The government issued directives to prohibit 22 unauthorised betting and gambling apps and websites on Sunday. Among them, the controversial Mahadev Book Online app was also included, as per an official notification.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) announced that it had acted upon blocking requests from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to restrict access to 22 'unlawful betting apps and websites.' These included Mahadev Book Online and Reddyannaprestopro.
The government's decision to take action came after the ED conducted investigations into an illegal betting app syndicate and carried out raids on Mahadev Book in Chhattisgarh, exposing the app's illicit activities.
Presently, Bhim Singh Yadav, a Chhattisgarh Police constable, and an individual named Asim Das are under arrest on charges of money laundering, detained under Section 19 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
"Chhattisgarh government had all the power to recommend shutting down of the website or app under Sec 69A IT Act. However, they did not do so and no such request is made by the state government while they have been investigating it for last 1.5 years. In fact, the first and only request has been received from ED and it has been acted upon. Nothing prevented Chhattisgarh Government from making similar requests," said Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology.
In the past couple of years, the government has imposed prohibitions on numerous applications and websites, covering a range of categories such as gaming, gambling, betting, photo editing software, web browsers, and more.