MeitY to ban 138 betting apps, 94 loan lending apps with Chinese links

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In response to a notification from the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has started the procedure to ban and block 138 betting applications and 94 loan lending apps on an ‘urgent’ and ’emergency’ basis for having Chinese linkages.

The Union Home Ministry sent a message to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) regarding prohibiting these apps. MeitY had started the procedure to block these apps, according to reports.

The investigation started six months back when several apps were found in app stores. In addition to posing a security risk to the data of Indian citizens, these apps frequently exhibit predatory behavior and can be used for spying and spreading propaganda, according to News18.

The action was started after it was confirmed that these apps fall under Section 69 of the IT Act because they include “material which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India,” according to an official communication between the two ministries.

While several betting and gambling apps have already been banned in India, many offshore betting companies use surrogate websites to provide direct download links and sometimes even the ability to play directly on the website.

The I&B Ministry have issued several advisories not to promote these surrogate websites on Cable TV or OTT platforms, as advertisements of these betting platforms and their surrogates are also illegal under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act 2019.

Gambling and betting provide major financial and socioeconomic risks for consumers, particularly young people and children, according to the ministry. As a result, it cautioned against using advertisements to promote offline or online betting or gambling.