New Delhi: Despite government imposing a blanket ban on the online betting platforms, Lotus 365 is one such illegal application that is operating without impunity. The illegal betting platform, supposedly after a lull, is again on a promotional spree to lure & dupe young cricket fans.
The cricket betting platform is getting full-page advertisements published in national newspapers and also resorting to outdoor promotions by advertisements on bus stands, trains & more. Celebrities like Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Kajal Agrawal & Urvashi Rautela are already on its panel and a couple of TV celebrities & social media influencers have joined in to expand its reach & appeal among masses.
Alarmingly, such promotional activity of Lotus 365 comes on back of strongly worded advisories by Central government twice, first in June & 2nd in October last year. The government had also advised digital media to stop ‘hosting’ online gambling brands but the rogue company devised new ways & means to hardsell its brand.
New celebs & influencers ‘hired’ by Lotus 365
Among the latest celebrities and social media influencers who got onboard the illegal betting website for pitching its plans to public include rapper Millind Gabba, actress Iswarya Menon and Bigg Boss fame Tejasswi. All three figures could be seen in different advertisements, coaxing & cajoling young minds to give up the fantasy games & rather invest their money in this gambling game.
Tejasswi, in one such advertorial, is heard persuading users to subscribe to the online betting game and also reasons, why they should join it.
“The way IPL players hit winning centuries, you can also hit a jackpot & earn big bonuses. You can earn multiple 365 bonus & 5,000 on your first deposit. Lotus 365 has over 300 games registered on its platform including cricket, football, tennis & casino games,” says Tejasswi while urging youths to join Lotus 365 game.
Rapper Millind Gaba can be heard telling fans about how fans can put in their money & win handsome monetary rewards.
“One can win money by just predicting the toss result,” he says.
Actress Iswarya Menon goes on to say that Lotus 365 is India’s only licensed & legal company. She also claims that this betting app is most secure website & has plethora of options for sport enthusiasts.
Will these celebs face action?
Apart from Lotus 365 illicit operation, the bigger question is whether celebrities will pay the price for endorsing illegal & rogue betting Apps.
There are reportedly enough provisions to penalize ‘promoters of illegal brand’ but nothing of such sort has happened. Bollywood star Suneil Shetty still seems to have continued association with Lotus 365, as the latter still flaunts the actor on its portal.
According to reports, those promoting illegal betting are subject to action including Bollywood celebs. In fact, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) had sometime ago demanded arrest of those promoting online betting & gambling.
According to g2g.news portal, the celebrities may face a penalty of as high as Rs 50 lakh for misleading advertisements under the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) 2019 and 1 year ban may be imposed on them, during which they would be debarred from advertisements.
For the unversed, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) had in February struck down many portals & imposed blanket ban on their operations. A couple of them were found to have ‘Chinese connection’. Lotus 365 was one of these Apps to be banned but its operations even after a year is enough to send alarm bells ringing.