On June 13th, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) issued an advisory directing print, electronic, and digital media organisations to refrain from carrying any advertisements for online betting websites , according to a press release from the ministry. In the advisory, the ministry also asked social and online media platforms to not carry or at least not show or target such advertisements towards the Indian audience. Online gambling can be classified as gaming that is not dependent on skills of the player. The advisory marks the latest effort from the government to tackle advertisements on online gambling and betting in India. While streaming the India-Australia ODI series in December 2020 and even the UEFA European Football Championship in June 2021, Sony LIV carried advertisements from international sports betting platforms Betway and Dafabet. Advertising betting websites is illegal in India. According to the advisory, the ads promote sites which pose significant 'financial and socio-economic risk for consumers, especially youth and children', and are illegal in multiple States. Further, the ads were not in line with multiple government regulations too, the advisory notes. “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 says. Why it matters: Online gambling and betting are largely illegal in…
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