The Indian government announced in a media statement on June 13 that print and electronic media “should refrain” from publishing advertisements for online betting platforms.
The statement was signed by Kshitij Aggarwal, Deputy Director of Digital Media at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
Aggarwal cited the disconnect between the current legal environment in which activities considered gambling are illegal in the majority of Indian states, and the publication of advertisements for online betting.
These ads, he noted, promoted a prohibited activity in most cases.
The government also referenced what it called “the significant socio-economic risk to consumers, especially young people and children”, as a factor in its decision. Additionally, Aggarwal pointed to the legal issues, arguing that the current ads “do not appear to be in strict compliance” with Indian law.
Aggarwal said: “In light of the above and given the wider public interest at issue, print and broadcast media are advised to refrain from publishing advertisements from online betting platforms.”
“Online and social media, including online advertising intermediaries and publishers, are advised not to display such advertisements in India or target such advertisements to Indian audiences.”