The Centre has issued advisories to news websites, OTT platforms and private satellite channels asking them to refrain from carrying advertisements of offshore betting sites.
“…the private satellite television channels are strongly advised to refrain advertisements of online offshore betting platforms and/or their surrogate news websites or any such product/service depicting these platforms in a surrogate manner,” the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting advisory said.
It also warned private satellite television channels of penal action under applicable laws for violation of the advisory.
In a separate advisory to publishers of news and current affairs content on digital media and OTT platforms, the ministry issued a similar directive and asked them not to target such advertisements towards the Indian audience.
The advisories issued by the Ministry stated that since betting and gambling is illegal in most parts of the country, advertisements of these betting platforms as well as 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 Ministry has mentioned that betting and gambling pose significant financial and socio-economic risk for the consumers, especially youth and children. Accordingly, the promotion of offline or online betting/gambling through advertisements is not advised in larger public interest.