Information and Broadcasting Ministry issues advisory against betting advertisements shown on television and digital media
• Foreign betting platforms are using news as a surrogate product, promoting betting under the guise of news • Betting is an illegal activity across the country, showing its advertisements may attract fines, the ministry reminded digital media platforms and TV channels • Avoid luring Indians with betting advertisements, ministry advises online betting intermediaries
New Delhi । Keeping in view the enormous financial and socio-economic risks posed to consumers, especially youth and children, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting today issued two advisories, one for private television channels and the other for digital news publishers and OTT platforms. Is for. In this advisory all of them are strictly advised to avoid showing advertisements of online betting sites and surrogate advertisements of such sites. The ministry had earlier issued an advisory on June 13, 2022, advising newspapers, private TV channels and digital news publishers to avoid publishing advertisements of online betting platforms.
It had come to the notice of the government that several sports channels on television as well as OTT platforms have recently been showing advertisements of foreign online betting platforms as well as their surrogate news websites. The advisory was issued with evidence, including direct and surrogate advertising from offshore betting platforms such as Fairplay, Parimatch, Betway, Wolf777 and 1xBet.
The Ministry has informed in the advisory that online foreign betting platforms are now using news websites as a surrogate product to advertise the betting platform on digital media. In such cases, the Ministry has found that the logos of surrogate news websites are similar to those of betting platforms. Further, the ministry has stated that neither the betting platform nor the news website are registered under any statutory authority in India. Such websites are promoting betting and gambling in the form of surrogate advertising under the guise of news.
The advisory issued by the ministry states that since betting and gambling are illegal in most parts of the country, the advertisements of these betting platforms as well as their surrogate advertisements are illegal. These advisories are based on the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act 1995 and the IT Rules, 2021. The ministry has stated that such advertisements are not in conformity with various relevant laws and have strictly advised TV channels and digital news publishers not to air such betting platforms or their surrogate news websites. The ministry reminded TV channels that any violation of this could result in penal action. The ministry has also advised intermediaries of online advertisements not to target such advertisements to the Indian audience.
The ministry noted that betting and gambling pose enormous financial and socio-economic risks to consumers, especially to youth and children. Therefore, in the larger public interest, it is advisable not to promote betting/gambling either offline or online through advertisements.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has issued this advisory in collaboration with the Department of Consumer Affairs.