T20 World Cup: How online betting is tearing families apart in Kashmir

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Srinagar: Last month a post went viral that a youth from Baramulla won 1 crore rupees on an online betting platform.

The T20 World Cup match between India and Pakistan was only days away and Hamad, 25 (name changed) from Baramulla, who read the viral article on the winner from the sports betting platform online, decided to give it a shot.

Without verifying the authenticity of the post on social networks, Hamad joined the contest with an amount of Rs 50. However, his luck did not support him unlike the guy from Baramulla and Hamad lost Rs 50.

The very next day, Afghanistan faced Scotland and Hamad decided to play and lost Rs 300 this time.

In the race to recover his lost money, Hamad has so far lost more than Rs 4000, which worries his parents.

Hamad’s parents immediately ripped off his smartphone and stopped giving him money for the past four days.

“We had no knowledge that our son was losing money in online gambling. We gave him money every time and he said he bought stationery,” said the parents of Hamad.

Hamad is not an isolated case. Since the start of the T20 World Cup, thousands of smartphone users, mostly young people, have been engaging in online sports betting in Kashmir.

As the game is addictive, users end up spending thousands in hopes of winning the lottery. While a few make money, the majority of users end up losing.

A highly addictive game, the platform allows users to enter a competition by choosing a team and predicting their score to win money up to Rs one crore.

Mohammad Noman (name changed), an electrician, said he lost over 30,000 rupees in the past year on an online sports betting platform.

“I used to win a few dollars, but later I continued to lose all the contests. Now I have stopped putting my money into online sports betting platform contests, ”he said.

Grand Mufti Nasir ul Islam told the Kashmir Monitor that gambling is strictly prohibited in Islam. “You win money betting in this game and it is (as such) prohibited (prohibited),” he said.

Psychiatrists have stated that online and offline gambling is a recognized disorder and is highly addictive.

“A person who engages in gambling, whether online or offline, is very likely to become addicted to it. Online gambling addiction can lead to serious behavior problems in addition to financially affecting a person. We have seen how internet misuse has increased during the Covid pandemic. So, parents should monitor the online activity of their children, ”said Dr Yasir Ahmad Rather.


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