The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology may step in to curb online betting and gambling advertisements hosted by major social media platforms in India, reported The Indian Express. “I am very concerned that many social media and digital platforms are advertising these obviously illegal online betting sites. We are focusing on taking steps on that,” said Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar in conversation with The Indian Express. Displayed on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp, these ads promote online betting and gambling sites, and in some cases, onboard users too. Why it matters: While the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has issued advisories this year (and this month) advising newspapers, television channels, and streaming platforms against displaying ads and surrogate ads for online betting platforms, no similar advisory has been issued for social media platforms specifically. Gambling is a state subject in India, and has largely been prohibited or restricted by various governments. The Express analysed the ads using the Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube accounts of three Delhi-based users. Games of chance and sports betting are outlawed in the territory—nevertheless, these ads were displayed to these users. Where are these ads found and do they fall in line with platform policies? Meta permits direct and surrogate online betting ads in India, says The Indian Express, provided that advertisers secure “written permission” from it. The Express found that ads promoting online gambling appeared frequently on Meta’s Facebook and Instagram platforms. “On the main home feed…
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