by Renee Israel
Indian officials announced that they had arrested six men in the Kandivali
region who are suspected of being involved in an illegal betting racket.
The police said that the men had placed bets on the UK-based sports betting
According to the police involved in the case, they had made a request to
Indian authorities to block the Betfair site in India over a year ago, but
nothing had been done about it.
According to a Crime Branch officer: "Someone in the UK had opened an account
on Betfair.com and given the password to the arrested men, who used it to access
the website and place bets on IPL matches."
"When the raid was conducted," said that police, "bets were being placed on a
ball-to-ball basis, over-to-over basis and on runs made by batsmen or conceded
The Indian bookmakers were operating their account at Betfair, and using the
betting assessment software to manage their illegal operations.
The officer added about the Indian bookies betting on Betfair: "We had
written to the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) in New Delhi around a
year ago to block the website in India."
Larger Illegal Betting Syndicate
The six men operating in Kandivali, including Sonu Jalan and Devendra
Kothari, were part of a much larger syndicate, it is
The men were linked to an illegal betting syndicate based in Pakistan and
Dubai, with massive annual turnovers.
The police nearly nabbed one of the mean, Jalan, in October last year, but he
managed to escape just before a surprise police raid.
The authorities said that one of the most notorious bookmakers in India, who
goes by the name Junior Kolkata, was also arrested in the latest raid.
The police confirmed: "We have learned that Junior Kolkata was also involved
in the racket busted on Thursday."
Betfair to Launch Fixed Betting Website
In the meantime, Betfair is making plans to launch its fixed betting platform
this year, where bookies can essentially price up events several months before
they actually take place.
Until now, Betfair was offering a peer-to-peer betting model, which has some
advantages, but its main disadvantage is that liquidity is only built close to
Betfair believes that its new betting platform will be more suitable to the
needs and requirements of its over four million players. It is estimated that
around 30% of Betfair customers turn to rival sites due to this group not
offering fixed betting.
"Why should customers have to go elsewhere and why would we willingly let
this large chunk of business walk out the door?" questioned Betfair's sports
operations director, Nick Hagen.