IT raids: Gaming operator GameKing assets with INR 580 crores seized

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Cash transactions of Rs 600 crores have been unearthed by the income tax (IT) department in its recent probe on an online gaming and betting group, the Income Tax Department said in a press release. While the IT department press release did not disclose the names, a report on Indian Express said the raids pertain to Game King Private Limited controlled by run by Ramesh Chaurasia and Achal Chaurasia. The Mumbai investigation wing of the IT department earlier this month carried out searches at 29 premises including those in Mumbai, Delhi, Surat, and Jaipur.

Listed securities worth more than Rs. 550 crore and 30 bank accounts have been provisionally attached so far. Cash (including foreign currency) of Rs. 3.08 crore and jewellery worth Rs. 81 lakh has been seized by the department. The probe revealed that the assessee group having a wide network of agents and area managers operating in different cities collected cash from a large customer base who use the websites hosted on cloud servers by private operators. This cash was then sent to the group’s Mumbai headquarters through the hawala network using shell companies.

Game King under Income Tax scanner

The search revealed that the group has been introducing its unaccounted cash into books of account as unsecured loans, security premium, partner’s capital, agricultural income, share transactions, commission, trading income, etc., in the form of accommodation entries. “The search operations revealed that the group was operating in a clandestine manner and had concealed its operations and income from law enforcement agencies,” said the IT department in a statement.

The Chourasias have been under the scanner of Mumbai police earlier. In 2018, both Ramesh and Achal were arrested by the city police for allegedly running an illegal online lottery called Game King India. A magistrate court in Mumbai has discharged two in November 2021. The father-son duo was arrested by Madhya Pradesh police in a similar case and later discharged by an Indore court.

GameKing 11, a fantasy platform operated by Dream7 Entertainment Pvt Ltd last month approached Delhi High Court with a prayer to declare fantasy sports as a game of skill. It is not clear if GameKing 11 is related to Chourasias. Delhi MP Manoj Tiwari acts as the brand ambassador for GameKing 11.