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Jaipur police arrests bookies facilitating bets through Betfair

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Betfair to be blocked?

The Jaipur crime branch has arrested two betting kingpins having links with the underworld and international betting syndicates for taking bets worth over Rs. 3,000 crores during the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), as per news reports.

Top bookies Ramesh Kumar Gangwal and Deepak Maheshwari were arrested by the crime branch after tracing their footprints online. The duo allegedly ran their betting network through international betting website Betfair and its skins.

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Although the Betfair website cannot be be accessed through Indian IP addresses after the company took a decision in January this year to discontinue accepting bets from India, Gangwal and Maheshwari used virtual private networks (VPNs) to circumvent the ban placed by Betfair.

According to the police, Gangwal is one of the top persons involved in the betting mafia in India and has links to the underworld in Dubai and Pakistan. Gangwal was allegedly in touch with a Punjab-based ‘super boss’ who used to provide lines and franchisees to other smaller bookies or agents to accept bets and retain a commission or share of profit based on the amounts bet.

To curb the menace of illegal gambling and betting, the All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November 2018 stating that several offshore betting websites, including Betfair, are illegally accepting players and deposits from India in contravention of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, Prevention of Money Laundering Act and other laws.

AIGF had urged the PM to block illegal gambling and betting websites that are not complying with Indian laws and urged the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to investigate the matter.

Read more on gambling laws in India.