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I&B ministry issues advisory to media to not promote online betting; see details here

I&B ministry issues advisory to media to not promote online betting; see details here

The I&B ministry stated that gambling and betting is illegal in most parts of the country, and it poses significant financial and socio-economic risk for the consumers.

Advisory on online betting ads Advisory on online betting ads

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B), on Monday, issued an advisory to print, electronic and digital media to refrain from promoting online betting platforms. The advisory has been issued in light of instances of advertisement of online betting websites and platforms in the media following a meeting between the ministry and ministries of Consumer Affairs, and Electronics & IT, along with Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), News Broadcasters Association (NBA), Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), All India Gaming Federation (AIGF), Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS), and Online Rummy Federation (ORF). 

The I&B ministry stated that gambling and betting is illegal in most parts of the country, and it poses significant financial and socio-economic risk for the consumers. Advertisements on online betting have the effect of promoting this prohibited activity, it added.

“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”, it has stated.

Online and social media, including online advertisement intermediaries and publishers, have also been advised to refrain from promoting such advertisements in India. 

The ministry had also issued an advisory to TV channels on December 4, 2020, to adhere to the ASCI guidelines on advertisements of online gaming.

The ASCI guidelines state the following:

  • No gaming ad may depict persons under the age of 18, or who appear to be under the age of 18, engaging in online gaming for real winnings, or suggest that such persons can play these games.
  • Every gaming advertisement must carry disclaimers in print/static and audio/video stating that there are financial risks and may be addictive. 
  • In print such a disclaimer should occupy no less than 20 per cent of the ad space.
  • In audio/video, the disclaimer must be in normal speaking pace, and same language as the advertisement. 
  • For audio-visual mediums, the disclaimer must be in audio-visual format.
  • The ads must not present online gaming as an income opportunity or alternative employment option.
  • The ads must not present persons engaging in gaming activity to be more successful than others. 

Also read: I&B ministry asks Twitter, YouTube to pull down perfume advertisement