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Ministry of Information and Broadcasting issues advisory to media to refrain from advertising online betting platforms

Ministry of Information and Broadcasting issues advisory to media to refrain from advertising online betting platforms

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Monday has issued an advisory to Newspapers registered under Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867, Private Satellite Television Channels, Publishers of news and current affairs content on digital media to refrain from advertising online betting platforms.

This comes in light of instances of a number of advertisements of online betting websites or platforms appearing in print, electronic, social and online media.

The advisory 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 has further added that these advertisements on online betting have the effect of promoting this largely prohibited activity. “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”, the advisory stated.

The advisory has been issued in larger public interest, and it has advised the print and electronic media to refrain from publishing advertisements of online betting platforms. 

It has also advised the online and social media, including the online advertisement intermediaries and publishers, to not display such advertisements in India or target such advertisements towards the Indian audience.

On 4th December, 2020, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting had issued an advisory to Private Satellite TV channels to adhere to the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) guidelines on advertisements of online gaming which contained specific Do’s and Dont’s for print and audio-visual advertisements of online gaming.

ASCI was established in 1985. ASCI is a voluntary self-regulatory organisation comprising members from marketing, creative, media, and allied companies in India. ASCI has been committed to protecting Indian consumers’ interests through self-regulation in advertising since its inception.

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