In a recent development, the Indian government has intensified its efforts to curb illegal online activities, particularly focusing on betting and gambling applications.

Pankaj Chaudhary, the Minister of State for Finance, revealed in a parliamentary statement that a total of 581 applications have been blocked under section 69A of the IT Act, 2000. Among these, 174 were betting and gambling apps that have been operating illegally in the country.

Government Action and Enforcement

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) played a crucial role in the crackdown, taking action against prominent platforms such as Parimatch, Fairplay, 1XBET, Lotus365, Dafabet, and Betwaysatta. The government’s move comes after investigations by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), with some of the banned platforms currently under scrutiny.

Notably, last month, the government banned 22 illegal betting apps and websites following ED investigations into an illegal betting app syndicate. Raids on Mahadev Book in Chhattisgarh further exposed the extent of the illicit activities.

Legislative Amendments and Power Shift

To strengthen its position against offshore gaming companies, the government amended and notified the IGST Act in July. The amendment mandates that all such companies must be registered in India, giving the central government the authority to block websites that operate without proper registration, violating the country’s laws.

Despite earlier bans in February on 138 illegal betting and gaming websites, some continued to operate, prompting the need for more robust regulatory measures.

Read More: Real Horror Stories Of Online Gambling In India

Challenges and Modus Operandi

A significant challenge faced by the government is the discovery of 114 illegal betting and gambling platforms using domain farming. These platforms were found to be collecting payments through Unified Payments Interface (UPI) using proxy bank accounts, with the accumulated funds being transferred through hawala, crypto, and other illegal routes.

The revelation was brought to the attention of the Revenue Department by domestic online gaming companies, emphasizing the urgent need for action against these offshore platforms.

Current Status and Future Outlook

In response to a parliamentary question, the Minister of State disclosed that no offshore companies have registered since October 1st. This signals a positive development, suggesting that the government’s stringent actions are starting to have an impact on deterring illegal operators.

The Indian government’s proactive stance against illegal online gambling and betting platforms is a testament to its commitment to safeguarding citizens from potential financial risks associated with such activities. The recent legislative amendments and enforcement actions demonstrate a strategic shift towards a more robust regulatory framework. As the government continues to adapt to emerging challenges, it is crucial to strike a balance between regulation and the evolving nature of online platforms to ensure a secure and responsible digital environment for Indian users.

Disclaimer: This article is fact-checked

Sources: The Times of India, The Economic Times, The Hindu

Image sources: Google Images

Feature Image designed by Saudamini Seth

Find The Blogger: Pragya Damani

This post is tagged under: Indian Government, Online Gambling, Betting Apps, Legislative Amendments, Enforcement Directorate, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, IGST Act, Illegal Betting, Domain Farming, UPI, Proxy Bank Accounts, Cryptocurrency, Regulatory Framework, Financial Risks, Responsible Gaming

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