Saturday June 8, 2013 : BETFAIR SHOULD BE BLOCKED, SAYS INDIAN STATE
Accusations that crisis-ridden cricket betting is being aided by UK betting exchange
The publication Indian Express reports that the government of Maharashtra, a province in Western India, believes that the UK betting exchange Betfair is facilitating Indian betting, particularly on corruption-troubled cricket matches, and should be blocked by national ISPs.
The provincial government has asked the federal government repeatedly to block Betfair on all Indian internet service providers, and Indian Express claims that the Bombay High Court in March 2010 ordered that action be taken against Betfair within three months.
"However, the website remains accessible and was used by bookies for a major chunk of their betting on IPL matches,: the publication reports.
Sources in betting circles allege that eight prominent bookies, who are named in the Indian Express report, operate master accounts on Betfair.com and have created sub-accounts and provided their passwords to sub-dealers in India and Pakistan.
"These sub-dealers in turn provide access on the web site to bookies and punters. Accounts are then settled through hawala channels. After the Mumbai Police began cracking down on gambling in 2009, it found that bookies had shifted their operations online. Investigators learnt that prominent bookies had acquired accounts on betfair.com," the newspaper claims, adding that a year ago Mumbai Police investigating corruption and betting on cricket found that bookies were placing wagers on Betfair.
Maharashtra's requests for federal action have been met with a negative response by the national government, which informed the provincial authorities: "The case was examined within the ambit of the provisions of the IT Act (section 69A and the rules published therein). The examination was on the basis of information provided by Maharashtra government and Mumbai Police.
"The committee set up under the rules notified under section 69A recommended that based on the facts and data provided by the Maharashtra government and Mumbai Police, violation of section 69A of the IT Act was not established."
Betfair has thus far not commented on the issue.