Celebrities face heat as they receive notice regarding promotion of illegal betting website Lotus365

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Popular Bollywood actors like Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Urvashi Rautela and others associated with promotions of illegal gambling brand Lotus365 have received notices from the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) under the newly enacted rules that prohibit promotion of surrogate and illegal activities.

In 2022, CCPA issued notices to betting and gambling platforms but this is the first time well-known celebrities are issued a notice. Despite notice from CCPA, Urvashi Rautela continues promoting illegal betting site Lotus365 and a post is live on her Instagram account at the time of writing this.

Before taking any action against the company or the celebrities, the CCPA have first requested a response from these celebrities. According to reports, the CCPA took suo motu cognisance of the advertising that stated the company was “India’s most trusted sports exchange since 2015,” which was featured in newspapers and online platforms.

As per report on Times of India, the celebrities were requested to explain how they reached the conclusion that the company’s claims were true and to provide specifics of the evidence supporting their assertions. Similarly, the company was asked to provide details of its claims.

As previously reported by G2G, these celebrities were spotted promoting the illegal offshore betting website Lotus365 on various social and print platforms, claiming that the company was the first legally licensed and certified company despite betting being illegal in the country.

If found guilty, these celebrities are liable for a penalty of Rs 10–50 lakh for false and misleading advertisements under the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) 2019. Furthermore, the celebrity promoting these illegal brands can be barred from appearing in advertisements for a year.

Celebrity promotions, nowadays, are becoming more and more common for these offshore betting websites, especially during the time of IPL, when there are a lot of players looking to make money from online gaming.

The I&B ministry have already released advisories asking OTT, TV and other media platforms to refrain from promoting these illegal betting websites and their surrogate counterparts. Earlier in February, Lotus365 along with many other betting websites recently, received a ban hammer from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).