Government Proposes To Ban Online Betting Advertisements On Social Media Platforms: Report

It is advised that social media platforms must also display that a certain online game has been registered with the self-regulatory body

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As per draft rules, released on Monday, the ministry of electronics and IT has proposed to ban advertisements of online betting sites on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, reported by The Indian Express.

According to the draft rules, social media platforms must seek verification from a proposed self-regulatory body about whether an online gaming company has been registered with it before hosting its advertisements. The self-regulatory body, in turn, can only register those online games that do not allow wagering based on the outcome of an event, that is, betting platforms, the report stated.

This means intermediaries like Instagram and YouTube will not be allowed to host advertisements on platforms that offer online betting under the proposed rules. It is advised that social media platforms must also display that a certain online game has been registered with the self-regulatory body.

As per earlier reports, in June 2022, the information and broadcasting ministry had issued an advisory to the print, electronic and digital media to refrain from advertising online betting platforms. The advisory had come in line as betting and gambling are illegal in most parts of the country and pose financial and socioeconomic risk for consumers.

The ministry had also released an official statement regarding the seriousness of the matter that described, "The advertisements of online betting are misleading and do not appear to be in the strict conformity with the Consumer Protection Act 2019, advertising code under the Cable Television Networks Regulation Act 1995 and advertisements norms under the norms of journalistic conduct laid down by the press council of India under the Press Council Act, 1978."

Later in October 2022, the advisories had brought, in continuation to the previous advisory issued by the I&B Ministry on 13 June 2022, after the industry witnessed a sharp increase in the number of advertisements broadcasted by online betting websites / platforms on print, electronic, social and online media. In order to safeguard the consumers from such cyber-financial risks of the online betting industry, the government had taken proactive steps that included the introduction of new regulations, issuing advisories, penalising violators etc.

The government continued to take strict actions in order to regulate the online gaming industry. The recent development on this particular matter was the declaration of MoS Rajeev Chandrasekhar on January 3, 2023 that the government is set to commence public consultation for online gaming with a self-regulatory body which is responsible to certify what is permitted as an online gaming intermediary in the country and added that online gaming companies will not be allowed to engage in betting on the outcome of games under the principle laid in draft rules.

Teena Jose

News Desk Reporter with Entrepreneur India

Teena is a post graduate in financial journalism. She has an avid interest in content creation, digital media and fashion.

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