Exclusive: MIB Secretary asks states to curb outdoor ads of illegal offshore betting platforms

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With regard to curbing outdoor advertisements of illegal offshore gambling platforms, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) Secretary Apurva Chandra today has written to chief secretaries of all states & Union Territories to take strict action against these illegal entities.

Despite MIB releasing multiple advisories in this regard to cable TV, OTT and other platforms, gambling adverts are still being seen across the country. As a matter of fact, these adverts are now being seen more on hoardings, auto rickshaws, banners and posters with the IPL season underway.

Incidentally, the first advisory from MIB was released in June last year followed by another in October. While the past advisories did curb the promotions on TV, in print and electronic media, the betting platforms are still prominently advertising on social media platforms.

Many of these illegal betting platforms are using surrogate advertising using celebrities and influencers to attract more people to these surrogate websites and then redirect them to their actual gambling websites. Several social media influencers and some popular celebrities were spotted promoting these websites.

MIB is working to address the celebrity endorsement aspect along with other form of adverts of these illegal gambling websites. Moreover, the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) recently sent notices to Urvashi Rautela and Nawazuddin Siddiqui seeking clarification on their claims which suggest that the illegal betting websites are, in fact, legitimate. Interestingly, despite being sent the aforementioned notice Urvashi Rautela released an Instagram reel a few days later promoting the same platform.

Meanwhile, Secretary Apurva Chandra concluded his letter to the states, requesting them to take necessary action as soon as possible.