IPL betting racket infiltrates schools

New Delhi: The Indian Premier League (IPL) betting syndicate has got the capital’s schoolchildren in its sights now. Children from Delhi’s top schools are increasingly getting involved in betting through bookies.

A Mail Today Investigation discovered that seven children have recently been withdrawn from their institutions after being caught with hands in the betting till. A new mobile phone application, or app, that can be easily downloaded on android phones is driving this trend.

Called ‘bet-droid viewer’, the app gives information on betting rates across teams. Teenagers are hooked. They get in touch first with the punters (middlemen of bookies), who in turn connect them to bookies.

It’s all word of mouth, and the punters are mostly cricket-playing students of Class 11 and 12. Samarth (identity concealed), a Class XII student of a prominent South Delhi school whose friend was involved in betting told Mail Today, “My friend got in touch with a boy who lured him into earning money through betting. He asked him to bet money on an IPL team and promised to double his money. My friend used to get Rs 3,000 as pocket money and he insisted on betting that sum but the bookie wanted him to bet Rs 10,000. So my friend stole money from his father’s pocket. This happened four or five times until his father got to know.”

The boy then sold his new iPhone 5 to pay his debts to the bookie, and his father withdrew him from the school and sent him to a boarding school in Mussoorie, Samarth added.

School authorities remain unaware. That’s because no parent has made a formal complaint to school authorities or the police. “If at all something like this is going on inside the school, it must be among students of Class 12 and Class 11. However, I have not received any such complaint so far,” said Ameeta Wattal, Principal Springdales School.

Another young boy from a well-known South Delhi school told Mail Today that the punters visit their school in the evening when only those who have a betting deal would stay back.

“Punters meet students in the cricket ground or somewhere near school after everybody has left, so that no one can suspect anything wrong,” said Tavish (identity concealed). Rahul, (identity concealed) a Class 12 student from a New Delhi school said, “I was a part of the IPL betting myself. I had met the bookies in my school cricket ground, they lured me into placing bets thrice and I lost around Rs 10,000. Thankfully, my parents did not get to know of it as all the money that I used was my pocket money and they do not generally keep track of it.”

Another student of the same school said, “I lost fifty thousand rupees in betting this season and had to sell off my bike to pay off the debts to the bookie. My father had recently purchased the bike for me and when he asked me where my bike is, I told him that it got stolen.”

Additional CP Crime Ravindra Yadav said, “We have not received a complaint about school kids being involved in betting so far. However, some of the bookies do involve school children. We recently arrested a bookie who gave us this information and we are working on this lead.”

The App That Drives The Vice

The bet-droid viewer is available for free on all android phones and online on Google Play.

After downloading it, you need to create an account, which is also linked to your bank account

After the account is created, you can see the betting rates of various teams, including IPL’s, basketball teams and those of other sports

Once you check the rates of a team, you have to contact a bookie to place a bet and then pay money through this application

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