The government on Sunday issued orders to ban 22 illegal betting and gambling apps and websites, including the controversial app Mahadev Book Online, an official notification said, on the request of the ED, an official notification said.
Driving the news: The ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) on Sunday issued the order, which follows investigations conducted by the ED “against illegal betting app syndicate and subsequent raids on Mahadev Book in Chhattisgarh, revealing the app’s unlawful operations,” the IT ministry said in a press release.
The investigation: This comes weeks after the ED seized assets worth Rs 417 crore in connection with the Mahadev online betting app. The probe agency had then alleged that the company was running operations from Dubai and made Rs 450 crore per month by offering illegal bets through a cache of online applications.
State inaction? “Chhattisgarh Government had all the power to recommend shutting down of website/app under Sec 69A IT Act. However, they did not do so. They have been investigating it for last 1.5 years,” said minister of state for electronics and information technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar. In a scathing post on X, the minister alleged inaction on the part of CM Bhupesh Baghel, who faces election in the state in December.
Recap: In March this year, the IT ministry had issued similar orders to bar the operations of 138 betting and gambling apps on an “urgent” and “emergency” basis. Over the last two years, the government has banned close to 400 gaming, gambling, betting, photo editing and other apps and websites for either having links with China or being involved in money laundering as well as improper storage of data of Indian citizens.