The Indian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has issued an advisory note recommending an outright ban on advertisements that promote online betting.
Government requests that all ads are withdrawn immediately
In its statement, the ministry cited ‘financial and socio-economic risk for consumers’ as the main factors for the recommendation. The ministry has since requested that all print, electronic and digital media publishers cease advertising online betting platforms with immediate effect.
The advisory comes following a rise in the number of advertisements for online betting websites and platforms in recent months.
The advisory note states
“Betting and gambling, illegal in most parts of the country, pose significant financial and socio-economic risk for the consumers, especially youth and children.”
It goes on to note that advertisements are often directing consumers to illegal and unlicensed websites.
“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.”
In December of 2020, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had previously issued an advisory to privately-owned satellite TV channels informing them that they must comply with the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) guidelines on advertisements for online gaming.