I&B Ministry issues advisory to digital publishers, OTTs on display of betting ads
The Advisory had been issued for the reason that betting and gambling is prohibited in most parts of the country
The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has issued an advisory to digital publishers, OTT platforms and private TV channels, advising then to refrain from publishing or broadcasting advertisements of online betting platforms.
“Attention is invited to the Advisory dated 13.06.2022 (copy enclosed) issued by this Ministry to Private Satellite TV channels advising them to refrain from publishing advertisements of online betting platforms. The Advisory had been issued for the reason that betting and gambling is prohibited in most parts of the country, and pose significant financial and socio-economic risk for the consumers, especially youth and children. Accordingly, the promotion of offline or online betting/gambling through advertisements is not advised in larger public interest,” the notification read.
The notification said that betting/gambling is illegal in some parts of India and therefore cannot be shown on TV channels. “Betting and gambling is an illegal activity in most parts of India. In accordance with the Paragraph the Guidelines for Prevention of Misleading Advertisements and Endorsements for Misleading Advertisements 2022 under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, it has been observed that since betting and gambling is illegal, advertisements of online offshore betting and gambling platforms are also illegal. In this regard, it may be noted that in accordance with the Advertising Code under Cable TV Network Regulation Act 1995, advertisements of betting platforms, being an illegal activity, can not be shown on TV channels,” said the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
Ministry also pointed out that there are surrogate news websites operated by online betting platforms and the logos are strikingly similar to that of the news channels and are not registered by any legal authority under the law.
“In respect of the advertisements of the surrogate news websites operated by the online betting platforms, it may be mentioned that the logos of the concerned news websites are strikingly similar to the betting platform. The concerned betting platforms, and the corresponding news websites, are also not registered with any legal authority under Indian law.”
The ministry further said that violation of any regulation will invite penalty according to the applicable law.
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