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

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

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

The T20 World Cup match between India and Pakistan was just a few days away and 25 -year- old Hamad (name changed) from Baramulla, who read the viral post about the online sports betting platform winner, decided to try his luck.

Without verifying the authenticity of the social media post, Hamad joined the contest with an amount of Rs 50. However, his luck didn’t support him unlike the Baramulla guy and Hamad lost Rs 50.

The very next day, Afghanistan was facing 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 over Rs 4000, which has worried his parents.

Hamad’s parents immediately snatched his smartphone and ceased giving him money for the last four days.

“We had no knowledge about our son losing money in online gambling. We would give him money each time and he would say he was for purchasing stationery items,” Hamad’s parents said.

Hamad’s is not an isolated case. Since the T20 world cup is underway, thousands of smartphone users, mostly youth, are indulging in online sports betting in Kashmir.

Since the game is addictive, users end up spending thousands with the hope to win the lottery. While a few earn some bucks’ majority of the users end up as losers.

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

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

 “Earlier I earned a few bucks but later I kept losing every contest.  Now I have stopped putting my money in online sports betting platform contests,” he said.

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

Psychiatrists claimed that gambling both online and offline is a recognized disorder and is highly addictive.

 “A person who indulges in gambling whether online or offline has a high chance of getting addicted to it. Online gambling addiction can lead to severe behavioral problems apart from affecting a person financially. We have seen how internet misuse grew during the Covid pandemic. So, parents need to keep a vigil on the online activity of their children,” said Dr. Yasir Ahmad Rather.

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