Enforcement Directorate Blocks 22 Illegal Gambling Sites

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The Indian Government has announced that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has instructed that 22 illegal online betting platforms are to be blocked in the jurisdiction. The blocking order of websites and online platforms includes the Mahadev Book.

This action comes as part of an ongoing investigation by the ED into illegal gambling activities in the region, including alleged money laundering by some live casinos and gaming operators.

Central Government minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar has been critical of the Chhattisgarh government, claiming it has been slow to stop the illegal gaming operators despite the investigation having been run for over 18 months. He says the ED is the first regulatory body to use powers to stop Mahadev Book despite having the same legislative powers.

Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has issued blocking orders against 22 illegal betting apps & websites, including Mahadev Book and Reddyannaprestopro, Chhattisgarh Government had all the power to recommend shutting down of website/app under Sec 69A IT Act. However, they did not do so and no such request was made by the State Government while they have been investigating it for the last 1.5 years. In fact, the first and only request has been received from ED, and it has been acted upon.

Rajeev ChandrasekharUnion Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology

Related: India Cracks Down on Online Gambling Ads Ahead of Major Cricket Events

Owners of Mahadev Book in Custody

The more serious charges in the yearlong investigation relate to Mahadev Book, and the owners of this site are currently in custody awaiting possible charges relating to money laundering.

Further individuals involved in this case are a pair of constables working in the Chhattisgarh Police Force, who have been arrested and face charges for breaching Section 19 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for the commission of the offense of money laundering under Section 3.

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