News sites, television channels, and OTT platforms must refrain from broadcasting offshore betting site advertising, according to the government

News sites, television channels, and OTT platforms must refrain from broadcasting offshore betting s ...

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting issued two recommendations on Monday, one for private television channels and the other for digital news publishers and OTT platforms, strongly adviseing them to refrain from showing advertised advertisements of offshore online betting sites and surrogate advertisements of such sites.

On June 13, 2022, the Ministry of Finance had issued an advisory advising newspapers, private television channels, and digital news publishers to refrain from publishing advertisements on internet betting platforms. It had come to the public notice that several sports channels on television, as well as on OTT platforms, have recently shown advertisements for offshore online betting platforms as well as their surrogate news websites.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in its advisory noted that promotional content and advertising of offshore betting platforms are still visible on certain digital news platforms and OTT platforms. In these instances, the Ministry has discovered that the logos of surrogate news websites have a distinctly different resemblance to betting platforms.

"Further, it''s also come to the notice that some online offshore betting platforms have started using news websites as a surrogate product to promote betting platforms on digital media," the ministry said. The advisories said that since betting and gambling are illegal in most areas of the country, advertisements of these betting platforms as well as their surrogates are also illegal. The following standards were imposed in 2021 by the Consumer Protection Act 2019.

According to the ministry, betting and gambling are illegal activities in many parts of India. Moreover, neither the betting platforms nor the news websites are legally registered under any legal authority in India. Such websites are promoting betting and gambling under the guise of surrogate advertising.

"In accordance with Paragraph 9 of the Consumer Protection Act, 2018, advertising of online offshore betting and gambling platforms is prohibited, according to the Ministry of Justice. In this regard, a logo of the concerned news websites is quite similar to the betting platform.

  • Netflix to Ban Crypto-Related Commercials on Ad-Supported Subscription: Report

"The concerned betting platforms and the corresponding news websites are also not registered with any legal authority under Indian laws. According to the ministry, the internet offshore betting platforms appear to be promoting sports and gambling under the garb of news as surrogate advertising, according to the ministry.

A separate disclosure to Private Satellite Television Channels claims that some online offshore betting platforms have started using news websites as a surrogate product to advertise their betting platforms on TV channels.

"In this regard, it may be noted that, according to the Cable TV Network Regulation Act 1995, advertising of betting platforms, which is an illegal activity, cannot be shown 3. on television channels," said the author.

The Ministry has stated that betting and gambling are posing significant financial and socio-economic hazards to consumers, particularly youth and children. According to the public interest, promotion of offline or online betting/gambling is not advised.