The Indian gambling market is receiving a lot of attention from offshore gambling operators and the All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) wants to put an end to that. The trade body has sent a letter to the office of the Prime Minister requesting that all offshore online gambling sites should be banned from operating in India.
A Major Move
The letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requested that India’s Enforcement Directorate launch a probe and take serious action against offshore gambling sites that violate both the country’s cybersecurity laws and gambling laws. According to the letter, these sites are attracting Indian players playing with an attractive set of bonuses and promotions to encourage them to start gambling online.
During the last few years, India has become a major gambling hot spot. The popularity of online poker, rummy and slots have caused many offshore gambling operators to target the Indian gambling market. Many offshore operators are hoping to tap into the large potential in the Indian market. With 1.2 billion residents, even a small fraction of these becoming regular customers would be a big boost.
The trouble is that online gambling is banned in most parts of India so there is a lack of local operators. This has opened a door for foreign operators who have licenses in Curacao and Malta to step-in and offer their gambling services to Indians. These offshore gambling websites are very popular in India and has led to a large amount of gambling revenue to flow out of the country. This loss in revenue coupled with the fact that gambling addiction is growing has the AIGF worried.
Nine Offshore Gambling Sites Named
The letter from the AIGF has nine names of offshore gambling websites that the federation thinks have violated the Prevention Of Money Laundering Act and the Foreign Exchange Management Act. This includes sites like Betfair.com, BodogIndia.com, Bet365.com, and Jeetwin.com.
The AIGF alleges that the transfer of money to foreign sites is a potential way for money laundering to happen. Digital payments and other methods of payment have become quite popular thanks to the spread of online betting. Additionally, the AIGF alleges that these sites can be potential security threats as the money sent could be used to fund crimes and terrorist threats.
The AIGF clarified in its letter that it is not against online gambling as a whole. It just desires a tougher stance be taken against foreign gambling websites that operate in the Indian market.