The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting issued an advisory on April 6, 2023, to media entities, platforms and online advertisement intermediaries urging them not to publish or transmit advertisements or promotional content of betting platforms or sites. The stakeholders have been apprised that in case of non-compliance, the Government would take appropriate action.
The Ministry issued similar advisories in June and October 2022, requesting media to refrain from publishing advertisements on betting platforms or sites. It was reiterated that betting and gambling are illegal and advertising the same on media platforms violates the provisions of Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, the Press Council Act, 1978, and other statutes. Further, the Ministry relied on the Press Council of India’s Norms of Journalistic Conduct, which specify that a newspaper advertisement should not contain anything “unlawful or illegal” and must go through appropriate legal and ethical checks before publication.
This Advisory was considered necessary by the Ministry after coming across newspaper advertisements of betting platforms published by certain English and Hindi news publishers. It was also noticed that in clear violation of the Copyright Act, 1957, few advertisements encouraged the readers to watch a sports league on the betting platform itself. The images of these advertisements have been attached to the Advisory.