The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Monday advised print, electronic and digital media to refrain from advertising online betting platforms, saying betting and gambling are illegal in “most areas” of the country and pose a significant financial and socio-economic risk to consumers.
The ministry said the notice was issued in the interest of the public and follows instances of a number of online betting website/platform advertisements appearing in print, electronic, social and online media. line.
She advised print and electronic media to refrain from publishing online betting platform advertisements. It also advised online and social media, including online advertising intermediaries and publishers, not to display such advertisements in India or target such advertisements to Indian audiences.
“Betting and gambling, illegal in most parts of the country, pose a significant financial and socio-economic risk to consumers, especially youth and children, the notice states.
These advertisements on online betting have the effect of promoting “this largely prohibited activity”, according to a press release from the ministry.
In its notice, the department noted that the online betting advertisements are “misleading” and do not “appear” to be in strict compliance with the Consumer Protection Act 2019, the Advertising Code under the Cable Television Networks Regulation and Advertising Standards Act 1995. in accordance with the standards of journalistic conduct established by the Press Council of India under the Press Council Act 1978.
The ministry said it had issued a notice to private satellite TV stations on December 4, 2020 asking them to adhere to the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) guidelines on online gambling advertisements, “which contained things Do’s and Don’ts for static/printed images and online gaming audiovisual advertisements.”
The ASCI guidelines, which came into effect on December 15, 2020, stated that no gaming advertisement would depict anyone under the age of 18, or the person who appears to be under the age of 18, playing a gambling game. “online games for real money winnings”, or suggest that such persons may play such games.
“Advertising must not portray ‘online gambling for real money winnings’ as an income opportunity or alternative employment option,” the guidelines said, adding, “Advertising must not suggest that a person engaged in gambling activity is more successful compared to others.”
The ASCI guidelines also provided that every such “gambling advertisement” must carry a disclaimer which, in the case of print media, should read as follows: “this game involves an element of risk financial and can be addictive. Please gamble responsibly and at your own risk.”
Such a disclaimer should occupy no less than 20% of ad space, according to ASCI guidelines.
In the case of game advertisements in audio-video format, per ASCI guidelines, the disclaimer should be executed as “this game involves an element of financial risk and may be addictive. Please play addictively. responsible and at your own risk”.
“For audiovisual media, the disclaimer should be in both audio and visual formats. Such a disclaimer should be placed in a normal speaking rhythm at the end of the advertisement. It should be in the same language as the advertisement,” the guidelines state. added.
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