AIGF writes to PMO for shutdown of offshore betting websites
The All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) is a non-profit organisation involved in policy advocacy, research, and also being a forum for discussion between the stakeholders of the gaming industry. They also hosted the inaugural ‘PRO SERIES’, an initiative with a focus on making people aware of skill-based gaming in the country, just this September. AIGF does plenty of good work all around the year and is involved in efforts to push the skill-based gaming industry to the limelight.
Recently, AIGF wrote a letter to PM Narendra Modi stating their grievance with offshore betting websites that are illegally attracting citizens of this country to bet on their sites, in direct infringement of Foreign Exchange Management Rules and cyber norms of India.
AIGF, in its letter, also urged the Prime Minister to initiate the Enforcement Directorate (ED) into investigating these illegal betting sites for violation of the Prevention of Money-Laundering Act, 2002 and Foreign Exchange Management Act, 2000 among others.
These online gambling and betting websites accept players from India through e-wallets, agents, and the infamous Hawala transactions. Consequently, the citizens are becoming addicted to these sites, creating a potential pathology of addictive gambling among the masses. This also possesses a national threat because the money going through these illegal channels can be used and is probably being used to fund undesirable activities, which financially weakens our country.
The federation mentioned a list of these websites, including 1xbet, Jeetwin, BetRally and Bet365, which infringe upon the laws and regulations of this country. They also pushed the Central Government to consider regulating online sports betting within the country, as advocated by the Law Commission of India report, which was released in July this year. This move is anticipated to bring the betting industry within India under India’s purview of taxation and to prevent the outflow of money outside India.
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