All India Gaming Federation welcomes MeitY banning 138 betting apps with Chinese links

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Last year in October, the Centre issued a strict advisory against showcasing betting advertisements on over-the-top (OTT) platforms, such as Netflix, Hotstar, and Amazon Prime Video, as well as private satellite TV platforms, stating that non-observance of the advisory may invite penal action under the applicable laws.

The central government on February 5, 2023, banned over 230 illegal betting, gambling and loan applications, on ‘emergency’ basis. According to an official, the ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) banned 138 betting/gambling websites and apps and 94 loan apps, which “were engaging in illegal money laundering & were posing threat to the financial security of our nation,” under section 69(A) of the IT Act.

Commenting on this matter, Mr. Roland Landers, CEO, All India Gaming Federation, said, “We believe that the blocking of 138 gambling apps undertaken by MeitY on the directions of MHA, is a good step in stopping the menace of gambling and is important not only because it affects the skill gaming industry but because it threatens the economic, social and national security of our country and harms our citizens.

These anti-national websites have been marketing themselves as news or legitimate gaming websites and have spent massive amounts of money in signing the biggest sports and movie icons of our country, various teams and sports leagues in the country, and airing their ads during the most watched sporting events.

Additionally, there is also a need for constant monitoring and heightened vigilance against these sites, as many of them have already become live again on alternate domain names and have no regard for the laws of the country.

This move will also undoubtedly help the Indian users and Indian legitimate skill industry since these gambling websites were masquerading as gaming websites in many instances, causing harm to users, and spoiling the image and perception of the India gaming industry which has been built by young Indian entrepreneurs and which provide safe and legal entertainment options to their customers.” Mr. Landers concluded.