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New Delhi: Indian police have arrested three men suspected of placing illegal bets on Indian Premier League matches as authorities crack down on gambling rackets that emerge around the billion-dollar franchise every year.

The trio was accused of running an online betting syndicate from a residence in New Delhi. Nearly all gambling is illegal in India but is still a huge underground industry.

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“We arrested the three on Saturday while they were betting during the Mumbai Indians and Delhi Daredevils match,” Youdhbir Singh, a senior police officer in Delhi, told AFP on Tuesday.

“They were insisting that they are first-timers and it was just a one-off incident, but we know that they were doing it since the start of the league on April 7.”

Eleven mobile phones, a laptop, a television set and a digital channel receiver were seized, Singh added.

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