Unbeknownst to most fans who don’t live in any of the countries currently participating in a certain international sports tournament, the 2015 Cricket World Cup is playing. It’s a pretty big deal for participating nations, not so much for the rest of the world.
It would be the understatement of understatements if I said that our friends in India love cricket. Actually, obsession might be a better word to describe it, akin to how Filipinos are obsessed with basketball.
Go anywhere in India these days and you’re likely to hear more conversations about the Cricket World Cup than any other topic. Such is the love Indians have for the sport that mock betting sites – sports betting is illegal in India – have been bombarded with Indian sports fans playing for a chance to win non-cash prizes.
According to the Economic Times India, sites like Betmockers, India Bet, and Lagai Khai are experiencing unprecedented levels of visits. IndiaBet.com managing director George Oborne told the newspaper that these sites (and apps) “provide a safe alternative to unregulated forms of gambling on offer in India.”
The surge in visits is largely attributed to residents of India, but Betmockers CEO Tabrez Sheikh said Indians living abroad are getting in on the action too. “Where during IPL (Indian Premier League) we clocked 13,000 visitors a month, with World Cup, even before it began, we started clocking around 22,000 visitors a month.”
Those numbers are expected to increase even more as India continues its run in the tournament. The national team currently sits atop Group B with a 2-0 record and could have an extended run in the tournament that might even end up with a run at the title. India entered the tournament as fourth favorites with its odds at 6/1 to win the tourney.
Australia remains the favorite at 13/8 odds, followed by New Zealand at 3/1 and South Africa at 4/1.