The report suggests the illegal offshore betting market is now valued at Rs 8.2 lakh crore
India.- A report by the Think Change Forum (TCF) has estimated that tax authorities in India are losing Rs 3.9 lakh crore (US$48.8bn) annually to illegal betting and gambling websites. The report suggests the illegal offshore betting market is now valued at approximately Rs 8.2 lakh crore, with an annual growth rate of 30 per cent.
Cricket, a hugely popular sport in India, accounts for 80 to 90 per cent of the total sports betting revenue, drawing over 140 million participants. During the Indian Premier League (IPL) season, this number soared to around 370 million.
If the current growth rate continues, the online illegal betting market is projected to surpass Rs 18 lakh crore in value by 2026, resulting in a loss of approximately Rs 6.7 lakh crore in taxes for the government since no GST revenues or Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) collections are made on illegal offerings.
The Finance Ministry and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeiTy) have said they would block non-compliant platforms. However, the report said many illegal offshore betting websites will continue to evade tax payments.
The report identified 75 illegal offshore betting and gambling platforms targeting Indian users through social media ads featuring celebrities. The government has banned many domains, but operations persist by changing domains.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) banned 138 offshore betting platforms earlier this year in accordance with the Ministry of Home Affairs directive, yet many remain operational. One of the best known mentioned in the report is the Mahadev Book illegal betting app.