India blackmarket lotteries flourish despite crackdown

India has the potential to be a $16 billion lottery market, but revenue is being lost to a multi-billion dollar black market that is depriving states of much-needed funds. Law enforcement agencies in Karnataka and other places claim to have busted a large number of illegal lottery rackets in the past few months. The Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax authorities also claim to have uncovered massive money-laundering and hawala operations that were allegedly carried out by Santiago Martin, a Coimbatore-based lottery kingpin. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is also said to be probing the illegal sale of lottery tickets, in South and East India by Martin and his associates. However, the crackdown is considered superficial, only reaching the tip of the iceberg of a widespread problem, with illegal operations estimated to generate about $12 billion. In the past, law enforcement agencies have started investigations against illegal lotteries, which were subsequently...

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