In a decisive move to curb the financial hemorrhage caused by betting companies operating in Pakistan, the government has announced a major crackdown.
These companies, predominantly involved in gambling and betting activities centered around cricket, have been operating through online platforms and mobile applications, exacerbating the financial turmoil in the country.
Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Murtaza Solangi, revealed that all government institutions, in conjunction with the military establishment, are united in their efforts to eradicate these betting companies, which have normalized gambling practices and drained the Pakistani economy by funneling significant amounts of untaxed money to foreign “hostile” countries. The loss to the economy has been estimated to run into billions of dollars.
One of the primary concerns surrounding these betting companies is their alleged role in facilitating the transfer of untaxed funds abroad, with credible sources suggesting that a substantial portion of these funds has made its way to India, although the Minister did not confirm this.
The crackdown extends to various sectors, including sports, media, and advertising. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Pakistan Super League (PSL), its franchises, club cricket, as well as media platforms such as TV channels, radio broadcasters, newspapers, and internet-based media outlets, have been strictly cautioned against engaging in any agreements or business relationships with such surrogate companies. They are also advised against promoting these entities through advertising.
Furthermore, existing agreements with these betting companies have been advised to be immediately terminated, as part of the government’s “Zero Tolerance for Surrogate Companies” policy. This extensive action aims to deter foreign betting and gambling companies from corrupting Pakistan’s sports teams and to curb the flight of untaxed money abroad.
Government sources, speaking on the condition of anonymity, have indicated that a significant number of these betting companies are operating from India, further highlighting the need for stringent measures to safeguard Pakistan’s economic and sporting interests.
The government’s determined stance against these betting companies underscores its commitment to safeguarding the nation’s economy and ensuring the integrity of its sports. This crackdown, backed by a united front of government institutions and the military establishment, reflects Pakistan’s resolve to curb the illicit practices of these betting entities and the financial losses they’ve inflicted on the country.
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