10th of April 2012 Author: Johnny Karp
New way of getting round the restrictive betting laws
The latest innovation for bettors in the Indian market are Goonga cards, which are used by illegal mobile bettors on Indian cricket and are apparently still a mystery to the police.
Betting bans in India have forced bookies and bettors to find other ways to enjoy their favorite pastime, and the latest ones are Goonga cards, mobile SIM cards which are being handed over to close confidants and associates by leading bookies and sold at high prices for one-way communication.
According to a bookies, 'A few minutes before the match begins, we switch on the mobile and then start getting either SMSs or calls on it.
"There is no conversation and the messenger either calls from an unknown number or keeps changing his number. My job is to convey the latest rate to those who place bets and they put their money on the match accordingly. If the bookie who has sent me this card grows suspicious of me, he will make the SIM dysfunctional.'
In return, the bookie charges a monthly sum to Goonga users, whose SIM cards come from different mobile companies, which may have no clue about what their cards are used for.
The police are still clueless of this card tactic, and they admit that with bookies changing their cards and numbers so frequently, it is hard to continuously keep track of them.
Still, the police spokesman revealed: 'We have zeroed in on a few bookies who indulge in this illegal business. However, big fishes at whose behest they operate are yet to be tracked down. We have chalked out a special plan and have also been in touch with the mobile companies. By the time tournaments peak we hope to make a big breakthrough by catching a few key bookies."
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