Online betting has seen a rapid rise in India since the advent of the Pandemic, and some shady platforms do their business through illegal means. One of those platforms named The Lion Book is doing rounds on social media, after associating themselves with popular celebrities in the country. Bollywood actor, fitness influencer, and entrepreneur Sahil Khan is the latest public figure to promote the illegal betting site.
Seeing the unrestrained growth of illegal gambling activities, being promoted by social media influencers and celebrities, consumer protection guidelines were issued last month, which made the celebrities endorsing bogus products or services responsible, and liable to an action for appearing in promotions misleading the consensus.
Sahil Khan, who has appeared in a handful of Bollywood movies, is a renowned public figure known for his bodybuilding expertise and is quite well respected with a fan following boasting over 10.8 million followers on Instagram. The actor turned fitness icon is running is running the illegal betting website with even the celebrities promoting it. They claim it to be India’s most trustworthy and reliable betting platform and stated that it’s not gambling but investing money.
Notably, the Indian government has deemed all sorts of online games involving luck and chance as illegal, and states like Sikkim and Meghalaya have even got specific laws in place to regulate luck-based online games. The online casino remains prohibited in the country, even in places like Goa, which is renowned for its casinos.
Renowned Bollywood actor Neil Nitin Mukesh is also associated with this illegal gambling platform and was seen promoting it in one of his posts. The actor endorsed the product as legal and trustworthy and encouraged the fans to partake on the platform and urged them to register and start playing Cricket, Football, Tennis, Casino, and much more.
It remains to be seen if any legal action is taken against these public figures for advertising illegal offshore betting websites and misleading the people on social media platforms as The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting issued an advisory dated 13.06.2022 to print, electronic and digital media to refrain from publishing advertisements of online betting platforms which are misleading.