Mangaluru: 'Bet' you cannot ignore this wakeup call

Florine Roche
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru

Mangaluru, Dec 15: The recently released Tulu movie Chaali Polilu subtly conveys the message that betting is a system that traps people, a system which people cannot beat. Rather those who indulge in it dig their own grave and perish in it. They also put their families in grave risk as they have to bear the brunt and also the ignominy for no fault of theirs. A few instances of this nature have come to light in Mangalore and this should serve as a wakeup call for all of us as it affects many of us directly and indirectly.

Many people get into betting because they believe it is simple way of entertainment and an easiest way to make money. But they get entrapped in the process from which they find it difficult to extricate unharmed. The odds are always staked against the person involved in betting or gambling and a few incidents involving some prominent people in Mangalore and Udupi add credence to this. If it was single number lottery that ruined many families a few years ago now it is betting that is playing havoc with the lives of those who indulge in it and with their families.

There have been rumous here and there that betting which is a subset of gambling is rampant in undivided Dakshina Kannada ever since IPL made its debut in India in 2008. Naturally it gave a further fillip to the betting kingpins to further their betting network by attracting more people to it. It was a ‘free for all’ kind of situation and it attracted even more numbers. They betted on anything from weather, participation of players, toss to ball by ball prediction.

During the 7th edition of IPL 7 police had arrested many people in Mumbai, Ahmedabd and Delhi for allowing betting in their websites. The tentacles of betting have spread even to the outskirts of the city as some Mumbai based kingpins have found out that they can find many dumb and stupid people here. In May 2012 a newly married youth who was also a pigmy collector from Belthangady had committed suicide. It was suspected subsequently that he suffered financial loss due to his indulgence in IPL betting. It was also revealed that he had used and lost even the pigmy amount he had collected from the public for his betting addiction.

In November this year a well known businessman from Mangaluru, who enjoyed a good reputation in the society as a man of integrity, committed suicide. This man in his early 50’s was a businessman who enjoyed a good name in his community. Needless to say, his suicide sent shock waves in the entire community not just because he committed suicide and left his family of wife and young children in the lurch. It is believed that this man who was caught in the whirlpool of betting, owed almost Rs 3 crores to his relatives, friends, well-wishers and even his employees. Though he belongs to a close-knit community where rumours spread faster than airwaves none had a clue about his betting. People trusted him when he asked them money to expand his factory. Just two days before his suicide he had approached at least a dozen people to loan him money and those who refused because they did not have are now heaving a sigh of relief.

After his death, facts are slowly emerging and people have started talking in hushed tones that this man was indulging in IPL cricket as well as political betting for the last three to four years. He first made money predicting J R Lobo’s win but lost heavily banking on Janardhana Poojary’s win. He wanted to recover his losses and even had changed his political affiliation but without success. He had sold his factory years ago but went on asking money to expand his business. This man had even mortgaged his home with different financial companies by forging the documents to fund his betting addiction.

One of the residents of Mannagudda on condition of anonymity said that was a total shock for him to see the common question people whispered in one another’s ears was ‘how much he owes you’?. “One of my cousins had lent him a loan Rs 7 lakhs because the man had a good reputation and he trusted him. In fact he first sought loans from his relatives, friends and then finally came to the acquaintances including old classmates. People gave him money without doubting or sensing anything inappropriate. Even his own factory employees borrowed money on compound interest and lent him loans. He misused the trust people reposed in him. Now he is perished and along with him all those who have given him money are in dire straits. The people who lent him money are not rich and some of them gave their lifetime savings”, he pointed out.

In Mangalore alone there are at least 3 incidents where people resorted to suicide as a last resort having failed to come out from the mess they found themselves because of their foolhardiness. It may be recalled that in June 2013 a well-known physician of Mangalore had supposedly slipped into the well of his own courtyard and died. The grapevine had it that betting was the cause of his death and that his death was not accidental but suicide. It later emerged that he was involved in IPL betting and owed up to Rs 5 crores to bookies who had sent rowdies after him to recover the amount.

A shop owner in Alake who had committed suicide a few years back also suspected to be a victim of betting. There might be many more commoners whose betting addiction might have destroyed entire families.

There were reports that during the 2014 IPL season in May this year betting reached alarming proportion in Udupi and other places with a turnover of over Rs 200 crores. Though only a few high profile suicide incidents linked to betting have come to light it is said that several people have lost their health, wealth, property, prestige as a result of betting.

The betting racket works clandestinely and is quite complex. There are kingpins and support links that work in tandem without giving a clue about how it works. All that people hear about is ‘addas’, ‘kattes’, ‘joints’, some hotels and bars where these bookies and their links congregate and go about their ‘business’. For example a particular place in Car Street, a bar joint near PVS is some of the places where the betting group assemble to indulge in their favourite game.

With warning bells loud and clear to one and all –those who indulge in betting and those who suffer even though they don’t indulge in betting. The public should exercise restraint and not fall prey to the machinations of those who use their ‘good reputation’ to borrow loans only to handover the amount to the kingpins.

I remember someone saying “gambling or betting is a stupidity tax because it take away money from people who are too stupid to deserve it and gives it to those who are smarter than they are”. After all, we are intelligent people and we deserve a better sobriquet than being called stupid and dumb.


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Comment on this article

  • R.Bhandarkar, Mangaluru

    Thu, Dec 18 2014

    Bet on this eye opener of an article
    to guide those engrossed in this evil
    of gambling to saner and safer pastures. Life is too valuable to be lost in such meaningless endeavors.
    Well written Flo.

    DisAgree Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Aravind Prakash, Mangalore/Dubai

    Wed, Dec 17 2014

    The article is a stark reminder of the ill effects of betting and should be an eye opener for people indulging in betting or gambling that are prevalent in our society in various forms. I remember in my student days there was a craze of single number lottery and quite a few people mainly daily wages earners and their families were destroyed due to this single number lottery. IPL is the new 'opportunity' for the various gambling/betting dens that are active not only in Mangalore and Udupi but also in other places within DK & Udupi districts to make a fast buck at the expense of the vulnerable! The so called social organizations which go about creating nuisance to the general public by calling for bundhs or carrying out other unproductive work should keep themselves busy in raising awareness about the ill effects of this vice!

    DisAgree Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Shekar Moily Padebettu, Udupi/India

    Mon, Dec 15 2014

    I really appreciated Florine Roche for her mind blowing article and it is an eye opener for the people who are prone to be the victims of Betting.People want to become richer by overnight without taking any pain by hook or crook without thinking about the impact of such betting/gambling,putting the family members at lurch.This is the present days trend.The above article is very well written.Though I have watched this movie,I did not take it so serious but the writer of this article has seen the movie,digested well and put forward her views correctly in front of the people,as an eye-opener.It seems there was a reason behind her watching this movie in a full strength.Therefore even I advise the people don't be the victim of such betting/gambling and desist/refrain from such betting.Congratulation Florine Roche for giving wake up call and made the people to think twice before indulging in such activities at least after watching this Chaali-Poli film.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Joseph F. Gonsalves, Bannur, Puttur / Mangalore

    Mon, Dec 15 2014

    There is no good way of life unless follow:

    Maandri aaslle thitthun paai sod/chod.

    Haasige eiddhastu kaalu Chaachu.


    DisAgree [2] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

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