on a juggle. In fact, a large number of bookies are logged on to international websites for updates on rates. The password is obtained from agents in Dubai, sources revealed.