Schoolkids fall prey to IPL betting ring, run into debt

Schoolkids fall prey to IPL betting ring, run into debt

'Gambling now a status symbol, all age groups into it'

Schoolchildren in the Capital are not untouched by the world of gambling. They fall prey to the IPL betting syndicate to make “easy” pocket money, say detective agencies.

Parents of a 17-year-old student have approached a detective agency asking them to spy on their daughter. “They wanted to know why she did not talk at home? Why she would remain irritated and not take interest in anything? They said she would just lock herself in her room and spend hours alone,” said Naman Jain from Sleuths India.

“They thought she had started taking drugs.”

Later, it was found that she had got into a bad company and started gambling and betting, he added. “She would not only steal money but also jewellery from her home to make up for the losses. Moreover, she had started staying out for nights to stay in pubs and bars till late,” Jain said.

When she was confronted with evidence, she ran from her home. “She started staying with her middle-aged woman friend who had led her into illegal activities. She also tried filing a complaint of domestic violence against her parents,” he added.

Detective agencies say the number of cases, involving students, are increasing every year. Jain said, “We get a minimum of 70 to 80 cases per month for spying on schoolchildren. And in 20 per cent of the cases, kids are involved in betting.”

Sleuths say parents are generally interested in knowing where do their children spend the money. “When the parents come to know that money is being pinched by their children, they look for a detective. They want to know if their kids are taking drugs or involved in a bad company, which is making them do such things,” said Rahul Rajat, a private investigator.

The cricketing season adds fuel to the fire. “Schoolchildren in search of easy money start betting in IPL games, which seem easier than gambling,” Rajat added.

Parents of a class 11 student approached the private investigator. “They wanted to know about their son’s daily activity after school,” Rajat said. “After watching him for some time, it was found that he had started betting in cricket and was in a huge debt,” he added.

The betting racket runs through the word of mouth. “Betting has spread in our society so much that it has become a status symbol. And people of all age groups are involved in it,” Jain said.

“The whole betting syndicate is run through telecommunication — over the mobile phones.”

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