HT City’s first-of-its-kind comprehensive poll posed 10 key questions about betting on cricket matches to 200 showbiz personalities, and though they went in a tizzy at first, almost everyone agreed that Bollywood bets big and how!
The spot-fixing jinx in the ongoing T20 tournament seems to have got the nerves of everyone in the industry, and we decided to dig deeper.
In an exclusive poll conducted on 200 Bollywood and TV celebrities — actors, filmmakers, musicians, PROs, trade experts, casting directors, struggling actors and starlets — 83% said that cricket betting goes on unabashedly in glamour circles, but almost an equal number responded saying that they do not personally know anyone who is involved!
And, that wasn’t the only way our respondents chose to play safe. Most got jittery and refused to be part of the survey on some pretext or the other, until they were assured their names would not be revealed. Some even asked us to send them an official undertaking stating that this is a blind survey and they’d not be quoted.
Interestingly, a multiple National Award-winning filmmaker refused to talk over the phone and asked our queries to be put on email. And a veteran actor, whose name is afloat in connection with the betting racket, demanded to record the entire conversation so that he has an evidence of whatever he divulged. A current heartthrob was curious about our nature of investigation and the profile of the people who would be on this poll. Some other striking responses — “Underworld biggies run the racket,” “Many A-listers bet regularly.”
Would banning the tournament be the solution? "I don’t think so but yes, fear of strict law and action may keep many away. Other cricketing tournaments also involve betting", A film expert, on condition of anonymity
Hilarious justifications for evading our questions
1. Too tricky an issue right now for me to comment on.
2. Want to stay out of this, so please avoid, no comments.
3. Why only target Bollywood? I will be part of the survey if you also conduct it with builders, businessmen, politicians, industrialists and all other professionals.
4. I am not at all into cricket to know about all this.
5. Why are you asking ME baba ?
6. I don’t care about betting… I don’t care about T20
7. (After listening to the question…) I am unwell, busy, driving …call me later.