November 09, 2007

Diwali betting a boon for punters

Bookies and gamblers are likely to engage in hectic activity during the second one-day international match between India and Pakistan on Thursday. The fact that it is being held during Diwali when betting activities form part of traditional festivity in the country is only adding to it.

Some local bookies, according to sources, have already thrown offers open accepting bets on favourite India, which is pegged at around 75 paise against the visitors arch-rival Pakistan’s 80 paise. "Initially, India would be a favourite but fluctuations are likely to take place as the match progresses," said an insider. "The toss would be crucial and lot of bets would follow the toss decision in the morning," added the source.

Though most of the bookies have preferred to remain underground or shift outside the city limits, the gambling season has thrown them an opportunity of making big business prior to Diwali.

"Lots of gambling enthusiasts have already started preparing as a part of the traditional festivity. The match between India and Pakistan has only enhanced the mood before Diwali," said a source.

Apart from cricket betting, sources claimed that gambling would be a major activity in the city over the Diwali weekend. "Several enthusiasts are booking hotel rooms, resorts and also organising parties at private premises to gamble. An astronomical amount of cash is likely to change hands," said an insider.