Hyderabad police book Lotus365 operators and an ad agency for promoting betting and gambling

Published on:

Hyderabad police on Monday said the management of Lotus365 along with an advertising agency responsible for promotions on TSRTC bus shelters were booked for violation of Telangana Gaming Act, 1974.

The action was in response to a Twitter user who complained about betting and gambling advertisements on three bus shelters in the jurisdiction of Saifabad police station. One of the advertisement was on a bus shelter infront of the state’s legislative assembly building.

While the case is booked, it may be difficult for the cops to find the actual culprits who are mostly based out of India, say those who are aware of the operation of the illegal betting platforms. Still this is a welcome move, and prevent the local  advertising agencies from dealing with illegal betting and gambling platforms.

Lotus365 is an illegal betting platform which is endorsed by Bollywood actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Telangana prohibits all gaming for stakes and is the first state to enact a law in 2017 specifically targeting internet games.

However, in recent times, illegal betting and gambling websites started advertising aggressively in the state. In a recent incident that shocked the state, a student lost rupees ninety five lakh deposited by government as compensation for land acquisition to online betting and gambling.

In an advisory in October 2022, citing significant financial and socio-economic risks for the consumers, the central government said that multiple online offshore betting platforms were using news websites as a surrogate product to advertise their platforms. With the embargo on online advertisements, the illegal platforms have focused on outdoor advertising including bus shelters, metro trains, etc.