Mahadev betting app case: Centre orders 'blocking' of 22 illegal betting apps, website 

The IT ministry has issued blocking orders against 22 illegal betting apps and websites, including Mahadev Book Online.

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In the latest development in the Mahadev betting app case, the central government has imposed blocking orders against 22 illegal betting apps and websites, including platforms – Mahadev Book Online and Reddyannaprestopro.

According to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY), they have imposed restrictions amid the ongoing investigation into an illegal betting app syndicate led by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) into this controversial case.

Centre blocks 22 illegal betting apps amid Mahadev betting app case

This order was issued under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act after ED’s recommendations.

In a statement, Minister of State for IT Raveej Chandrashekhar has claimed inaction on the part of the Bhupesh Baghel-led administration into the illegal activities via the betting app.

The minister said, "Chhattisgarh Government had the authority to recommend the shutdown of the 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. The first and only request has been received from ED and it has been acted upon. Nothing was preventing the Chhattisgarh Government from making similar requests earlier."

Notably, the Mahadev betting app case has been hitting headlines after the probe agency claimed it recorded the email statement of a ‘cash courier’ revealing that Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel had allegedly received Rs 508 crore from the app promoters based in the UAE, triggering a political row ahead of the state Assembly polls.

Owners taken into custody

Amid this chaos, the owners of this controversial betting application have been taken into custody. Soon, they will be arrested under Section 19 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). They are facing charges for the commission of the offence of money laundering under section 3, punishable under section 4 of PMLA, 2002.

The ED has alleged that the app operated by franchising ‘panel/branches’ to known associates with a 70-30 profit ratio, using the platform to enrol new users, create IDs, and launder money through a complex network of Benami bank accounts. The operation reportedly generated a whopping Rs 200 crore daily.

What is Mahadev Online App?

The Mahadev betting app case involved an online betting platform that enabled illegal gambling on various games, such as poker, card games, badminton, tennis, football and cricket, according to the ED.

This app was run by Dubai-based Saurabh Chandrakar, who was a former juice seller, and his accomplice Ravi Uppal, both of whom hail from Chhattisgarh, they added.