Unemployment pushes punters into online gambling and lotteries

NEW DELHI: Delhi Police has recently arrested a Delhi man in an illegal gambling racket and found that the accused had purportedly turned to hosting lottery games during the COVID-19 lockdown owing to his unemployment and in a bid to take advantage of people looking to make a quick buck during this time of crisis.

Police said the man was caught operating from Jama Masjid and later found that he was promising a Rs 7,000 payout on a Rs 100 bet.

"The accused told us that in the present scenario he is unemployed so he started gambling," an investigator said. Police said that they had sent a policeman as a decoy to place the Rs 100 bet.

"The accused was giving a numerical number to his customers and similarly he gave a number to the decoy and then wrote that number in his diary. After the procedure was completed the decoy gave a signal to the raiding party, who later arrested the suspect," an official said, adding that a diary was found in his pocket with only numbers written. During interrogation, he said that he conducts a random draw and the number selected gets the Rs 7,000 pay out.

With the ongoing lockdown, Delhi Police investigators told the Millennium Post that despite not receiving many complaints, "it is a fact that online gambling would be happening". One Crime Branch official said, "There are so many websites where anyone can be a member and start playing the games."

Meanwhile, Cyber Cell investigators believe that online gambling rackets operate in extremely closed circuits. One official said it is likely that people get together on online gaming platforms that provide the ability to live chat with others.

The official said that these chatting platforms on gaming applications are often used to place bets and run gambling networks. "These websites are from foreign countries," the official said.

In April, police had arrested eight people for gambling in Rohini Sector 16 when a stricter version of the lockdown was in place. During a raid on a house, eight people were found gambling, police said, adding that Rs 95,600 in cash and five new packets of playing cards have been recovered.

Earlier, Delhi Police have busted several gangs where the accused were found using betting assistant softwares to maintain records of their clients.

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