Indore bets on NaMo return but there's a mood swing

Indore bets on NaMo return but thereIndore bets on NaMo return but there's a mood swing

Indore: There is a sense of wariness in the satta market as the unauthorised betting network is known. This follows a raid over Indian Premier League (...

Indore: There is a sense of wariness in the satta market as the unauthorised betting network is known. This follows a raid over Indian Premier League (IPL) punters in Bhopal last Sunday that led to recovery of over Rs 100 crore and arrest of many bookies. The police crackdown has broken down the bookies links that allegedly connect them with Dubai kingpins.

Mediapersons reporting the market have been warned to be guarded. There is a fear of phones being tapped. The satta market at Indore has acquired some credibility of sorts over the predictions that often go right. Indore has been the satta hub for ages. People in their 70s recall stories about animated betting even over the rainfall or lack of it.

The focus this time is more on cricket because spectrum is wide, and each nuance of the game can be betted upon. On the election front post-Pulwama pull had sent the BJP's stock soaring and the satta markets in Indore (MP), Falodi (Rajasthan) and Hapur (UP) had all offered heavy returns on money staked on the party. Indore market was offering double returns on anyone betting for less than 245 seats for the BJP.

There is a change in the trend over the past couple of weeks. Interestingly, the satta market trends available online refer to the rates prevailing a month ago. Is there a change in the ratings? Many elements can affect the poll results. For instance, the naming of Sadhvi Pragya Thakur as BJP candidate from Bhopal has caused waves in the market.

Now with the IPL and polling season coming together the punters should have had the best of both worlds. But this brake on their activities has become the talk of the trade. There is a caution on BJP's going rate although it continues to range between 200 and 235. Tuesday's polling in Chhattisgarh and other states has dipped the BJP supporters' confidence.

Something similar had happened in the heartland states during the Assembly elections. There was big money on BJP returning to power in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh till a month before the polls. There was a drastic change two weeks prior to the polling and trends changed in favour of the Congress.

The overall odds are 80 paise on the BJP and Rs 1.25 on the Congress. One punter explained: "If you bet one rupee on the BJP winning these states, you will get a return of 80 paise. For the same value of money on Congress, you would get Rs 1.25."

Insiders say the market has opened up and rates would change as date of counting May 23 approaches. "Exit polls also tell you about the mood of the political outcome and we expect that odds in favour of Congress will go up. It may become 100 paise for BJP and 90 paise for Congress," the punter said.

Going by the satta mood, the betting syndicate fancies between 230 and 245 seats for the BJP. Between 12 and 15 out 29 for the BJP in Madhya Pradesh, between 2 and 4 out of 11 in Chhattisgarh and between 15 and 17 out of 25 for Congress in Rajasthan.

"There are many punters, but they operate under four or five big players here. The police have already arrested four punters, and now they have become cautious. Some of them have shifted their base to Mumbai. But businessmen here are still putting a lot of money in satta through these old players," said a regular bookie.

The big players have their networks in many cities like Indore, Mumbai, Jaipur and others. "People know each other in this business. Small time players always operate under their bosses and these bosses know each other. Even if they shift their bases, they are always in touch with each other through Internet or mobile phones. To avoid police, they keep changing our contact numbers very often," he added.

Even before the first round of polling takes place next Monday in Madhya Pradesh. Chief Minister Kamal Nath and his son are in the fray to make a debut in the Assembly and Lok Sabha respectively.

The betting market in Indore is predicting a 50:50 share for the Congress and the BJP in the state. Though the market odds were in favour of the BJP on Monday, the scenario changed on Wednesday.Indore

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