The owners of an illegal betting site Mahadevbook.com & Lotus247 were arrested from Hyderabad. People forget that offline betting is still illegal in India.
Online betting has become a widespread phenomenon these days. The increased interest of Indians in sports betting has resulted in the formation of both legal and illegal betting sites in the country. While many legal sportsbooks are operating online, a number of illicit bookmakers have also entered the market. As per the Public Gambling Act of 1867, sports betting or any other form of gambling is illegal in India. Recently, the owners of an illegal betting site www.mahadevbook.com were arrested for organizing illicit betting activities at their residence. They used to manage several other illegal websites as well.
Mahadevbook owners were providing ID and passwords to punters through their different fake and illegal websites. They have listed the fancy minimum bet and match minimum bet for each user ID and password. In fact, mahadevbook.com was reaching out to punters through their Facebook, Instagram pages, and their punter-friendly Telegram group. Among the accused persons, four were arrested, and the rest three absconded. The Task Force has managed to seize INR 8,65,000 betting amount, cell phones, laptops, debit cards of multiple banks, punters betting accounts registers, etc.
Mahadevbook.com offered bets on different online and offline games, including Teen Patti, Cricket, Online Casino Games, Hockey, Football, Tennis, Boxing, and more. This illegal betting gang had over 500 punters who used to bet on various games.
How Did Mahadevbook operate?
These illegal betting sites were organized by Tahahuddin, Azam Khan, Khaja Asim Ahmed, and Mohd Shazayb. The owners of Mahadev Book were managing the online betting racket at a residence in Hyderabad. Their other illegal betting sites are –
- Lotus Book 247,
- Gold Exch,
- Ice Exch,
- Sky Exchange,
- 777 Mahadev,
- Lord Exchange,
- Gem Exch,
- King Exchange,
- Lotus King, and
- Silver Exch.
All these illegal websites were provided with user IDs and passwords.
The gang members of MahadevBook were offering User IDs and passwords to whoever wanted to play online. The IDs were only available for 24 hours, and the mahadevbook.com gang was earning a massive amount of illegal money on commissions. The North Zone Task Force has raided their residence in Langar House, Hyderabad, and managed to arrest four of the gang members. The task force has also recovered around INR 8.65 lakhs cash from their residence.
They were also operating and managing multiple Telegram, WhatsApp, and Instagram accounts to reach punters. After getting detained, the owners of MahadevBook or King Exchange confessed their illegal involvement in online betting. Their transactions on these illegal betting websites were managed by multiple bank accounts. Any client of theirs who wanted to play would have to pay money for the 24/7 online ID services. In case the player wins, the winning amount will be sent to his account via online mode. This is how they used their illegitimate online betting websites to earn illegal money.
Laws Governing Betting And Gambling In India
Although gambling has always been a part of Indian festivals, players must know the laws before playing at any online website. For many people, betting and gambling laws in India are quite confusing. When it comes to sports betting (except betting on horse races), it is clearly illegal in India. For a better understanding of gambling/betting laws in India, read the points given below.
- The primary law regarding gambling or betting in India is The Public Gambling Act which was created in 1867. This explains why there is not any clear law or legislation regarding online betting or gambling in India.
- According to the Public Gambling Act (PGA,1867), betting is not permitted in India. However, the individual states have the right to create their own laws governing gambling. This is why gambling is legal in Goa, Daman, and Sikkim and not in many other states of India.
- This law states the difference between games of chance and games of skill. Games of chance are illegal in the country as per the Public Gambling Act. However, players from India can gamble online at foreign-based casinos or betting websites.
- For online gambling, there are no such laws to protect the players or to bring transparency to the online gambling industry in India. In order to prevent players from getting cheated at illegal betting websites, there is a need for proper betting/gambling laws in the country.
The mahadevbook.com was an illegal betting site as per the Indian gambling laws. This gang has cheated a number of players, but no one was able to file a complaint against the owners of mahadevbook.com. This is because you cannot lodge a complaint against an unlicensed betting site in India. The Task Force officials got a tip-off about their illegal betting operations and raided their residence. However, if you are playing at a legit and licensed casino, then you can easily lodge a complaint against the operator.
Identify Illegal Betting Websites Like MahadevBook.com & Lotus 247 In India
To make sure your gambling experience is not ruined because of an illegal betting website, we have covered some simple steps you must consider before playing.
- Check operator’s license – Licensed casinos or betting platforms are regulated by the recognized authorities. So, if you are playing at a casino with a credible license provided by authorities such as; MGA, UKGC, Gibraltar, or Curacao, you are on a legit site.
- A little background check of operators – Read a few reviews and players’ opinions to know for how long the casino/betting site has been in the industry and what people say about it. If the site has more negative reviews, you can look for other alternatives.
- Read important terms and conditions – Players often avoid reading such large terms and conditions given at the casino or betting website. Reading important terms and conditions will surely save you from future frauds. If a casino/betting site has no terms and conditions or any licensing information given on it, there are high chances the site is a scam.