'Refrain From Showing Online Gambling Ads': Centre Warns OTT Platforms, Digital Publishers & TV Channels

The Logical Indian
'Refrain From Showing Online Gambling Ads': Centre Warns OTT Platforms, Digital Publishers & TV Channels
Super Slots

The ministry of information and broadcasting, the government of India, issued two advisories on Monday (October 3) for digital news publishers, Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms, and private television channels. The government has asked them to refrain from showing advertisements, including surrogate ads of online betting sites.

The government has called the practice of online betting a significant socio-economic and financial risk for consumers. Notably, the number of users who consume their daily news from digital platforms is increasing. According to the government, the ads of online betting sites will impact a broader audience due to the same.

Neither online betting platforms nor news websites are registered under any legal authority in India. Due to this, the government has now created a rule to regulate ads on digital platforms. According to the advisory, the violators of the rule would be charged with sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) under various relevant laws.

Earlier this year, the ministry of I&B also issued an advisory asking digital news platforms, newspapers, and private TV channels to refrain from featuring online betting sites on their platform. The ministry said, "It had come to the government's notice that several sports channels on television, as well as on OTT platforms, have recently been showing advertisements of offshore online betting platforms and their surrogate news websites."

In a statement, the ministry also mentioned the names of some platforms- PariMatch, 1xBet, Wolf777, and Betway- and said that such websites are promoting gambling and betting under the nose of news. The ministry has prepared the entire list of platforms closely associated with the department of consumer affairs.

The advisory reads, "Since betting and gambling is illegal in most parts of the country, advertisements of these betting platforms and their surrogates are also illegal. The advisories relied upon the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act 2019, Cable TV Network Regulation Act 1995 and the IT Rules, 2021," The New Indian Express reported.

The decision to prohibit such advertisement is in the public interest, noting recent losses of lives due to online gambling and betting. In a recent nerve-racking incident, a 37-year-old man in Manali was found dead in his home. Reportedly, he had a debt of over Rs 20 lakh due to his online gambling and betting practices. Similar incidents are reported across India where people end their lives due to heavy losses, especially youth.