Central Consumer Protection Authority issues advisory on prohibition of endorsement of online gambling platforms

The advisory has been issued in the context of proliferation of advertisements promoting anti-national illegal online gambling platforms, which are increasingly been endorsed by sportspersons and actors from the Indian film industry.

By  Storyboard18Mar 6, 2024 8:16 PM
Central Consumer Protection Authority issues advisory on prohibition of endorsement of online gambling platforms
Such sites pose significant financial and socio-economic risks for consumers, especially youth and children and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has previously issued multiple advisories asking television channels, digital news publishers and OTT platforms to refrain from showing advertisements for online gambling sites and surrogate advertisements. (Representative Image: Jack Hamilton via Unsplash)

The Central Consumer Protection Authority, the regulator under the Consumer Protection Act has issued an advisory on Prohibition of Advertisements and Endorsement of Online Gambling Platforms. The advisory has been issued in the context of proliferation of advertisements promoting anti-national illegal online gambling platforms, which are increasingly been endorsed by sportspersons and actors from the Indian film industry.

Such sites pose significant financial and socio-economic risks for consumers, especially youth and children and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has previously issued multiple advisories asking television channels, digital news publishers and OTT platforms to refrain from showing advertisements for online gambling sites and surrogate advertisements.

The All India Gaming Federation, the apex Industry body for online gaming has been highlighting this menace since 2018 and has been at the forefront in providing all relevant information to all government bodies and ministries.

Lauding the move to issue the advisory, Roland Landers, CEO, All India Gaming Federation said, “We are grateful to the Government for taking such a decisive step against anti-national illegal offshore gambling websites, which have been advertising in India in the garb of surrogate news and sports websites. AIGF has been highlighting this menace since 2018, and has been constantly taking up these issues with various Central Ministries and also providing evidence of uninterrupted advertising on major Indian OTT, satellite channels, newspapers and as sponsors in multiple Indian sports leagues. We will continue to monitor this and report any infraction to the Government. We hope that unlike earlier the TV networks, OTTs and news publishers will take this advisory seriously and not support these anti-national websites and give them prime-time airspace.”

The advisory noted that gambling is strictly prohibited under Indian law and is illegal in the majority of the country. Despite this, online gambling sites and apps persist in advertising gambling directly, as well as under the guise of gaming. Mr. Landers further added, “This will also help is distinguishing legitimate Indian online skill gaming operators, which provide the highest player protection measures and are a form of entertainment against these illegal gambling sites which are the main reason for widespread consumer harm and problems.”

First Published on Mar 6, 2024 7:01 PM

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