The Weekend Leader - For Delhi punters, AAP seems favourite but BJP too gains from Shaheen Bagh (IANS Exclusive)

For Delhi punters, AAP seems favourite but BJP too gains from Shaheen Bagh (IANS Exclusive)



Betting syndicates operating online from Dubai are predicting victory for AAP in Delhi, even as BJP seems to be gaining in numbers in the past two weeks.

Major betting site "Skyexchange", which predominantly operates through a network of bookies on its app, has given 58/60 seats to AAP while BJP is presently struggling at 9/11. Congress is at the bottom with just 2 seats.

A Noida-based bookie, who is networked with Skyexchange, said that two weeks ago, AAP was flying high at 69. However, as Shaheen Bagh protests hogged the limelight, BJP now appears to be gaining from a communal polarisation over the Citizen Amendment Act.

Another betting app has given the score of 8/9 to BJP and 58/60 to AAP. Explaining the ground rules, the bookie told IANS: "By 8/9 we mean that if a punter says 'yes' for 9(seats) then he confirms that BJP would be get more than 9 seats. If he says 'no' for 8, it means BJP would get less than 8 seats. He (punter) wins according to the bets placed by him, which are usually placed through apps."

Sources said that every bid has its deadline and money related to a win or a loss exchanges hands in cash. The amounts are settled within a day, leaving a component of commission for the bookie as well as the syndicates operating from across the border.

"Like cricket, the rates do fluctuate during polls too. If Amit Shah addresses a large gathering and makes a scathing attack on his opponents, and if his remarks get media attention, the BJP surely benefits from such political developments. Similarly, Kejriwal's successful roadshows also have a positive impact on AAP," a bookie from Chandni Chowk told IANS.

The National Capital Region (NCR) of Delhi, Hapur, Ghaziabad, Faridabad and Old Delhi, which includes Chandni Chowk and wholesale markets like Khari Bawli, are considered major hubs of betting, which is a crime under the Gambling Act.

"Whenever there is a tip-off, we raid dens of bookies who these days operate online. Cricket bookies run their businesses during polls too. The only difference is the manner in which bids are placed. In cricket, for example in T-20 format, bids are often placed on every ball," said an ACP rank officer of the Crime Branch of Delhi police.

The officer said that many betting syndicates are operating from Dubai and other overseas places. As betting is illegal in India, the amount placed on big events cannot be ascertained. However, there are punters in Chandni Chowk who place individual bids running into several crores of rupees, said a bookie operating in Sadar Bazar.IANS 

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