After last year's police crackdown, IPL bookies this year are taking no chances. They are using code numbers/names during betting to avoid the police.
This process will ensure there is no leakage of information and the police are unable to trace them.
The seventh season of the IPL begins on April 16. The first 20 matches in the first phase will be played in Dubai; the remaining in India. Dubai has traditionally been the backyard of underworld activities and the hub of multi-billion dollar betting racket, which is run allegedly at the behest of the Dawood Ibrahim gang.
According to sources in the bookie world and the underworld, last year the Mumbai and Delhi police were able to arrest several top bookies (Sunil Bhatia, Chandra Prakash Jain alias Jupiter, Tinku Mandi, Ramesh Vyas, Pawan Jaipur, Badri) because they knew their identities.
"It was easy to arrest these people as they were based in India. We could not arrest Master Salman, Javed Chootani, Babloo, Javed UBL and Vickey as they were based in Dubai," a senior police officer said.
This time bookies are using code numbers/names so that the police are unable to identify them or their locations. Some of the codes being used are D88, V2, Sai 26. "Some are using initials such as RR, FK as their codes," a source said. "Numbers from 1 to 88 have been given to various bookies across the country. These numbers have been given according to the importance of the bookie and the amount of money they generate through betting."
Every bookie has a cash limit, which he has to follow while taking bets. "The minimum is Rs2 lakh. A bookie cannot accept anything less than Rs2 lakh per match," the source said. "There is of course no upper limit."
Apart from this, there are other code words like Ghoda (Horse). "For a particular match, the favourite team to win is called Ghoda and the loser Langda Ghoda (crippled horse)," the source said. "Colour is another word used to indicate that the team, which started as the favourite to win a match, is actually winning.
"If India is a favourite to win before a match and it is evident during the match that India is winning, the bookie will typically respond by saying: 'match main colour aaya hai'."
People who wish to place bets have to call up a particular number called Popat (Parrot) line. "One gets the current betting rates through IVR. Bets cannot be placed on this number. For that you have to call up another number," another source said.