Gambling has been a part of the Indian culture, with roots in our mythological and cultural stories as well. Therefore, itís hardly surprising that so many people in India have now begun to enjoy online sports betting as well as online casino games.
The online gambling sector has undergone massive growth in the past couple of years, and there are many factors responsible for its success. From the widespread use of smartphones to easily available and cheaper data packs, there are many reasons behind the success of online gambling. In fact, the leaps made in the digital payments infrastructure have been one of the biggest reasons why people can now easily visit betting sites and deposit money in a matter of minutes.
However, the online gambling industry remains largely unregulated at this hour, meaning that no set of rules or laws exist to control the behaviour of the users or the betting platforms themselves. Because of this unregulated state, the online betting industry is rampant with fraudulent betting websites as well as black money transactions.
So would regulation and formal legalization be the right way to control the online betting industry?
Some people seem to think so, including Shashi Tharoor, the well-known politician and Member of Parliament, who even introduced a Bill hoping to regulate the online sports betting industry. Tharoor has spoken about the need to introduce a regulatory body, like the one he proposed in his bill, which would create a proper licensing system for betting providers, track suspicious betting patterns, as well as keep a close watch on the flow of money, allowing them to catch black money transactions.
His bill, the Sports (Online Gaming and Prevention of Fraud) Bill proposed to create this regulated infrastructure for the sports betting community to not only prevent black money transactions but to also earn tax revenue for the government using GST, which cannot be charged on gambling transactions until there is a regulatory body.
With these obvious advantages of regulating the online gambling industry, it is not difficult to see that the Indian economy could truly benefit from the move. Regulating betting sites would not only lead to a more protected gaming environment for the users but also generate revenue for the government.†
A similar proposition was recently raised in Maharashtra as well, where the state government has been considering legalizing the online betting industry and earning tax revenue through its transactions. In a report that looked into the online betting industry in Maharashtra, it was calculated that GST charged on each sports betting transaction could make as much as Rs. 25,000 crores every year!
This much revenue could be the much-needed boost that the Indian economy is sorely in need of.†
Not to mention that the regulation of the industry would open up the path for new companies and start-ups to open up in the Indian market, which was unable to cater to the industry due to the lack of favourable laws. Currently, the online industry is dominated by international betting providers, but with the right new laws, there could be a huge potential for economic growth in the online gaming industry.
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