Centre asks states to curb outdoor ads of betting & gambling platforms
New Delhi: The Centre on Tuesday asked state governments to crack down on outdoor advertisements of betting and gambling platforms. In a letter to chief secretaries of states and Union territories, information and broadcasting secretary Apurva Chandra asked them to take “appropriate action” to curb outdoor advertisements of betting and gambling platforms that are found on hoardings, banners and autorickshaws.
The ministry of information and broadcasting had issued advisories to private television channels, digital news publishers and OTT platforms to refrain from publishing and broadcasting advertisements of such platforms.
Advertisements of gambling and betting platforms had appeared in a section of the media — print, digital and television — which prompted the government to issue advisories.
It is learnt that Mr Chandra wrote that while such advertisements have been largely curbed in mainstream print, electronic and digital media, it has now come to the notice that some betting and gambling platforms have started using outdoor media to promote their websites/apps in India.
“Accordingly, it is requested that appropriate action may be taken to curb outdoor advertisements of betting and gambling platforms,” Mr Chandra wrote.
He noted that last year, advertisements of online betting websites/platforms were noticed in print, electronic, and online media. Such advertisements were prima facie observed to be misleading, and not in strict conformity with the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.
“Since betting and gambling is illegal in most parts of the country, they pose financial and social economic risk for the consumers, especially youth and children. Keeping in view the larger public interest, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India issued an Advisory dated June 13, 2022 to the media to refrain from publishing such advertisements,” he wrote.
Mr Chandra further wrote that further, to curb the practice of surrogate advertisement of online betting and gambling, the Ministry, vide two separate advisories advised private satellite TV channels, digital news publishers and OTT platforms to refrain from broadcasting/publishing advertisements of such platforms and/or any of their surrogate products.