Ministry of Information and Broadcasting requests gambling advertising ban in India28 Aug 2023
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in India has released an advisory paper, requesting that all advertisements for gambling products cease immediately across all platforms.
Five main avenues have been listed in the advisory paper, those being newspapers, television channels, online news outlets, online advertisement companies and social media platforms.
Attached to this latest advisory were three previous statements, all released by the Ministry within the last 14 months.
Kshitij Aggarwal, Ministry Deputy Director of Digital Media, explained in the statement: “The above-mentioned Advisories clearly mention that betting and gambling is an illegal activity and hence advertisements/promotion of such activities directly or indirectly on any of the media platforms fall foul of various statues, including under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, the Press Council Act 1978, etc.”
It may be noted that recently, the Central Government has taken action against a network of agents who had collected substantial money from users of gambling apps and subsequently funneled the funds out of India.
In this regard, it may be noted that advertisements of gambling or betting platforms not only pose significant financial and socio-economic risk for the consumers, especially youth and children, but also have links to money laundering networks, thereby threatening the financial security of the country.”
The advisory continued to explain that there had been a noticeable increase in advertising around major sporting events, such as cricket tournaments.
With a number of major international cricket tournaments approaching, the Ministry has released this advisory letter as a reminder to organisations, emphasising that ‘the Government would be constrained to take appropriate action under the various statues’ if any further advertisements are shown.
This announcement comes only a week after the Maharashtra Government, one of the largest states in India, repealed its 1976 Casinos Control and Tax Act and effectively banned casinos in the region.