Centre asks news websites, TV channels to refrain from carrying betting sites ads
New Delhi, Oct 03: The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting on Monday issued an advisory to publishers of news and current affairs content on digital media advising them to refrain from publishing advertisements on online betting platforms and social media.
It had come to the notice of the Government that several sports channels on television, as well as on OTT platforms, have recently been showing advertisements for offshore online betting platforms as well as their surrogate news websites. The Advisories were supplemented with evidences which contained direct and surrogate advertisements of offshore betting platforms such as Fairplay, PariMatch, Betway, Wolf 777, and 1xBet, the statement said.
It added that the online offshore betting platforms are now using news websites as a surrogate product to advertise the betting platforms on digital media. "In such cases, the Ministry has found that the logos of surrogate news websites bear striking resemblance to betting platforms. Moreover, the Ministry has stated that neither the betting platforms nor the news websites are registered under any legal authority in India. Such websites are promoting betting and gambling under the garb of news as surrogate advertising," the statement claimed.
The Ministry has mentioned that betting and gambling pose significant financial and socio-economic risk for consumers, especially youth and children. Accordingly, the promotion of offline or online betting/gambling through advertisements is not advised in larger public interest.
It also warned private satellite television channels of penal action under applicable laws for violation of the advisory.
In a separate advisory to publishers of news and current affairs content on digital media and OTT platforms, the ministry issued a similar directive and asked them not to target such advertisements towards the Indian audience.