It turns out that Russians will bet on literally anything, including fake cricket matches in India. It also turns out that some people in India will go to great lengths to earn some money via sports betting.
According to The Times of India, an Indian village put together an operation to broadcast fake Indian Premier League cricket matches to attract Russian bettors.
The Indian Premier League (IPL) is quite literally the premier cricket league in the world. So, in order to dupe these Russian bettors, this Indian village had to go all out, which they did.
The village brought together fake players, a fake umpire, a broadcaster with HD cameras, and even pumped in fake crowd noise to trick the bettors. Players also wore jerseys from actual IPL teams during the staged matches as well.
The operators of the fake matches took live wagers, too, and controlled the game by signaling to the players what to do based on the money coming in. Those in Russia placing wagers did so via telegram.
It sounds as if just one man came up with the idea. He worked in a Russian pub that held actual workshops on how to bet on cricket (who knew those existed?) and then got in contact with a resident of India to get the fake matches underway.
Maybe the wildest part of the entire story is that the operation wasn’t discovered quickly, the fake matches went on for weeks before police realized what exactly was going on. The IPL had wrapped up its official season three weeks prior to the fake matches being busted up.
Follow Mark Harris on Twitter: @itismarkharris
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