Government asks news sites, TV channels and OTT platforms to refrain from showing advertisements on offshore betting sites


Given the significant financial and socio-economic risk to consumers, especially young people and children, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting issued two notices on Monday – one for private television stations and the another for digital news publishers and OTT platforms – strongly advising to refrain from running advertisements from offshore online betting sites and substitute advertisements from these sites.

The ministry previously issued a notice on June 13, 2022, advising newspapers, private TV stations and digital news publishers to refrain from publishing advertisements on online betting platforms. The government has learned that several sports channels on television, as well as on OTT platforms, have recently aired advertisements for offshore online betting platforms along with their surrogate news websites.

The reviews were supplemented with evidence containing direct and substitute advertisements from offshore betting platforms such as Fairplay, PariMatch, Betway, Wolf 777 and 1xBet. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in its notice observed that promotional content and advertisements from betting platforms are still visible on some digital news platforms and OTT platforms. In the notices, the ministry informed that online offshore betting platforms are now using news websites as a substitute to advertise betting platforms on digital media. In such cases, the ministry has found that the logos of surrogate news websites bear a striking resemblance to betting platforms.

“Additionally, it has also been seen that some online offshore betting platforms have started using news websites as a substitute product to advertise betting platforms on digital media,” said said the ministry. The notices issued by the ministry stated that since betting and gambling are illegal in most parts of the country, the advertisements of these betting platforms as well as their substitutes are also illegal. The notices were based on the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act 2019, the Cable Television Networks Regulation Act 1995 and the IT Rules 2021.

Stressing that betting and gambling are illegal activities in most parts of India, the ministry said advertisements from online offshore betting and gambling platforms are prohibited. Moreover, the ministry said that neither betting platforms nor news sites are registered with any legal authority in India. These websites promote betting and gambling under the guise of news as substitute advertising.

“In accordance with paragraph 9 of the Guidelines for the Prevention of Misleading Advertisements and Approvals for Misleading Advertisements 2022 under the Consumer Protection Act 2019, it has been observed that since betting and gambling is illegal , advertisements from online offshore betting and gaming platforms are prohibited. In this regard, it should be noted that in accordance with the Information Technology Rules 2021 (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Media Code of Ethics digital), advertisements from betting platforms, being an illegal activity, cannot be shown on digital media,” he said. substitution information operated by online betting platforms, it may be mentioned that the logos of relevant information websites are strikingly similar to the betting platform.

“The relevant betting platforms and related news websites are also not registered with any legal authority under Indian laws. As a result, online offshore betting platforms appear to promote betting and gambling under the guise of information as substitute advertising.In this regard, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs also informed that online betting platforms present themselves as professional sports blogs, sports news websites, etc. . while providing an indicative list of online betting platforms that use news for alternative advertising,” the ministry said in a statement. . The ministry asked online news websites and platforms OTT to refrain from displaying advertisements of online betting platforms and/or their surrogate news websites or any products/services depicting such platforms in a substitution way.

It has now come to the attention of this ministry that some online offshore betting platforms have started to use news websites as substitutes to advertise their betting platforms on blockchains. television. In a separate notice to private satellite TV channels, the ministry said some online offshore betting platforms have started using news websites as a substitute to advertise their platforms. bets on television channels.

“In this regard, it should be noted that in accordance with the Advertising Code under the Cable Television Networks Regulation Act 1995, advertisements from betting platforms, being an illegal activity, cannot be aired 3. on TV channels,” he added.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting worked in close coordination with the Department of Consumer Affairs, which provided an indicative list of online betting platforms that used the information for substitute advertising purposes and advised that online betting platforms substitutedly advertised themselves as professional sports blogs. , sports news websites, etc. The ministry stated that these advertisements do not comply with various related laws and strongly advised TV stations as well as digital news publishers against running these betting platforms or their substitute news websites, reminding television channels that the violation may invite criminal prosecution. The ministry has also advised online advertising intermediaries not to target these advertisements to Indian audiences.

The ministry mentioned that betting and gambling pose significant financial and socio-economic risks for consumers, especially young people and children. Therefore, the promotion of offline or online betting/gaming through advertisements is not advised in the public interest.


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