Authorities struggle to control illegal sports bettingPolice say they are helpless as betting activities and transactions are taking place online, which is difficult to monitor.
The month-long Euro Cup final ends Sunday, or wee hours of Monday Nepal time. Copa America final sees footballing giants Brazil and Argentina early Sunday morning Nepal time.
These have been opportunities for betting for Nepali gamblers although it is considered illegal by the Nepali law.
On Wednesday, Lalitpur Metropolitan Police Range busted a football betting network, run by five men.
According to Senior Superintendent Kiran Bajracharya, chief of Lalitpur Metropolitan Police Range, they used to run betting from social media platforms like Whatsapp and Facebook.
“They used to collect cash from digital platforms like e-sewa and Khalti or the amount was directly deposited to a bank account,” Bajracharya told the Post.
With tournaments like the Euro Cup and Copa America going on, police have increased vigilance in restaurants and clubs where most of such events take place, Bajracharya said.
On Monday, Metropolitan Crime Division had arrested eight individuals, including three Indian nationals, from different parts of Kathmandu for organising illegal online betting over the ongoing Euro Cup 2020.
Police also seized over Rs3.4 million from them.
“We acted on a tip-off about ongoing illegal betting in Nepal and India and raided various places and arrested the persons,” said Senior Superintendent Chandra Kuber Thakur, chief of Metropolitan Crime Division.
Section 125 of the National Penal (Code) Act, 2017 prohibits gambling and betting in Nepal.
Every year, Nepal Police busts several betting rackets, however, they are only able to arrest agents as the main people involved in operating such illegal rackets are mostly abroad.
SSP Thakur and Bajracharya also agree with the point.
According to them, since betting is now running online, it has become difficult to track people involved in betting.
“Most of the arrests are made after police are tipped-off mostly by those people who themselves have lost the money in betting,” said Thakur.
Thakur is aware that betting through websites have also thrived in Nepal. However, police are helpless as such activities are difficult to monitor.
“I have heard about betting through websites, but as such websites are not operated from Nepal. So, there is nothing we can do,” said SSP Thakur.
Many Nepalis, especially youngsters, are using websites like 1XBet and Stake for sports betting.
According to R, who wished to be identified by only his initial letter, betting on websites is easy, so many of his friends including him have been betting in games for fun.
“You can bet even Rs 20 in the game,” said R.
According to him, they have to first create a profile in such websites after which they top up to Nepali agent number through Khalti which later sends the amount to profiles in betting websites.
“The reward depends upon the risk you take, if you guess the winner you get less profit but if you guess goals by player or goal difference, you could get double or even triple the amount you bet,” said R. “If you win the bet, then you can transfer the money to an agent account who will later send the amount to your account.”
According to Senior Superintendent Ashok Singh, chief of Kathmandu Metropolitan Police Range, they have found many instances where people were cheated by bet organisers as many people involved in such illegal betting business are out of the country.
SSP Singh has urged the general public to file a complaint in Nepal Police as soon as they hear about the ongoing illegal betting.