What is the solution for a struggling economy? This is something that brings on headaches for Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. But the answer could be simple, rather than raising the public tax, and rather than upsetting the wealthy within India: why not tax online foreign businesses?
The Covid-19 pandemic hit hard and will continue to do so far into 2022. Whilst we may have not come to a global solution to the virus, there still needs to be answers found to help fix India’s economy.
The answer for this may have been in the face of India’s government all this time. But so preoccupied, rather than understand, people of government were too keen to close it down.
Gambling, good old online gambling. This may very well be the gateway to healing the financial debt the country is in.
Is this a potential answer with real solutions?
Is online gambling a solution to a waning economy?
The online Indian market is proliferated with foreign online casinos. Just look at India’s number one independent casino comparison site and you’ll find that choice is not in short supply. They host many casinos and online sportsbooks that players from India can legally join.
During the pandemic, the sites listed through this service reached their highest points ever. Gambling boomed in India like no one had seen before.
Rather than look at the interest of Indian players to see how the government can benefit themselves. Instead, each state looked unfavourably at the trend. The trend threatened their own state-approved services, which are in no way able to compete with the services of an online casino.
India’s gambling regulations
This is a bit of a paradox for lawmakers because gambling online within foreign websites is not illegal. Players have the free will to access these casinos and win real money from them.
The operators pay no tax, and everything is a lose-lose situation for those trying to find economic growth solutions.
Instead, states went on the defensive to have changes in laws made when it came to fantasy sports participation. In August, the state of Telangana raised an appeal with the high courts to class fantasy sports as a game of skill, rather than one of chance.
Fantasy sports roughly brings in 2,400R crore. This was the figure in 2020. Previously, in 2019 the revenue was 920R crore. Over the next two years, there is a projected increase of 22%
The state’s concern was this growth, not how can they take some of this growth to lessen the burden on the economy.
Indian still lives under some very old rules that were created within the Gambling Act of 1867. This was drafted by the British Empire which ruled India between 1858 and 1947.
Through generational and social changes, gambling went from being banned to a more state-owned venture. But given that gambling remains a taboo, it’s not something the politicians want to seriously debate.
The laws of gambling in Indian do not support businesses within all states from producing their own gambling service. The government control this monopoly. Therefore, players in India must use foreign sources that are able to service their gambling needs.
Ironically, the laws in India do not prohibit the use of such foreign sites because there is no way of controlling the internet with such restrictive measure.
This is not a rare occurrence. Many countries around the world are in the exact same position, but they are at least looking to tax the operators on services. In India, they seem to want to eradicate them.
Are the benefits worth the gamble?
The opportunities are there to save a waning economy. A solution was also presented by Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
This went through its own legal wrangles, with banks concerned that crypto would out-power the rupee and given the banks rule all, the government had to step in and ban it.
With crypto-supported banking off the table, gambling is seen as one of only a few choices. Like other countries, India can feasibly start their own licensing service. Charging tax on businesses that wish to provide a gambling service within India. This can be for both foreign and remote operators. Taxing gambling businesses could be followed up with a tax on wins over x-amount.
Currently, if you win over 10,000R from any of India’s land-based casinos, this is hit with a 30% tax deduction.
Solutions through gambling are there. The numbers generated by the public actively participating in these online services is evidence enough that casinos online are wanted, and their interest is growing. Disclaimer: Gambling involves an element of financial risk and maybe addictive. Please play responsibly and at your own risk. Subject to applicable laws.