November 6, 2023
India has recently taken decisive action against nearly two dozen websites and betting applications that have been operating illegally. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) announced that it has issued blocking orders against 22 illegal websites and applications.
Countries around the world are continuously fighting against illegal gambling activities. These activities can include illegal retail slot machines, sports wagering, and illegal iGaming activities such as slots, bingo, and poker. While the popularity of iGaming continues to grow, the black market also thrives.
India is one of the countries that is constantly fighting against illegal gambling. The country's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has taken robust measures to prevent such criminal activities. The recent action against illegal websites and betting applications is a result of an investigation conducted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) into an alleged illegal betting app syndicate.
As a result of the investigation, two individuals, identified as A.D. and B.S.Y., were arrested on suspicion of crimes under Section 19 of India's Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The arrests were made during raids on Mahadev Book, an operator in Chhattisgarh. It is yet to be confirmed whether these individuals were indeed involved in the illegal activity and what penalties they may face.
In a statement, Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the minister of state for skill development and entrepreneurship, electronics and information technology, revealed that the local government in Chhattisgarh had the authority to shut down the alleged illegal websites and apps under the IT Act. However, no action was taken despite an ongoing investigation for the past 1.5 years. The first time action was taken was upon a request from the ED.
The recent action against illegal gambling websites and apps comes at a time when India has implemented changes to its gambling sector. This includes an increase in gambling tax, which now stands at 28% for activities such as horseracing, casino, and online gambling. Previously, the tax was applied to gaming revenue, but now it is based on the total amount of money wagered.
India's action against illegal gambling websites and apps demonstrates the country's commitment to combating such criminal activities. It serves as a reminder that illegal gambling is not tolerated and that those involved will face consequences. The public is encouraged to report any suspicious gambling activities to the authorities.
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