The Central Government earlier cleared its intentions of taking down illegal betting applications to safeguard the interests of citizens. In a continuation of that attempt, the Government has now issued orders to ban a total of 22 illegal betting applications including Mahadev Book. Interestingly, an investigation on Mahadev Book has brought the Chief Minister of Chattisgarh under the radar for alleged acceptance of money as corruption.
Order to ban these applications has been issued by MeitY, an acronym for the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology. This comes after the Enforcement Directorate, or ED, requested the Ministry to do so. Allegations against betting apps are serious, with platforms being investigated for a possible charge of money laundering.
As for Mahadev Book, its owners are in police custody per a statement published by the Government. This means that accused Bhim Singh Yadav and Asim Das are being tested for Section 19 of PMLA – Prevention of Money Laundering Act, money laundering under Section 3 with punishment likely to be delivered as a verdict under Section 4 of the said Act.
Bhupesh Baghel has been accused of accepting ₹508 crore as a bribe from the promoters who are said to be based in the UAE. This comes after the ED recorded a statement of a cash courier.
According to the betting news, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the Union Minister of State for Electronics & Information Technology, has said that the State Government had all the power to shut down the application but it chose not to take that call. The action could have been pursued under Section 69A of the IT Act. Rajeev has further said that the State Government has been investigating the case for 1.5 years; however, they never made any request.
If proven guilty, then not just the application but Bhupesh Baghel could be under the radar too. Making it worse is the fact that the Central Government had made it public to take action against illegal betting applications based in and outside India. They have been accused of financial fraud, duping their customers, and money laundering. MeitY published a new set of rules, clarifying that only permissible online real-money games are allowed to operate within the boundaries of India.
The main accused in the case are Sourabh Chandrakar and Ravi Uppal. The scam crafted by them is worth approximately $5,000 crore. Reports earlier claimed that they had secured citizenship of Oceania country, following which the ED sought a Red Corner Notice against them from the CBI.
iGaming has been witnessing a rise across the world with many people giving their fortune a chance. Most of it comes from the way these platforms are marketed, not revealing risks and just focusing on boarding players who can place bets of decent size.
Most of them are being investigated for money laundering, financial fraud, and duping. Investigations against 22 illegal betting applications are being carried out, with more developments plus announcements awaited to come in the future.