Govt to take steps on banning illegal betting, gambling platforms avoiding GST, other taxes

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With increased ‘No TDS, No GST’ advertisements from illegal betting platforms, the Finance Ministry and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has decided to crackdown on these firms trying to lure in users.

MeitY has previously outlawed several of these illegal betting and gambling platforms. They usually operate from countries with almost no taxation laws. They are also not registered to carry business in India. However, they promote themselves through local celebrities and surrogate brands.

As reported by CNBC-TV18, Govt bodies have already started to prepare a list of apps and sites that are trying to lure in users by promoting ‘No GST, No Taxes’ ads.

Before Govt identifies a new mirror domain, these sites get enough time to promote and onboard more users on their platforms. What the government currently needs is a proper way to permanently ban them, which it is constantly working on in public welfare.

GST council to meet on August 2

Currently, the online real money gaming industry is waiting for clarity on GST Council’s decision on taxing initial deposit or every bet under the new tax rules of 28% on the gross gaming revenue. Further discussion and clarity on the topic is expected to be made by the GST council through a videoconference meet online on Wednesday, August 2.

Meanwhile, another factor chipping-in to the success of these illegal betting and gambling platforms are celebrity advertisements. Almost all of these betting platforms have celebrity/influencer advertisements that promote their brand as completely legal and safe.

Since these celebrities have a lot of following, these illegal betting firms are able to take advantage of it and rake in lacs of unaware users.

While the government have already announced that these celebrities can be fined and barred from appearing in advertisements under the consumer protection act (CPA) 2019, there has been no news of such action except some notices.