|Like football is a religion in Latin America, Europe and the UK, Cricket is way of life in India and Pakistan. With the on going historic series between the two rivals, there’s hysteria in the air. |
What was restricted to the elite, who flew to the neighboring six casinos in Kathmandu Nepal to gamble, is now just a mouse click away. Cricket bettors can now log on to www.casinonepal.com or www.nepalsportsonline.com and place bets with a credit card at hand. Wins or losses are credited or debited from the credit card accounts, similar to online shopping.
Nepal Recreation Centers, the company behind the online casino became the first land-based casino in the region to offer online services. The operator tied up with a Cyber casino in Curacao, the Caribbean, which is handling the site operations while the Nepal casinos are marketing online betting. All transactions are handled in the Caribbean.
In the first one-day international on Saturday's between India and Pakistan in Karachi, one businessman from New Delhi who placed 20,000 Rupees on Pakistan lost it when Inzamam-ul-Haq's team lost.
‘All the casinos in the Caribbean are cyber casinos. By forming an association with land-based casinos with good reputations, we are giving things greater credibility,’ said a spokesperson for the online casino.
The online cricket betting services are targeted at India’s huge middle class with a high level of disposable income, are technology savvy but cannot afford to fly to Nepal easily or afford bookies who take only large wagering amounts. Other customers such as Asians, especially non-resident Indians and Nepalese living in Singapore, Thailand, Dubai and Qatar are the potential clients besides millions of Non-Resident Indians (NRI) or Indians living abroad.
Customers can pay by US dollars or by Indian Rupees on the websites. ‘The two online betting systems, he said, are intended mostly for the middleclass sports lovers who would like a flutter now and then but cannot spend over 1,000 Rupees,’ said the online casino operator. Under current Nepalese law, nationals are not allowed to gamble in the casinos in Katmandu.
Katmandu, a favorite haunt of gamblers and tourists in the Indian sub-continent boasts of six casinos, each one located in a five-star hotel. The Mumbai-based Royal West India Turf Club that runs horse races, which are expected to kick off next month, will be a big online betting event says the operators.