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Is BTC hand in glove with illegal bookmakers?

  June 3 , 2018
   

Is Bangalore Turf Club hand in glove with illegal bookmakers? It appears to be so going by their inept handling of the situation. The collections on the tote are falling significantly with the turf club not giving clarity about the quantum of its commission, GST collected and the dividend available for distribution. It is all clouded in secrecy and BTC mandarins are not known for transparency in any of their acts. Theirs appears to be a cloak and dagger operation.

Videos are circulating in social media where one can see the illegal bookmakers operating in the club`s premises with abandon. The authorities are making no effort to curb this despite revenue leaking heavily. The turf club officials cannot blame the police for not acting. Their brief is law and order. The turf club has extensive security personnel and it is their duty to ensure that illegal betting does not take place. The security must act first and then the police can step in. This is the practice in reputed clubs like Royal Western India Turf Club.

The turf club is pleading helplessness. It is aware who is operating illegally as the CCTV cameras give graphic details of the action. The turf club has put up boards all over the place that right of admission is reserved. Under such circumstances, they have every right to deny entry to these illegal bookmakers. But is the board meant to ward off only people who they don`t like?

The turf club mandarins will not take any action either because they lack guts, or they also may be getting the illegal gratification. This is the talk doing the rounds. This year`s BTC Managing Committee can be considered as the worst in the history of the club. What is happening now will surely find a place in the dark chapters of BTC. The BTC authorities mindlessly abolished the bookmakers when both tote and the bookmaker system complemented each other, and the club benefitted immensely. By abolishing the bookmakers, the revenue for the club did not grow and it simply gave a boost to illegal betting.

The bookmakers this season offered to pay Rs 20 crores annually to the club, but the authorities refused the offer and instead wanted a king`s ransom to be paid to them. When the bookmakers were abolished post demonetization, the income from the bookmakers was less than Rs 15 crores. As such the offer from bookmakers was reasonable. To offset the loss of Rs 20 crores, there must be an additional turnover of over Rs 500 crores on the tote if one were to put the club commission at 5 percent.

Since the tote has only shown downward slide, how can the club make up the money for its activities? By not having a Press Conference or cutting some tea or coffee is not going to help them to achieve any goal. The illegal betting is bleeding the club and the authorities are silent spectators giving rise to suspicion whether any benefit is accruing to them. The club is afraid of striking a deal with the bookmakers as they fear the malicious campaign that disgruntled members may make about them. This is because the Managing Committee has the support of those who were involved in maligning the committee members of the past. Some of the present committee members are not above board, with one of its chief functionaries having reduced the stall fee for bookmakers unilaterally without taking the board into confidence for reasons best known to himself. Any decision by this committee will thus give scope for tongues to wag.

In the light of the viciousness and internecine quarrel among members, there is total policy paralysis. The trust deficit is a crippling factor. The committee lacks standing because some of their actions have raised questions of moral turpitude. Since the committee is shy of coming clean on all matters by being transparent, their actions will always be under the radar.

The fight to fix each other among the members of the club is so strong that the Managing Committee, based on two memorandums given by the members appointed a Special Enquiry Committee to go into the omissions and commission of its previous managing committee. One of the issues is also pertaining to the expenditure involved in the conduct of Invitation Cup. It is beyond anyone`s comprehension that a balance sheet of the club which has been adopted by the general body by voice vote can be a subject matter of an enquiry. The accounts were placed before the members and they had a right to raise their queries, suspicions and everything else during that meeting. After passing the resolution, how can they have a relook? Or the members questioning their own competence especially since the expenditure for the Invitation Cup was circulated in the month of April itself whereas the General Body Meeting was held on the last week of September? Poor understanding by the Managing Committee which lacks both maturity and competence. What is more shocking is that one of the members of the Special Enquiry Committee is also an auditor. One hopes he offers his explanation for being part of the committee about the incongruity of the situation. Even the matter pertaining to the appointment of CEO was ratified by the court which the gang of four had disputed. What purpose is achieved by the Special Enquiry Committee probing this matter? To make matters worse, the brother-in-law of one of the gang members is also on the committee. In BTC nothing seems to have any sanctity.

Quite a few members of the club are openly indulging in betting with illegal bookmakers. This perhaps may be the reason why the club`s authorities are silent. The committee has no will to act, being happy with the existing scenario.

We blame the government for putting a sin tax on betting and other sundry activities. What is the BTC doing? Is it not fleecing the public by charging Rs 40 for the entrance fee and another Rs 200 for getting some chance of getting a seat to sit during the races. The reserved members stand is often empty while it is totally crowded in the public stands. They have no compunction about Rs 240 that is being charged per day to the public. This in effect means that anyone who is a regular will have to spend more than Rs 50,000 on this count alone. Consider this with the pittance of Rs 250 that is paid as the annual subscription by the members to get all the facilities that they can demand.

BTC appears to be worse than any oppressive government.

My advice to the Managing Committee members is this: Smile in the mirror. Do that every morning and you`ll start to see a big difference in the way you see yourself. Smiling regularly may give a positive countenance in the way you conduct yourself.

 
 
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Total Comments : 8
Posted by Raja Ram on ( June 3 , 2018 )
Dear Sharan sir,

If one walks around the BTC stands be it General, Owners, Trainers or General Public it is nothing but every second person is indulging into illegal betting. One of the Tote runner who seems to more influential in the members stand openly does it with credit business to some of the members. This disease is spread to the off course betting centres also with no one checking or even having a round in the stands.
Why is the CEO who thinks himself as saviour of the club turning a blind eye when I reported it personally in his office the nuisance of illegal betting.
Through your social media channel i would like to caution the club I would report the matter to Tax Authorities with innumerable recorded evidence of illegal betting going on with patronage from the club especially the CEO who does not act on a complaint.
This is nothing a big revenue leakage not only to the club but also to the government.

Raja Ram
 
Posted by JP on ( June 4 , 2018 )
It is an open secret. Do need FBI to know it. When corruption is the order of the day or part and parcel of everyday affair everywhere how can this place can be clean. The authorities are individually benefited and the illegal book maker gets GST saved for him. I think the workers will be affected and years to come BTC has to close its shutter for want of funds. Here the trainers/jockeys/owners and workers unions should join hands to fight against this if not it is going to be Doom`s day for all. Few may go to other centers but what about the rest. Like what happened in BCCI some can approach the court.
 
Posted by Shyam on ( June 4 , 2018 )
Prime Minister Mody said that the standard rate of the commission under the Congress government was 10 per cent. Remember 10 per cent ka sarkar. Can anyone enlighten what the per cent prevailing at BTC? I believe the charges vary for all forms of racing activity starting from apprentices and trainers` license, fixing of enquiries. In short anything that the committee has the powers to decide. The CEO is the presiding deity shouting and screaming about his own virtues and how is a fighter. He is only a shouter who otherwise holds the bucket to the authorities for favour.
 
Posted by n shivakumar on ( June 3 , 2018 )
MR SHARAN., YOU ASKING THIS MANAGING COMMITTEE MEMBER TO SMILE IN FRONT OF MIRROR AND SEE THEIR SMILING FACE..? IF SEE THEIR SMILING FACE IN MIRROR,,THEY NEVER SEE MIRROR AGAIN IN THEIR LIFE.
.

REGARDING ILLEGAL BOOK MAKERS IN BTC..? THEY NOW ACTING LIKE OFFICIAL BOOK MAKER`S BECAUSE THEY PAYING DAILY RENT TO BANGALORE COPS., BEFORE LAST RACE THEY PAYING PROMPTLY TO THEM..THEY DOING THEIR JOB PROMPTLY..THAN WHO GOING TO STOP THIS..THEY GETTING ODD`S FROM MYSORE CLUB BEFORE 15 MINUTES., PER RACE THEY WORKING 15 MINUTES ONLY WITH GOOD TURNOVER., MAINLY IN NEAR PADAK, WHERE THE GREAT MEMBERS GOING TO GIVE PRIZE ..WITH LINE CATWALK...

IF BTC SERIOUS ABOUT STOPPING ILLEGAL BOOK MAKERS, THEY SHOULD CHANGE PRESENT COP`S AND BRING NEW FACE WITH TAKING THIS MATTER IN COMMISSIONER LEVEL AND INSTALL MOBILE JAMER IN BTC..AT LEAST 15 MINUTES BEFORE RACE START...FOR ON AND OFF COURSE,

IF THIS START CLUB GET MINIMUM 2 CRORE TOTE BUSINESS PER DAY WILL INCREASE... I HOPE THIS WE CANNOT EXPECT FROM THIS PEOPLE...HOPE FOR BEST AND READY FOR DISASTER
 
Posted by Abhay on ( June 5 , 2018 )
Congratulations sharan ji
What is the use of writing so many articles on your website ?
Please put all the issue of irregularity to CID,or the CM office once the govt settles down in a few days .Best the licence should be again taken or the committee made by earlier regime will face the music.
Namaste all
 
Posted by Chandulal on ( June 5 , 2018 )
Sharan Sir, great article .
It’s time the BTC petitions to the GST council to get tote betting tax reduced to 5% with a caveat to tax all the Karnataka bookmakers as per the present taxes.
This will give a major boost to Modi’s digital India push and will be a win win for all players affected.
 
Posted by p g on ( June 3 , 2018 )
It`s going on at Hyderabad too. Much feelings are that the clubs are paid both way`s, above the table and below the table. Hence, it looks like the authorities have BLINKERS ON with T S.
 
Posted by Adhir Karan on ( June 4 , 2018 )
Mr.Sharan you have the power of the pen. Use it responsibly.



Admin: Advice well taken. But this can happen only if those vested with power act responsibly and are above board in their actions.
 
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