Lotus365, an illegal offshore betting website, has been using deceitful tactics to attract Indian customers, despite having its dot com domain name blocked by the central government. The website has resorted to using Instagram influencers, including Urvashi Rautela, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and Kriti Kharbanda, to promote their brand and create a façade of legitimacy.
The latest promotion on their Instagram handle claims that Lotus365 is the first legal, licensed, and certified company, with no taxes on winnings or documentation required for withdrawals, which violates India's Goods and Services Tax, Income Tax, and anti-gambling laws. This false advertising is in blatant disregard of two advisories issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting last year, which urged media platforms to refrain from advertising gambling websites.
Despite the central government blocking the website's domain name and promotions, celebrities and influencers continue to endorse Lotus365, along with other similar offshore betting brands. These endorsers falsely claim that these websites are licensed, legal, and the best or only legitimate platforms for betting.
Interestingly, after the central government blocked Lotus365's domain name, the website launched a mirror website with the same name and content through a dot in the domain name, along with a false press release claiming that the domain name crashed due to heavy traffic, as reported by G2G News.
It remains to be seen whether the government will take action against the celebrities and influencers openly promoting illegal betting sites on social media and making false claims on behalf of these brands.