New Delhi: The demonetisation step taken up by the Narendra Modi-led government might have failed to find a common consensus among the political parties, and general public, but a certain group has claimed that this unprecedented move hit them hard.
According to a report in HT, cricket betting in India has received a massive jolt, like one never felt before, after the November 8 announcement. And it came on the eve of the first Test match between India and England in Rajkot.
“Ours is a cash-based business and the government’s decision has hit us hard. There are millions of rupees in circulation,” a Delhi-based bookie told HT.
The illegal betting in India is reportedly worth a whopping Rs 300,000 per year, with bookies primarily focusing on cricket. The India-England series was supposed to be a windfall, but the demonetisation of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 — two of the most popular denominations — have yorked the bookies.
“The government announced its decision on 8th evening… This is an important series for people involved in the business. No one got a chance to recover,” another bookie was quoted as saying.
However, many bookers think that the 'business' will be back to normal once the dust settles.
“Actually, all have earned enough money. So, I don’t think it will take long for us to forget our losses due to demonetisation,” said a bookie, who was among those arrested after the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal.
“But the crunch of new currency will hit the business hard as Indian team is in the middle of a series and is going to play more matches in coming months,” he added.
There's talk of legalising betting in India, and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) published a report last month claiming that at least Rs 19,000 crore can be earned annually by imposing a 20% tax, if sports betting is legalised.
Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Indore, Surat, Mumbai and Delhi remain the hub of illegal betting in India.