The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has today issued an advisory to print, electronic and digital media to refrain from advertising online betting platforms.
The advisory comes in light of instances of a number of advertisements of online betting websites/platforms appearing in print, electronic, social and online media. Last week, the Consumer Affairs ministry issued guidelines under Consumer Protection Act that prohibited surrogate advertising which is normally adopted by offshore betting websites. Team G2G has earlier reached out to few media houses and was successful in taking down casino promotional posts.
Betting and gambling, illegal in most parts of the country, pose significant financial and socio-economic risk for the consumers, especially youth and children, the advisory states. It has further added that these advertisements on online betting have the effect of promoting this largely prohibited activity.
“The advertisements of online betting are misleading, and do not appear to be in strict conformity with the Consumer Protection Act 2019, Advertising Code under the Cable Television Networks Regulation Act, 1995, and advertisement norms under the Norms of Journalistic Conduct laid down by the Press Council of India under the Press Council Act, 1978”, it has stated.
The advisory has been issued in larger public interest, and it has advised the print and electronic media to refrain from publishing advertisements of online betting platforms. It has also advised the online and social media, including the online advertisement intermediaries and publishers, to not display such advertisements in India or target such advertisements towards the Indian audience.
All India Gaming Federation (AIGF), the apex self-regulatory body for skill gaming in India has been consistently raising the issue of offshore betting websites advertising aggressively in violation of laws in India and has written to PM Modi recently.
On 4th December, 2020, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting had issued an advisory to Private Satellite TV channels to adhere to the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) guidelines on advertisements of online gaming which contained specific Do’s and Dont’s for print and audio-visual advertisements of online gaming.