The Minister of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) issued an advisory to print, electronic and digital media to refrain from advertising online betting platforms. The advisory comes in light of instances of a number of such advertisements appearing in media.
According to the advisory released by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, “Betting and gambling, illegal in most parts of the country, pose a significant financial and socio-economic risk for the consumers, especially youth and children.”
Further, the latest suggestions come in light of instances of a number of advertisements of online betting websites and platforms appearing in print, electronic, social and online media.
“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 I&B Ministry said in a statement.
The government also asked the internet and social media, as well as online advertisement intermediates and publishers, not to display or target such adverts in India.
The government issued an advisory to commercial satellite TV channels in 2020, advising them to follow the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) guidelines for online gaming promotions, which included specific dos and don'ts for print and audio-visual advertisements.
Many analysts believe that the latest proposals will have a negative influence for fantasy sports organisations, which are accused of promoting online gambling.
According to a report released in March this year by the industry group Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS) and Deloitte, India's fantasy sports market would reach Rs 1.65 lakh crore by FY2025, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 38%. The fantasy sports market is currently valued at Rs 34,000 crore.
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