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Social media influencers may be booked for promoting offshore betting platforms

Mar 21, 2024 06:54 PM IST

Centre cautions social media influencers against promoting offshore betting platforms

The ministry of information and broadcasting on Thursday issued an advisory cautioning social media influencers against endorsing offshore online betting and gambling platforms. The ministry said that such advertisements have significant financial and socio-economic implications for consumers, particularly the youth.

The advisory came in response to increasing instances of advertisements promoting offshore betting and gambling platforms. (Shutterstock)

“The ministry hereby strongly advises all endorsers and influencers on social media to refrain from showing such promotional content/advertisements, including surrogate advertisements, of offshore online betting and gambling platforms in any form whatsoever,” the advisory said. (Also Read: Influencers may soon be booked for gambling ads)

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The ministry further advised the online advertisement intermediaries not to target such promotional content towards Indian audiences.

“While the online advertisement intermediaries are advised not to target such content towards Indian audience, the social media intermediaries are advised to conduct sensitization efforts among their users to refrain from publishing such content,” it said.

The ministry cautioned that failure to comply may lead to proceedings under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, including removal or disabling of social media posts or accounts and penal action under the applicable statutes. (Also Read: Centre releases new rules for online gaming; puts ban on betting)

The ministry also reiterated the March 6 advisory by the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) which had expressed concerns regarding endorsements of betting or gambling platforms by celebrities and influencers.

Earlier this month, the CCPA warned all stakeholders that stringent action would be taken for endorsements of illegal activities, including betting and gambling.

"In response to increasing instances of advertisements promoting illegal activities such as betting and gambling, the CCPA has issued a comprehensive advisory," an official statement said.

"Betting and gambling are strictly prohibited under the Public Gambling Act, 1867, and are considered illegal in the majority of regions across the country. Despite this, online betting platforms and apps persist in advertising betting and gambling directly, as well as under the guise of gaming," CCPA said.

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