Online gaming: Illegal betting operators profiting off rising popularity

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With a surge in technology, gambling companies have now created numerous betting apps and websites that are operated from different parts of the world with almost non-existent tax laws.

Ahmedabad, in recent days, has fallen prey to many of the biggest illegal gambling operators in India running illegal betting apps and dabba trading. These operators lure in users with several times higher rates of return than any legal online gaming or trading app.

Where do they operate from?

Most of the illegal betting operators have their main offices in Curaçao where they do not have to pay any taxes. Some operate from countries like Dubai. One such example is the Mahadev Book betting app operated by Saurabh Chandrakar from Dubai.

Mahadev Book has been one of the biggest illegal betting networks plaguing India, which spans several states like Gujarat and Chhattisgarh.

A CID officer said, “Local punters operating betting apps and websites in Gujarat are acting under the guidance of their masters based in Dubai,” according to Times of India.

“The betting mafia capitalizes on legal permissions granted by the UAE to run betting and gambling websites, exploiting the lack of jurisdiction over their real operations in India,” he further added.

Many of the local punters working on command of these offshore operators have been booked by the police in recent days with transactions worth crores in several dummy bank accounts. These accounts are opened by giving incentives to people in need or straight-up fraud and then used to siphon money out of the country.

Why these illegal apps are succeeding?

With the surge in the number of gamers in India and the Indian online gaming sector, many kinds of fantasy games and real money games have emerged. These illegal betting apps and websites take advantage of this abundance and disguise themselves as one of legal apps.

The Supreme Court has ruled skill games as legal games. Despite that, many people remain unaware of what are skill games. These illegal betting operators take advantage of this confusion to gain more foothold in the market.

The names selected for these betting apps are in the local language to dupe people into thinking of them as legal apps. Many of these betting apps and websites copy proper advertisement norms and hire local influencers to promote them.