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Pakistan launches crackdown against betting companies

Pakistan launches crackdown against betting companies

طوبیٰ Tooba 9 months ago 0 1

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Keyboard, cards, chips, dice are seen in this illustration picture, June 5, 2020. — Reuters
Keyboard, cards, chips, dice are seen in this illustration picture, June 5, 2020. — Reuters
  • Companies enhance betting activities on sports mainly cricket.
  • Civil-military authorities working to eliminate companies: minister.
  • Most of surrogate companies operating from India, says source.

ISLAMABAD: A crackdown has been launched against more than 150 surrogate betting companies operating in Pakistan and causing billions of dollars loss to the country’s economy by transferring large sums of money to “hostile” countries, The News has learnt.

These companies enhance gambling and betting activities on sports mainly cricket and conduct their operations through online websites and mobile applications accessible in Pakistan. 

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Murtaza Solangi revealed to The News all institutions are in unison along with the military establishment on eliminating these betting companies.

These companies are normalising gambling and betting practices in the country and dragging the country’s economy into further turmoil by transferring enormous amounts of untaxed money abroad (in dollars) to the ‘hostile’ countries, stated a notification issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

All government institutions are in unison in taking down over 150 betting and gambling companies operating in Pakistan for the past three years, said Solangi, adding, “It has cost Pakistan’s economy in tunes of billions of dollars.”

When asked about if the untaxed money landed mostly in India, Murtaza replied he heard about it too, neither confirming nor negating the statement. However, credible sources told The News that most of the money went to India.

Pakistan Cricket Board, Pakistan Super League, its franchises, club cricket, private leagues, TV channels, radio broadcasters, internet platforms, newspapers, magazines and other media/ advertisement platforms are strictly advised against making any agreements and business relations with such surrogate companies or promoting them through any kind of advertisement, stated a notification issued on September 25 by the information ministry with the subject “Zero Tolerance for Surrogate Companies”.

Moreover, it was also advised to immediately terminate all existing agreements with such companies. 

According to the official notification, foreign betting and gambling companies, along with others, are trying to introduce corruption in Pakistan sports teams and further harm the economy by moving untaxed money out of the country in dollars. 

A well-informed government source told The News on condition of anonymity that most of such companies were running from India.

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