ED attaches Rs 213 crore for money laundering through online betting, gambling sites

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ED attaches Rs 213 crore for money laundering through online betting, gambling sites

The Enforcement Directorate has attached Rs 212.91 crore in proceeds of crime (PoC) in cases where online betting and gambling sites/apps were used for money laundering and hawala transactions, Parliament was informed.

In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary said the Directorate of Enforcement is investigating several cases related to cyber crimes and crypto asset frauds. In a few cases, it has been noticed that online betting and gambling sites/apps were used for money laundering and hawala transactions.

“In these cases, as on December 16, 2022, PoC amounting to Rs 212.91 crores have been identified which stands attached / freezed / seized under the provisions of PMLA. Also, 03 Prosecution Complaints have been filed in these cases,” he said.

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In reply to a separate question, the minister said the central government has constituted an Inter-Ministerial Task Force (IMTF) to look into all aspects of online gaming regulation.

“Actionable claims in the form of betting and gambling including those arising from online gaming attract 28 per cent GST and the GST Acts does not make the levy dependent on whether it is a game of skill or game of chance. Cases have been filed challenging the levy of GST on online gaming,” Chaudhary added.

He was replying to a question on whether there is no clear definition for ‘game of chance’ and ‘game of skill’ under GST, resulting in difficulty in taxation on online gaming and betting leading to multiple litigations.

The GST Council has also constituted a Group of Ministers (GoM) on casinos, race courses, and online gaming to examine all issues of rate and valuation of these activities. The GoM has submitted its report to the Union Finance Minister.

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