The Indian government has banned 22 illegal betting and gambling apps, including Mahadev Book Online, following Enforcement Directorate investigations
On Sunday, the government took decisive action by issuing orders to prohibit 22 illicit betting and gambling applications and websites, among them the controversial Mahadev Book Online app.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology issued the order to block the operations, according to an official notification. In addition to the Mahadev betting app, reddyannaofficial.in and 20 other applications were also blocked in response to a request from the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Prompted by investigations carried out by the Enforcement Directorate against an illegal betting app syndicate. Subsequent raids on Mahadev Book in Chhattisgarh exposed the app’s unlawful activities.
Previously, the ED had seized assets worth Rs 417 crore in connection with the Mahadev online betting app. The agency alleged that the company, led by Sourabh Chandrakar and Ravi Uppal, operated from Dubai and generated Rs 450 crore monthly through a network of online applications.
Notably, the Chhattisgarh Government had the authority to recommend the shutdown of the website/app under Section 69A of the IT Act. However, they did not make such a request during their 1.5-year investigation.
Additionally, earlier this year in March, the IT ministry amended the Information Technology Rules of 2021 to establish guidelines for permissible and non-permissible online games, removing ambiguity regarding games of skill and chance.
In recent years, the government has banned nearly 400 apps and websites, including those with Chinese affiliations and those involved in money laundering and mishandling Indian citizen data. These bans have been enacted under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act of 2000, with the first wave of bans, including popular apps like TikTok, occurring in 2020.