The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has taken action against 22 illegal betting apps and websites following a request by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) amidst an ongoing investigation into alleged money laundering in India.

MeitY has responded to the request by the ED and cracked down on 22 illegal betting apps and websites. This move is part of the ongoing investigation into money laundering in India.

MeitY introduced new rules in April to regulate online real-money games in India. However, the regulatory bodies to oversee these games have not been appointed yet.

The list of blocked apps includes Mahadev Book, which is currently under investigation for its involvement in an illegal betting syndicate offering various live games. The ED initiated an investigation based on a ‘cash courier’ statement that alleges Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel received a large sum of money from the app promoters.

The Union Minister of Chhattisgarh State for Electronics and Information Technology states that the government has the authority to recommend the shutdown of websites or apps involved in illegal activities. However, the request for action came from the ED.

As a result of the investigation, the owners of Mahadev Book are now in custody, including a constable in the Chhattisgarh Police Force. This development highlights the ongoing challenge of curbing illicit betting and regulating the market in India.

In July 2023, the Goods and Service Tax Council decided to impose a 28% goods and service tax on online gaming, horseracing, and casinos. This decision aims to address the influence of illegal offshore platforms. The Indian authorities have also been addressing the issue of illicit betting activities, as demonstrated by the recent arrest of individuals involved in illegal betting related to a cricket match.

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