The TD and other parties like the CPI and the CPM are not getting any takers among the bookies in view of the upcoming bypolls. “Punters are betting on the YSRC. Interestingly, in Parkal, people are betting on the BJP rather than the TRS. In fact, there is heavy betting going on regarding the outcome in Parkal,” a betting industry source said. In spite of recent crackdowns on bookies, Hyderabad remains the nerve centre of the betting industry in AP with a turnover of around Rs 500 crore.
Besides Hyderabad, large-scale betting on the bypolls is going on in Vijayawada, Vizag, Kakinada, Vizianagaram, East Godavari and West Godavari. From a few thousand rupees, people are betting a couple of lakhs. The outcome at Parkal is seeing the most bets since it’s the only Assembly constituency in the Telangana region with a keen contest between the TRS, YSRC, BJP and the TD.
Though reports say that TRS has an edge in Parkal, it’s the BJP which is more popular among punters. “Betting has gone up after the arrest of YSRC chief Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy. The odds are in favour of YSRC as people are expecting the party to win due to the sympathy wave,” said a source. YSRC is also the favourite to win Nellore LS seat. Sources said most of those who place bets with bookies are businessmen, realtors, industrialists and political party supporters.
There are four major betting gangs operating in Hyderabad. However, betting of late has been decentralised to districts. “Some gangs charge a minimum of Rs 10,000 to restrict the betting to bigwigs,” the source said. “Old members have to vouch that the person is known to him and it’s safe to accept bets from him,” added the source.