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Lotus 365, other betting sites to face heat as govt adds restrictions on promotion, functions

New Delhi: Centre announced the amendments to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 and has tightened its grip on online gaming and betting portals. The Ministry of Electronics and IT have come up with amendments to enforce greater due diligence by these betting and gambling websites and apps.

Now, as per the new rules, intermediaries have been asked to make a reasonable effort not to share, host or publish any online game that can be harmful or is not permissible by online gaming self-regulatory bodies designated by the government. The intermediary will not be allowed to host advertisements or promotions of an online game that is not permissible by the Centre.

There will now be an additional obligation on intermediaries hosting online games involving real money.

This step has come amid the public demanding a ban or some sort of regulation after the advertisements of Lotus365 emerged in the national dailies despite a ban on the gaming portal last month. Netizens spotted celebrities like Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Urvashi Rautela, Tejasswi Prakash, Kajal Agerwal and others promoting Lotus365 and appearing in its ads. This led to a severe backlash on the internet as users also claimed to have lost money in betting and gambling due to faulty functions on the website.

Lotus365 brand ambassadors

While Lotus365 was among the 138 Chinese-affiliated betting platforms banned in February 2023, the company changed its domain from lotus.com to lotus.in and functioned by shifting its users to WhatsApp. The firm claims to be licensed and being the oldest online gaming company in the country, it serves a lot of users in India.

There was a question on the legitimacy of betting apps and websites such as Parimatch, 22Bet Sports and others, and the amendments in the IT Rules will put some regulation in their promotion and functions.

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