The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) issued a directive on Monday to digital news media and over-the-top platforms to refrain from carrying online betting advertisements. This is the second time in five months that the government has issued such an advisory, following the continued visibility of online betting ads on these platforms, it said.
The ministry also pointed to the presence of surrogate news websites operated by online betting platforms as a matter of concern. It said that these platforms were violating existing rules.
In June, the I&B Ministry had first issued its directive on online betting ads, saying that gambling was illegal in most parts of the country. It had called for restraint on the part of online news and OTT platforms to publish betting ads. It also asked print and electronic media to stop carrying betting ads.
“The concerned betting platforms and the corresponding news websites are not registered with any legal authority under Indian laws,” the advisory said on Monday. “Accordingly, the online betting platforms appear to be promoting betting and gambling under the garb of news as surrogate advertising.”
“In accordance with Paragraph 9 of the Guidelines for Prevention of Misleading Advertisements and Endorsements 2022 under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, ads of online betting and gambling platforms are prohibited. In this regard, in accordance with the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics) Rules 2021, ads of betting platforms cannot be shown on digital media,” the advisory said.