I&B Ministry Tightens Grip On Betting And Gambling Advertisements

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The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) in India has advised media entities and platforms to refrain from carrying advertisements or promotional content of betting platforms due to their illegality. The advisory covers all media formats including television channels, newspapers, and online news publishers. This is the third time the ministry has issued such an advisory. The ministry also highlighted earlier advisories that were issued last October when it directed online ad intermediaries not to target promotional material related to online betting towards Indian audiences. The advisory comes as the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has notified rules for online gaming, where it has made a distinction between online gaming and betting or gambling. The rules have defined real money gaming as games where a user makes a deposit in cash or kind with the expectation of earning winnings on that deposit. Under the new rules, a self-regulatory organisation would determine all online real money games as permissible.

It seems like the Indian government is taking a strong stance against online betting and gambling activities. In February, the government banned 138 Chinese betting apps for violating Section 69 of the IT Act, and last year directed Google to stop overseas online betting platforms from marketing their ads in the country. The Enforcement Directorate has also seized INR 212.91 Cr till December 2022 in connection with money laundering probes involving online gambling platforms. It remains to be seen if these actions will have a significant impact on curbing the popularity of online betting and gambling in India.