Illegal betting website Lotus365 hopping domains to bypass ban in India

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With the current IPL season receiving a record-breaking reception, illegal betting websites have also doubled their efforts to lure users to their website. One of the most notorious illegal betting websites in India, Lotus365, was recently banned by the government. Despite that, the website is changing domains to bypass the ban.

A few days ago, people started noticing several full-page advertisements for the website in many prominent newspapers, despite the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) releasing advisories to refrain from promoting these illegal betting websites.

In their latest social media post, Lotus365 have asked users to use an alternate domain now to access their betting website in India. The previous domain seems to be blocked, which might be a result of a recent outbreak of people on social media asking why the adverts are still allowed and the website is not banned.

Originally, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) had previously banned over 150 illegal betting websites, which included Lotus365. Since these illegal betting website changes domains to redirect users, people might get confused that they are not banned.

Combine with various celebrity ad films and promotions; these illegal betting websites claim that they are legal and safe in order to dupe users looking to make quick cash.

Lotus365 also uses its surrogate website Lotus365 News in order to bypass bans and sponsorship restrictions. This method is also used by other illegal betting companies and not only in India but in many other countries where betting and gambling are illegal and banned.

The I&B Ministry has now released a third advisory amidst the announcement of new amendments to draft online gaming rules. The latest advisory again asked media entities, media platforms and online advertisement intermediaries not to promote these illegal betting websites.

All media outlets, including newspapers, television networks, OTT and internet news providers, have received the advisory.