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Due to the IT Act of 2000’s prohibition, popular offshore gambling websites are inaccessible.

Exclusive: Due to the IT Act of 2000’s prohibition, popular offshore gambling websites are inaccessible.

Some Jio and Vodafone links have blocked access to popular illegal offshore gambling and betting sites, including Betway, Dafabet, Pari Match, and 1xbet, this evening. This may be because the Ministry of Technology and Information (MEITY) imposed a ban following the Information Technology Act of 2000. Due to network dispersion and other problems, it could take time for other networks to present MEITY orders.

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It was reported that the tax sectors had asked MEITY to enact an IT Act ban on 25 offshore betting sites for tax evasion. For the second time since June, the Department of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) has ordered OTT, TV, and other media outlets to stop promoting/advertising offshore gambling businesses.

Earlier this quarter, we learned that the Enforcement Directorate, the independent investigator under the Foreign Exchange Management Act of 1999 (FEMA), is looking into offshore betting companies for rerouting betting goes on. FEMA prohibits payments related to betting. The Central Government forbade Indian entities from funding international gaming projects in August. The move taken results today from a drawn-out process at the top level.

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The offshore sites spend about INR 3,500 crores on ads and promotions and another 500 crores on influencers and celebrities to promote their platforms, for a total of almost 4,000 crores put in by these corporations each year, according to the skill gaming company AIGF.

While taking action against foreign bookmakers is a positive step, the GST governance is moving quickly against local online skill gaming companies for alleged GST fraud.

Last month, the GST Investigation wing served Gameskraft with a demand notice for more than INR 21,000 crores. According to reports, over 100 national online gaming enterprises may soon receive show-cause notices under the Public Service act for allegedly avoiding GST by failing to pay tax at 28% on bet face values.

Courts think games online like fantasy football, blackjack, and rummy are skill games. The industry claims the applicable GST percentage is 18% based on legal precedents. However, the government asserts that the tax percentage is 28% and is compared to gambling.

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In India, more than 800 million active internet users. The threats people face online expand along with the rise in the number of website users. The proliferation of offshore gaming and betting sites stands out in these. Offshore websites are those that are run by other countries. These websites allow improper activities, like gambling on games of luck with real money, and expose Indians to different financial, psychological, and bodily risks.

On these websites, several profiles of Indians experience major financial losses. These money setbacks have often resulted in suicides.

Due to a ban under the Information Technology Act of 2000, the offshore gambling site FairPlay has been inaccessible since the last evening. It has promptly taken corrective action by changing the realm name to get around the prohibition. Users were made aware of the realm name change by the unlawful website.

This could be seen to be an open invitation to the government, which has resolved to take action against unlicensed offshore gambling companies.

It is not new to modify realm names in this way to get over ban restrictions. Piracy and unauthorized streaming websites sometimes alter their realm names to get around prohibitions. However, in contrast to websites that provide improper gaming, piracy websites don’t depend on financial institutions to function.

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This blatantly vindictive action by FairPlay highlights the reason that gambling websites can continue to exist as long as access to the banking system is not restricted.

These sectors spend a total of about 4,000 crores annually. The offshore websites spend close to INR 3,500 crores on advertising and marketing and another 500 crores on influencers and celebrities to promote their platforms. If unchecked, the predicted proceeds, which are majorly bigger, would pose a severe socioeconomic risk to the country.

Earlier this month, we learned that the Enforcement Directorate, the independent investigator under the Foreign Exchange Management Act of 1999 (FEMA), is looking into offshore betting companies for rerouting betting proceeds. FEMA prohibits payments related to betting.

The Ministry (I&B) has ordered OTT, TV, and other media outlets to stop promoting/advertising offshore gambling enterprises for the 2nd attempt since June as part of a major crackdown. If they persist with gambling marketing, private television broadcasters risk revoking their broadcast license.

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In the majority of India, gambling is believed to have a negative connotation, even though there is no specific law that declares internet gambling to be against the law.

Offshore betting companies often use this ostensible loophole to entice Indians to place bets online. For a moment, the Indian Champions League is often present on such lists, and some sites even work with international bookmakers to let Indians wager online. In reality, certain advice websites, like indiabet.com, have developed strategies to avoid direct liability by putting together a plan that allows users to connect with foreign online bookies and gives them the chance to select from the mentioned bookmakers. The users’ selected link then sends them to the direct website of that particular bookmaker.

Every element of an IPL game is open for wagering, including the toss, the performance of the bowlers, and the likelihood that a batter would score a hundred runs. The websites recommend William Hill, Ladbrokes, and Betfair to be the online bookmakers where bets can be placed.

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All forms of gambling are prohibited by the Public Gambling Act (1867); however, unlike the US, where there is the American Online Gambling Prohibition Act, there are no particular laws in India that forbid internet gambling. If, for example, the website where such gambling is conducted is hosted by servers based in offshore countries where gambling is allowed, it can be challenging to catch Internet gambling offenders.

The main law governing gaming in India is the Public Gambling Act. However, the Indian Constitution gives state legislatures a lot of regulatory latitudes to create state-specific gambling regulations. Since most gambling laws were passed before online or virtual gambling became popular, they mainly apply to game and gambling activities that take place on actual premises.

edited and proofread by nikita sharma

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