Cell phone gambling news

The Underground World of Bookmakers and Betting in Pakistan

On March 28, 2007, with the varied ringing tones signaling new incoming wagers, all mobile phone calls are recorded on tape and one of the men in the area writes down the different amounts of money placed in bets and the odds that are currently offered on the game.

Hundreds of rupees are being placed in bets on the West Indies versus the New Zealand cricket game in this betting shop in Pakistan. A large black phone is set on speaker mode in the center of a betting shop. The phone is the open line to the main man in charge to set the odds and which officially monitors all the mobile phone calls and mobile gambling all over the city.

Potential bettors are led by men into a dark alley and up the stairs of a certain building, which is working for betting operators in Lahore. Wagering may be considered prohibited in Pakistan, but it is considered a major industry and the use of high tech mobile technology makes it virtually impossible for police officers in the country to track it down.

The World Cup of Cricket in Jamaica is good timing for most bettors and bookmakers to get into action. Mr. C, a bookmaker in Pakistan said that he personally believes that the betting mafia killed Bob Woolmer, the coach of the Pakistan National Cricket Team.

There have been different beliefs on whether the Pakistan-Ireland match, where Pakistan surprisingly lost to underdog Ireland, was fixed. Betting has always been a big money industry in most countries like Pakistan, despite the ongoing efforts of the International Cricket Council to stop it.


April 17, 2007
Matt Gross