Telangana: Student loses Rs. 95 lakh to illegal betting platform, cops warn youth from playing online rummy using fake GPS

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Hyderabad police on Sunday said it has tightened the vigil and will book those involved in playing online rummy using GPS applications to use fake locations. The police said there is a complete ban on online rummy for stakes in the state and the operators and players can be punished.

The announcement comes in the background of a person from Hyderabad outskirts losing rupees ninety five lakh to online rummy and gambling. A student had reportedly gambled the amount on King 567 platform using the proceeds deposited into his father’s bank account by the state government for acquisition of land.

King 567 is an illegal betting and gambling platform and it is interesting that the law enforcement is labeling every online gambling activity as rummy which is a game of skill as per judicial precedents. News reports in the Telugu states have labelled the loss of amounts to rummy while it is actually related to gambling and betting.

Telangana is the first state to ban gaming for stakes on all kinds of games since 2017. However, in recent times, illegal betting and gambling websites have been aggressively advertising using online and outdoor means with law enforcement turning a blind eye.

In one such incident, entire coaches of Hyderabad metro rail were plastered with advertisements of illegal betting platforms. Two time legislator and top Telugu hero N. Balakrishna was seen promoting illegal gambling brand Fun88 in a popular Telugu show Unstoppable2.

In an advisory in October 2022, citing significant financial and socio-economic risks for the consumers, the central government said that multiple online offshore betting platforms were using news websites as a surrogate product to advertise their platforms.

Essentially, it was observed that many online betting platforms were advertising themselves as ‘professional sports blogs’ and ‘sports news websites’ while operating as full-fledged betting platforms. The central government directed print, online and digital platforms to refrain from advertising or promoting these platforms.

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