L&T draws criticism for promoting illegal betting apps on Hyderabad metro properties

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Larsen & Toubro (L&T) is advertising mobile apps promoting illegal online betting, including rummy and card games, across Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited (HMRL) properties. Advertisements have surfaced on Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) trains, pillars, and other HMRL-owned properties, prompting reactions from authorities and activists.

As reported by Deccan Chronicle, the GHMC’s Directorate of Enforcement Vigilance & Disaster Management (EV&DM) has attempted to intervene, urging HMR authorities to remove these advertisements. The Central Consumer Protection Authority has issued an advisory, highlighting the prohibition of promoting illegal activities such as betting and gambling, which are strictly prohibited under the Public Gambling Act, 1867.

This advisory, issued under the Consumer Protection Act, aims to limit the expansion of advertisements endorsing illegal offshore gambling platforms, often endorsed by prominent figures in Indian entertainment and sports industries.

Despite these warnings, advertisements promoting betting mobile apps, including slogans like ‘bet and win’, ‘play poker, teen patti and win cash,’ continue to appear on HMRL properties, drawing criticism from activists. Harish Daga, an activist from the city, lamented, “The Hyderabad Metro Rail is utilized by many, especially students and youngsters. It is unfortunate that illegal betting apps are being promoted for the sake of profit.”

When questioned, HMRL officials attributed the advertisement activity to Larsen & Toubro. However, representatives from Larsen & Toubro responsible for media communication requested time to respond, indicating they would consult with higher authorities before providing a statement.