Cricket Gambling or Slot Sites?

Virat Kholi acknowledges the crowd during his innings in the First One Day International - Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune, India
©Reuters
 

In some countries, cricket is all but unheard of, while in others, it’s the heart and soul of the nation’s sports lovers. As can be expected, a sport with this kind of popularity has also generated its fair share of controversy over the years – but when one takes a look behind the scenes of the huge betting community that surrounds it, the results can be a bit shocking even for those who were prepared for some odd sights! One thing is for sure, with the way that sports betting is today, the average punter may be better sticking to really simple bets where the market is more efficient. Either that or accept that the market is distorted and decide instead to gamble on slot sites like Casumo instead, where you know the odds are against you but that its quantified and fair!

The Indian Betting Scene

India, for example, one of the most important countries for cricket lovers, has a firm negative stance towards betting on the sport, and the situation has led to many controversial developments over the years. Even though the community has been very vocal and outspoken about their desire to see betting on the sport legalized, the government is still firm on their stance. Which, for those familiar with the local state of affairs, should be nothing surprising.

One can find news about yet another scandal related to cricket betting in the area on a pretty much daily basis. The illegal nature of these bets has allowed an underground scene to develop and flourish, with various negative consequences for the locals.

The typical news talks about another major (or not so much) arrest related to illegal cricket betting, and while it does look like the police are taking this problem seriously, looking at the actual arrests they’re pulling off paints a slightly different picture. The majority of events involve a couple of people running a small-scale betting game, and are usually nowhere near the level of a huge bust that one would expect be a regular occurrence.

Cracking down on underground gambling

Indeed, there is a certain air of distrust around the way police are doing this part of their job, with many people believing that cricket betting in India is still alive and well, but only for those who can afford to draw authorities’ attention away from their own sessions.

Of course, there is also the occasional report of a more major bust resulting in a dozen or more arrests, with the additional confiscation of equipment and documentation related to the betting organization. But still, people have a severe level of distrust in the way the system works, and many agree that it would be better for everyone if cricket betting was made legal and sanctioned by the state.

The sums involved in the various busts that have gone down over the years vary, but it’s not rare to see amounts in the Rs. 100,000 range on a regular basis. There is also the question of how much the public really knows about the current state of illegal cricket betting, as it’s entirely possible that there are many major incidents that are never revealed publicly.

The corruption sometimes spills outside of the zone of cricket betting, too. A Delhi banker who got severely burned in a bad bet decided to recover his losses by running a scam on an unsuspecting woman whose accounts he was able to obtain access to. Whether or not cricket betting had a direct role here is hard to say – and the banker would have probably still resorted to similar tactics even if he had lost his money on legal bets – but a more open scene would at least allow investigators to do their jobs more easily when an incident like this occurs.

And then we have more extreme examples, like 19-year-old Basupalli Vijay, who committed suicide while blaming cricket betting in his final message to the world. In his video, he warned people that they should stay away from betting, and that he’s taking his life because of it. An extreme view by most people’s standards, sure, but one can only imagine the hell a person could find themselves in if they suddenly land in a serious gambling debt. It’s not something that you can just remove by snapping your fingers, and often, your life suffers a lot as a result of your actions. It’s indeed not uncommon for troubled betters to find themselves suffering from depression and other psychological issues, and help often comes far too late as it’s not easy to spot a person going through a difficult time like that.

The future for India

There is a silver lining in the tunnel though – it does look like India is on the way to legalizing the betting aspect of the sport sooner or later, although the exact timeline remains a bit blurry. Considering the way politics go in that part of the globe, it might indeed be a while before we see any concrete deadlines.

It’s also important to remember that the legality of cricket betting is not the only issue associated with the scene, and even if it became legal, the problem of addiction would still remain. That’s actually a major argument brought forward by those opposing the eventual legalization of cricket betting, and it’s a discussion that keeps going back and forth with both sides refusing to admit that the other might have a point.

And when we see incidents like the one above plastered all over the news, it’s easy to see how the average person’s opinion on cricket betting can deteriorate significantly without any involvement with the scene. Therefore, it’s important that the public is properly informed about the actual dangers associated with the sport, and that everyone is on the same page with regards to the effects that it has on people’s lives.

It’s not like the situation is doomed to failure anyway – with proper regulation and a significant effort to keep people informed, cricket betting can be beneficial to the economy and it can help many people scratch that itch for spinning some money randomly. Of course, a lot of work will have to be done to pave the way for such a reformation, but this comes down to the willingness of people to make it a reality.

The global betting situation

India is far from the only place on Earth involved in cricket betting controversies on the other hand, and we’ve seen various reports from all over the globe, with varying levels of severity. A major scandal in the 1981 Ashes series involving players Dennis Lillee and Rod Marsh led many to believe that an important game was rigged in favor of overwhelmingly unlikely odds. In the end, nothing was proven concretely, but the event left a bitter taste in the mouths of many fans of the sport. In addition, this event was part of a broader range of scandals that engulfed the sport for a period of nearly two decades.

Cricket betting tips and strategies

As for those who want to try their own hand at cricket betting – where dose one start? It’s a bit of a complicated field for newcomers, and those with no prior betting experience might find themselves overwhelmed by the huge variety of options available to them. It gets even worse if you live in a country where cricket betting is more popular, in which case the active, developed scene will probably get in your way more than it helps you.

It’s important to follow individual players in this sport, and to know how to adjust your betting strategy according to who will be playing exactly. It’s not just about teams here, and the exact composition of a team at any time will matter significantly.

You can also benefit significantly from knowing which players to bet on in individual options. This can be more complicated for those who don’t pay close attention to the sport and don’t follow the metagame, but it can be a very lucrative venue for the rest. Of course, you have to be careful in your choices here as in the end, you are betting a lot on the performance of a single player, something that can go through significant variances depending on the circumstances.

On that note, you should also look into handicap betting if you think you have a deeper understanding of the way the game works, and you know for certain that a particular player is going to explode in popularity and performance soon. This can be very difficult to predict – and the odds usually reflect this quite well – but if you are patient enough and spend a lot of time analyzing games and following the scene, you’re going to spot some patterns sooner or later.

From then on, it’s a matter of keeping track of the things you’ve noticed previously and recording everything in a systematic way that can be easily reviewed afterwards. Sooner or later you’re going to start noticing some repeating patterns here and there, and the rest will fall into place practically by itself. Just remember that handicap betting is something that may work spectacularly here and there, but will incur huge losses for you if you’re not careful, and even worse, if you end up relying on it too heavily.

There are plenty of strategies to get ahead in the game, but the most important factor shared by all of them is persistence. As long as you keep following the scene and know what to expect from any upcoming game, you’ll be able to make some winning bets here and there. And soon enough, you’ll find yourself profiting slowly but steadily.

As said though, with a lot of match fixing going on it may be better to bet on other forms of gambling instead like online casinos where you know things are done fairly.

Cleaning up the illegal betting market

Should you have to do this through a shady, unregulated market? Of course the instinctive reaction would be to say “no”, but as we saw above, the reality is not so black and white, and there are many details to be wary of. Only if we can ensure that those who are most vulnerable to the potential problems resulting from careless gambling are protected, should we move towards making this an open sport available to everyone. In the meantime, we should perhaps focus on the real issues throughout society that are the result of betting.

Some even go as far as to romanticize the whole thing. There is no shortage of films and TV shows that use illegal cricket betting as a feature in their environments, and some of those have managed to see good success, such as “99”. Many of those films are coming out of the Indian region, which should be no surprise to anyone familiar with the sport.

Perhaps this is a major contributing factor to the problematic nature of cricket betting? Just like many forbidden things, the mysterious nature surrounding cricket betting in this region has served as a drawing factor for many people for quite some time now. It can be argued, therefore, that lifting the ban on the activity would make it far more mundane to the masses, and fewer young people would be sucked into a life of constant gambling and debt. However, looking at regular betting in other countries, it’s hard to say if there really will be such a positive result.

Controversial fixed matches are something else that will likely fade away if cricket betting was legalized. The scene would become more open and easier to investigate, plus those who could potentially control games like that will now be forced to step into the light more often, rather than lurk in the shadows. Of course, this assumes that the implementation of legalized cricket betting will be done in a well thought-out way, and won’t be prone to corruption and scandals like other aspects of the politics in the region.

So should you bet on cricket or should you bet on slot sites? That’s also hard to predict, but many are convinced in the sport’s potential to get a lot more exposure if India made betting on it legal. We’re going to see whether there’s any truth to that or not, as it does look like India is moving in the direction of making everything legal and open to public eyes. There could be some serious changes in both that region and the rest of the world stemming from this potential legalization in the coming years, so those who’re interested in cricket and its betting side should keep their eyes open but in the short-term.