AIGF lauds I&B Ministry’s latest advisory against betting ads to influencers and celebrities

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As the Indian Premier League (IPL) season is going to begin, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has taken a stance against the promotion of illegal offshore online gambling platforms. In a recent advisory, the ministry cautioned celebrities and influencers about the danger associated with endorsing such platforms, citing financial and socio-economic risks, particularly for youth and children.

According to the advisory, the MIB emphasized that these offshore gambling sites pose a threat to consumers and warned that appropriate legal action, including penal measures and the blocking of social media accounts sharing such advertisements, could be taken against violators.

The All India Gaming Federation (AIGF), the leading industry body for online gaming, has been advocating for action against these illegal practices. Roland Landers, CEO of AIGF, applauded the ministry’s decision, stating, “We are grateful to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting for being proactive and taking decisive actions against illegal offshore gambling platforms.”

Landers highlighted the harmful impact of these advertisements, which often target Indian audiences through direct promotions and surrogate advertisements featuring top sports and movie celebrities. He noted a positive trend since June ’22, with a noticeable decrease in offshore platform advertisements across TV networks, OTT platforms, print publications, and online social media platforms.

“We hope this advisory will lead to a complete eradication of this menace,” Landers said, expressing optimism that it would discourage celebrities from associating with such “anti-national and illegal platforms,” which pose threats to India’s economic and social security.

Furthermore, Landers emphasized the importance of distinguishing legitimate Indian online skill gaming operators, which prioritize player protection, from illegal gambling sites that perpetuate consumer harm and societal issues.

The advisory serves as an important step towards controlling the influence of illegal offshore gambling platforms in India, aligning with efforts to safeguard consumers and uphold the integrity of the online gaming industry ahead of the IPL season.