Centre asks sites, channels not to carry ads of betting sites

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In light of the significant financial and socio-economic risk for the consumers, especially youth and children, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Monday issued two advisories- one for private television channels and the other for digital news publishers and OTT platforms- strongly advising them to refrain from showing advertisements of offshore online betting sites and surrogate advertisements of such sites.
The Ministry had earlier issued an advisory on 13 June 2022, advising newspapers, private TV channels and digital news publishers to refrain from publishing advertisements on online betting platforms. It had come to the notice of the Government that several sports channels on television, as well as on OTT platforms, have recently been showing advertisements of offshore online betting platforms as well as their surrogate news websites.
The Advisories were supplemented with evidence which contained direct and surrogate advertisements of offshore betting platforms such as Fairplay, PariMatch, Betway, Wolf 777, and 1xBet.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in its advisory observed that promotional content and advertisements of betting platforms are still visible on certain digital news platforms and OTT platforms.
In the Advisories, the Ministry has informed that online offshore betting platforms are now using news websites as a surrogate product to advertise the 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.
“Further, it has also come to the notice of that some online offshore betting platforms have started using news websites as a surrogate product to advertise betting platforms on digital media,” the ministry said.
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.

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