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New rules for real money gaming ads require disclaimers, cannot depict children

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The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has introduced government-backed guidelines for real-money gaming ads, days after the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting met with industry participants about gaming ads on television channels. Beginning mid-December, all advertisements about real-money gaming or services will have to carry disclaimers about financial risks and addiction, among other things. Further, the ads cannot depict children as playing these or present real-money gaming as an income opportunity or employment option.  The guidelines have the “full support and backing” of the government, including by the I&B Ministry, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, and the Department of Consumer Affairs, ASCI said in a statement. ASCI is a self-regulatory body for ads, overseeing the industry via codes.   The guidelines were prompted by the “real danger of negative impacts of real-money gaming ads," ASCI said. Such ads depict real-money gaming as sources of income, but suppress the “real possibility of losing money.” Celebrities appearing in ads can make the services more attractive, and "consumers tend to trust their heroes and role models blindly." They violate the ASCI code as they are highly addictive, misleading, and end up harming individuals and society.  The idea of framing specific guidelines for advertisement of such games is to inform advertisers as well as members of the public what criteria we will use to scrutinize advertisements against which we receive complaints. While the government will take a decision on the legal issues surrounding the sector, we believe these advertising guidelines will make…

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