The ministry of information and broadcasting has issued guidelines for print, television, and digital media to stop carrying advertisements of online betting platforms.
“Betting and gambling are illegal in most parts of the country and concerns have been expressed that advertisements of online betting promote an activity that is otherwise largely prohibited and pose significant financial and socioeconomic risks for consumers, especially youth and children. Further, 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,” the ministry said on Monday.
The ministry advised the print and electronic media to refrain from publishing advertisements of online betting platforms.
“Online and social media, including online advertisement intermediaries and publishers, are advised not to display such advertisements in India or target such advertisements towards the Indian audience,” the ministry said.
The ministry pointed out that it had convened a meeting in 2020 with the ministries of consumer affairs, electronics and information technology, the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), the News Broadcasters Association, the Indian Broadcasting Federation, the All India Gaming Federation, the Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports, and the Online Rummy Federation.
The meeting resulted in ASCI issuing guidelines for advertisements of online gaming and fantasy sports on television, it said.
The ministry asked all broadcasters to comply with these guidelines and pointed out that no gaming advertisement should show a person below the age of 18 indulging in online gaming for real money wins. Further, print advertisements must carry the disclaimer that the game involves an element of financial risk, while audio and video advertisements must have the same placed at the end at normal speaking pace and in the same language as the advertisement.