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Govt issues advisory to news publishers, OTTs on ads of online betting platforms

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in 3 October issued an ‘advisory on advertisement of online betting promotions’ to publishers of news and current affairs content on digital media and publishers of online curated content, i.e. OTT platforms.

In the advisory, the ministry has asked the digital news publishers and OTT platforms to refrain from publishing advertisements on online betting platforms.

Apart from this, the online advertisement intermediaries have also been advised not to target these advertisements towards the Indian audience.

“The advisory had been issued for the reason that betting and gambling are prohibited in most parts of the country, and pose significant financial and socio-economic risk for the consumers, especially youth and children,” said the MIB advisory.

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The Ministry added that promotion of offline or online betting or gambling through advertisement is not advised in large public interest.

The government also took the OTT platforms in hands for allegedly violating the norms and said that “the Ministry has observed that promotional content and advertisement of betting platforms are still visible on certain news platforms and OTT platforms”.

The Ministry noted of receiving the information that few online offshore betting platforms have started using news websites as a surrogate betting platforms on digital media.

According to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021, advertisements of betting platforms – being an illegal activity, cannot be shown on digital media.

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