Addiction makes people vulnerable to bookmakers


Lahore is home to more than 93 betting places which are being run in connivance with the police officials.

Every month billions of rupees are gambled which is facilitated by players, retired players and their family members, who are experienced with the players being gambled on, to help in setting guidelines for the rates.

This betting business is working right under the noses of police officers; in fact, sometimes even in their partnership. The involvement of police officials hinders putting curbs on these places. Bookies are arrested but they are released without any proper action as they have the right connections; sometimes after paying some fine, even when they have been arrested red-handed.

Some of the major bookies’ names and places in Lahore are Shah Alam Market’s Gaadi Pehlwan and Mian Baber alias Babbla of Gawalmandi, Neam Butt Panorama Shopping Centre, Malik Aslam, Defence, Khalid Arif Ali Jaan and Hafiz Imran Irfan, Bagbanpura, Shabaz, Gulburg, Main Billu, Samanabad, Nayyar, Model Town, Haji Nasir, Faial Town, Shaukat Nagra, Nawa Kot, Zaheer Dogar, Johar Town, Javed alias Jeda, Gawalmandi, Sheikh Umar Sabzazar, Nomi, Shahdara, Maqsood, Lower Mall, Safdar and Rana Amjad, Raiwand Road, Gulam Abbas, Lyton Road, Naqi Abbas, Johar Town, Kafeel, Gulshan Ravi, Zahid, Old Anarkali, Salamat, New Anarkali, Afzal, Mozang Road, Wajahidullah, Shalimar Town and many more.

They have links with king bookmakers in countries like South Africa, India and Dubai and deposited million of rupees in their Bet-Fair accounts. These bookies pass on bet-rates to the small bookies, who then earn money by working for commission.

The bookies have specific spots – cigarettes shops, snooker clubs, grocery stores – for pick and drop of betting money. The small bookies operate in their respective areas without any trouble from police because they pay Rs 30,000 to 35,000 per month to police.

A bookmaker, on the condition of anonymity – told to this scribe that the biggest bets were placed on Pak-India cricket matches. The facilitators of these bets are retired cricketers and other higher officials, due to which it is almost impossible to stop match-fixing, he said. These people got players and even their relatives into match fixing and the both earn millions of rupees.

Bookmakers are able to earn billions of dollars. Sometimes, well-known bookmaker gets to know which team would win and help them to earn.

According to a former senior police official, there are police officers who have political affiliations and they do whatever they want to do and no one dares to ask them. There are like king’s favourite servants if someone dares to inquire then he has to bear the brunt. There were so many officers who were still working on good posts despite having inquiries against them, he said. ‘If any officer tries to take legal action against them, he is transferred or stopped’, he added. He said that one possibility of stopping match-fixing was to transfer all those officers including inspectors, SHOs and moharrars who have spent more than 3 years in the same city. He said, ‘If that is not possible, then the police should make a list of top bookmakers’ phone records and filter these records to find the supporting police officials and take strict action against them.

A police inspector said that they could not take action against these bookmakers and their supporters on their own or unless they have got orders to do so. For example, Masti Gate SHO Khawar raided a place and arrested a big bookmaker but he was released on the order of a very senior police official and Khawar was transferred to the desk job. Khawar’s badge mates and colleagues were promoted to higher ranks but he never got a promotion because his ACR was ruined. Any officer who wants to work honestly, he stands nowhere, either he is transferred or sent to Police Lines.

According to a reliable survey by this scribe, more than 2600 gambling dens are being run in the city and the concerned SHOs, DSPs and SPs know about these places.

Somehow the police officials claim that they are taking action against these dens but their inability to act against these dens or corruption have destroyed the lives of thousands of people.

Operations DIG Dr Haider Ashraf has ordered all the SHOs and SPs to take strict action against these dens.