Government Takes Action: Blocks 174 Betting and Gambling Sites, Total of 581 Apps Restricted

India’s government has intensified its crackdown on unauthorized online activities by blocking a total of 581 applications, according to Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary. Out of these, 174 are related to betting and gambling, and 87 involve loan lending. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) implemented these restrictions under Section 69A of the IT Act, 2000.

Chaudhary, in a response to Lok Sabha, stated, ‘MeitY blocked a total of 581 applications, including 174 betting and gambling related applications, 87 loan lending applications, and other applications such as gaming applications like PUBG, Garena Free Fire, etc.’


The focus on illegal betting and gambling apps has gained momentum, with MeitY issuing a blocking order against 22 ‘illegal’ betting apps and websites, including Mahadev Apps, last month. This action was taken in response to a request from the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which was investigating an alleged money laundering syndicate.

Earlier in February, the government had already blocked 138 illegal betting and gaming websites, although some were found to be still in operation. In July, amendments to the IGST Act mandated the registration of all offshore gaming companies in India, giving the central government the authority to block unregistered websites violating laws.

In October, reports indicated that the government had identified 114 illegal betting and gambling platforms operating in India through domain farming. These platforms were found to be collecting UPI payments through proxy bank accounts, and the funds accumulated in proxy accounts were being remitted through hawala, crypto, and other illegal channels.

Domestic online gaming companies recently raised concerns about the matter in a presentation to the revenue department. The presentation outlined the modus operandi of several offshore betting and gambling platforms operating illegally in India. Notable platforms on the banned list include Parimatch, Fairplay, 1XBET, Lotus365, Dafabet, and Betwaysatta, with some already under investigation by the Enforcement Directorate.

In response to a Lok Sabha question last week, the Minister of State confirmed that no offshore companies had registered since October 1, indicating ongoing efforts to curb unauthorized online activities.”

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