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Indian government asks states to curb outdoor advertisements of betting, gambling platforms

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting warned it will take action against platforms violating the regulations.

India's Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has asked all state governments to take appropriate measures to curb outdoor advertisements of betting and gambling platforms. In a letter dated May 2, 2023, reviewed by MediaNama, Apurva Chandra, Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, explained to the Chief Secretaries of all states and union territories that: "While such advertisements have been largely curbed in mainstream print, electronic and digital media, it has now come to the notice that some betting and gambling platforms have started using outdoor media such as hoardings, posters, banners, auto rickshaw branding, etc. to promote their websites/apps in India. Accordingly, it is requested that appropriate action may be taken to curb outdoor advertisements of betting and gambling platforms." Past advisories issued by the Ministry: The Secretary's letter also makes references to the past advisories issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to curb betting and gambling advertisements, but these advisories were largely targeted at print and electronic media, not outdoor ads: June 2022: On June 13, the Ministry issued its first advisory directing print, electronic, and digital media organizations to refrain from carrying any advertisements for online betting websites. The government noted that it was issuing these advisories because "betting and gambling is illegal in most parts of the country" and “poses a significant financial and socio-economic risk for the consumers, especially youth and children.” October 2022: On October 3, the Ministry once again issued advisories noting that "advertisements of betting platforms are still visible on certain news platforms…

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