Wal­lets Grew Lighter as Hope Stayed Alive Till the Very End

The Economic Times - - Living Room -

In­dia’s loss to West Indies in the semi­fi­nals of the Twenty20 world cup didn’t just break hearts, it also light­ened a lot of wal­lets. Those who wa­gered money on In­dia’s play­ers do­ing much bet­ter than they ac­tu­ally did at the Wankhede sta­dium in Mum­bai on Thurs­day night suf­fered much the same­fateasMSDho­niand­his­nownotso-jolly band of crick­eters.

Post-match in­ter­views with pun­ters and book­ies in In­dia’s wholly un­of­fi­cial bet­ting mar­ket re­vealed that women now form a sig­nif­i­cant pro­por­tion of those plac­ing bets. While they are less prone to wild wa­gers, this time they lost big as ex­pec­ta­tions of an In­dia win had been as firm as Rahul Dravid’s wall it would seem. As to­how­much­bet­ting­money­was­rid­ing on­the­w­ho­le­tour­na­ment—the­ex­perts sug­gested a ball­park fig­ure of ₹ 30,000 crore. In­di­vid­ual bets can start at ₹ 5,000-10,000, ris­ing to ₹ 25 lakh to ₹ 50 lakh. Since such gam­bling is il­le­gal in In­dia, all fig­ures are un­ver­i­fi­able.

While­both­theWestIndiesand Eng­lan­dare­given­sim­i­lar­o­dds for the fi­nal on Sun­day at Eden Gar­dens in Kolkata, book­ies don’t ex­pect too many peo­ple to place bets. The price be­ing of­fered is 97 paise on both—that’s how much a Re 1 bet would pay out in the event of a win.

There are var­i­ous types of bets, com­plete with in­trigu­ing tags like ‘lambi baari’ and ‘up-down.’ The plainest va­ri­ety is the one on which team will win. Then there’s spot bet­ting, which iswhat­con­vulsedtheIn­di­anPremier League and led to two teams be­ing scrapped last year.

Lam­bibaarirefer­sto­such­bets­made on how many runs will be made in an over or overs. Up-down refers to how many runs a bats­man scores off a ball or­more.Spot­betscan­beon­how­much a team will score, what this will be af­ter a par­tic­u­lar num­ber of overs, how aball­will­be­playedand­soon.TheIPL scandal re­lated to the rig­ging of such bets, or spot fix­ing.

Most women make spot bets and bet smal­l­am­ounts,ac­cord­ing­toa­bookie. It should, how­ever, be pointed out that size is rel­a­tive—small in this case­meansamin­i­mu­mag­gre­ga­teof ₹ 1lakh,ac­cord­ing­tothe Mum­bai-based bookie.

“I have about 25 women clients and most of them tend to bet on the ses­sion of the game (spot bet­ting) rather than the out­come­ofthe­match,”he­said.

Book­ies agree that the num­ber of women bet­ting has gone up, es­pe­cially in Twenty20 games.

“I would say that about 10 to 15% of my­to­tal­clientswould­be­women,”said anAhmed­abad-based­bookie.Mostare in­tro­duced by hus­bands, brothers or friends.

Ac­cord­ing to a Mum­bai-based bookie, about ₹ 2,500 crore was wa­gered on theIn­dia-WestIndies­match,mostofit on spot bets. Some threw good money af­ter bad as the match pro­gressed.

“Around ₹ 1,500 crore bets were lost, many of them on lambi baari and up­down. Even though many peo­ple lost bets in the first five overs, they kept putting in more money, hop­ing they would re­cover, but In­dia lost,” said the bookie.

It is es­ti­mated that of the to­tal bets, around ₹ 200crore­waslostinspot­bets placed in Mum­bai. When the match started, any­one bet­ting on In­dia win­ning would get ₹ 148 on ev­ery ₹ 100 bet. Most peo­ple had put their money on In­dia cross­ing 200 (the team scored only 192).

When the hard-hit­ting Chris Gayle got out in the ini­tial overs, the odds short­ened--In­dia went to ₹ 126 per Re 100. By the 10th over of the West Indies in­nings, it was ₹ 115 paise per Re 100 in In­dia’s favour with very few pun­ters now ex­pect­ing an up­set. That op­ti­mism was alive in the 15th over too,with­many­wa­ger­ingth­attheWest Indies would not cross 188.

Amongth­eother­bet­sthatwentawry were the West Indies get­ting all out (it made a win­ning score of 196 for 3), mak­ing less than 150 runs, get­ting all out be­fore 20 overs, said Ahmed­abad­based bookie, adding, “Many peo­ple also laid bets in the last over on In­dia.” Un­for­tu­nately for them and millions of In­dian cricket fans, An­dre Rus­sell hit a six to win the match off the fourth ball of the last over.

Women now form a sig­nif­i­cant pro­por­tion of those plac­ing bets though they are less prone to wild wa­gers

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.