Google says it doesn’t allow online gambling advertisements in response to I&B letter

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Tech giant Google released a statement on Wednesday in which it claimed that, in accordance with Indian law, it does not permit any online gambling advertisements.

Last week, Google was directed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B Ministry) to refrain from promoting any offshore websites on YouTube and their search engine through advertisements.

In response to directives from the I&B ministry, a spokesperson from Google said, “In line with our Ads Policies, and with the local laws and regulations applicable, we do not allow any advertisements that promote online gambling.”

“Across our ads systems, we have strict policies in place to stop violations, and we take quick action if we are informed about violative ads,” the spokesperson added.

An official from the I&B ministry spoke to Economic Times (ET). The official said that the letter was sent last week after MIB was informed that Google is being used to promote online gambling advertisements.

The official statement quoted, “We issued a letter to Google to stop displaying betting ads to Indian users. The ministry is yet to get a response from Google as the letter was issued just last week.”

The order was given due to a recent surge in offshore firms using surrogate advertisements to promote their gambling websites.

Offshore online betting services, including Fairplay, PariMatch, Betway, Wolf 777, and 1xBet, have been promoting themselves on TV and OTT platforms using surrogate information websites.

The ministry issued a detailed advisory in October requesting that TV broadcasters, OTT platforms, digital publishers, and social media intermediaries stop airing/displaying online betting advertisements and surrogate advertisements of such platforms.

The All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) has also praised the decision by the I&B ministry to send an advisory letter to Google regarding offshore betting firms.