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No action against illegal betting platforms three months post addition of new provisions to IGST Act

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Even after the new provisions were added under section 14A of IGST Act three months ago in order to block illegal offshore gambling websites for non-payment of GST, not even a single platform has been banned or taken action against yet.

Technology and gaming lawyer Jay Sayta posted about the same on X and shed light on the matter, asking the government officials to take necessary actions.

Illegal offshore betting platforms in the past year have skyrocketed after looking at the growth rate of the Indian online gaming market. Disguising as legitimate online gaming platforms, these betting operators take advantage of limited knowledge of the people about the illegality of the platforms.

As of now, thousands of illegal betting platforms are promoting themselves through surrogate brands. Many of these platforms are operated by a single entity with different names. By providing promises of better odds, they create a false sense of competition and lure gullible people into making a quick profit.

Money duped from these people is then further used to hire celebrities for promotion and moved out of country through fake bank accounts, cryptocurrency transactions and hawala channels.

One of the reasons for the delay in action by the Centre could be the ineffectiveness of such bans in the past as these these illegal betting platforms operate through mirror domains. In case of a ban, these betting platforms shift to a new domain and continue their operations.

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