Banned betting website Lotus365 top advertiser in print media during January-March quarter

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Banned betting website Lotus365 was the biggest advertiser in print media during the January-March quarter according to a report by TAM Media Research’s Tam AdEx. While it’s not surprising to find illegal betting websites’ widespread presence on social media in recent times, it sure is a mystery as to how these advertisements make their way in the newspapers despite several advisories against them.

With online gaming gaining popularity there are also some bad apples in the mix. Lotus365 is one of those with no office or a license to operate in India, thus having no obligation to pay taxes in the country. The company provides online betting services which is strictly prohibited. The platform was banned by MeitY in February of this year, along with 137 other illegal betting and gambling websites. However, it continues to be accessible by switching to a different domain name.

On social media, the illegal betting brand is usually seen promoting itself through popular celebrities and local influencers. The promotions are misleading. However, no action has been taken against the company yet.

Some of the celebrities endorsing the illegal betting platform include Priya Prakash Varrier, Neha Sharma, Nawazuddin Siddiqui along with some new entrants like Harshvardhan Rane, Shivani Narayanan and Pragya Nagra.

Priya Prakash Varrier and Neha Sharma have now become a regular on Lotus365’s and their respective Instagram accounts.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui has been a long-running ambassador who has even received a notice from the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) regarding his claims about Lotus365.

In a latest promotion, Harshvardhan can be seen promoting the illegal betting website claiming there is no limit on people’s winnings and the company provides registration and referral bonus, too.

It is also pretty obvious that the videos were recorded for use during IPL 2023 but are still being published through celebrities’ accounts.

Recently, the Bihar police requested MeitY to ban several illegal gaming apps. The question arises if the ban would be successful to not allow complete access to these platforms.

People unsure of which platforms are illegal can check the list here.