A betting and gambling website by name Wolf777 is acting as a sponsor for the Filmfare Awards 2022 thereby mainstreaming the illegal online activities that have grown at a fast pace after the pandemic.
The Filmfare Awards are annual awards presented by Times Group that honour artistic and technical excellence in Indian cinema and is considered as prestigious by the actors.
Targeting the penetration of illegal gambling ads, the guidelines under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 were released last month, defining “surrogate advertisement” as an advertisement for goods, products or services, whose advertising is otherwise prohibited or restricted by law, by circumventing such prohibition or restriction and portraying it to be an advertisement for other goods, product or service, the advertising of which is not prohibited or restricted by law.
Betting is prohibited in the country and therefore cannot be advertised openly. The recent guidelines prohibit any kind of surrogate advertising by any party including Filmfare.
Despite regulations in place, the government has failed to take any action on the advertisers, publishers, and celebrities undertaking surrogate advertisements.
Last week, government owned DD Sports was seen violating the laws in favour of surrogate betting websites, creating a doubt if the entire illegal betting and gambling sector is intertwined into the country’s economy and politics.
It is worth noting that when 13 Lok Sabha members posed questions on the penetration of illegal gambling and betting advertisements in this session, the government gave a robotic response stating all necessary regulations and advisories are in place.