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March 26, 2024

India Cracks Down on Social Media Promotion of Offshore Gambling

Priya Sharma
Written byPriya SharmaWriter
Researched byPriya PatelResearcher

Key Takeaways:

  • India's Ministry of Information and Broadcasting warns against the promotion of gambling and wagering platforms.
  • Social media intermediaries are advised not to target such content to Indian residents, with potential legal repercussions.
  • The warning aligns with the Public Gambling Act of 1867, highlighting the nation's strict stance against gambling.
  • Previous advisories and actions have been taken to curb the promotion and operation of illegal gambling platforms.

Recently, India's Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has issued a stern warning to social media influencers, endorsers, and intermediaries about the dangers and legal implications of promoting offshore gambling and online wagering platforms, including surrogate advertising. In a move to reinforce the country's stringent policies against gambling, the ministry has laid out specific guidelines and potential legal consequences for those who choose to disregard the advisory. This development not only underscores India's commitment to curbing illegal gambling activities but also highlights the evolving landscape of digital advertising and the responsibilities of social media platforms.

India Cracks Down on Social Media Promotion of Offshore Gambling

A Specific Warning to Social Media Intermediaries

Social media intermediaries have been specifically advised against targeting promotional content related to gambling or wagering to residents of India. The MIB has emphasized the importance of sensitizing clients about abstaining from posting such content, warning of legal actions that may involve disabling or removing social media accounts or posts, and imposing penalties in accordance with relevant laws. This advisory is grounded in the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act 2019 and the Information Technology Act of 2000, which delineates the circumstances under which intermediaries may lose immunity from accountability for third-party communication they host.

Reinforcing the Stance Against Gambling

The Ministry's recent advisory is not an isolated incident but a continuation of efforts to clamp down on the promotion and endorsement of gambling and wagering platforms, particularly by influencers and celebrities. This stance is rooted in the Public Gambling Act of 1867, which strictly prohibits gambling and deems it illegal in most parts of the country. Despite these regulations, online apps and wagering platforms have found ways to circumvent the law, often advertising gambling under the guise of gaming.

Prior Efforts and Actions

The MIB, along with other governmental bodies like the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA), has issued multiple advisories in the past aimed at limiting the advertisement and promotion of gambling and wagering platforms. In 2023, efforts were intensified with a formal request to all union territories and states to curb external advertisements of such platforms, highlighting the socio-economic and financial risks they pose, especially to children and young people. Additionally, the country has taken proactive measures by excluding 188 offshore wagering platforms and seizing funds in accordance with the Prevention of Money Laundering Act to combat illegal online gambling activities.

Conclusion

India's firm stance against the promotion of gambling and wagering platforms on social media is a testament to the country's dedication to protecting its citizens from the potential harms associated with gambling. By issuing specific warnings and outlining legal consequences for non-compliance, the MIB aims to create a safer digital environment and curb the proliferation of illegal gambling activities. This move not only highlights the responsibilities of social media intermediaries and influencers but also reinforces the importance of adhering to the nation's laws and regulations.

(First reported by: Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, 2023)

About the author
Priya Sharma
Priya Sharma
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Mumbai-born Priya is India's rising star in the realm of online casino guides. With a knack for fusing traditional Indian gaming narratives with cutting-edge digital dynamics, she's an essential bridge between classic and contemporary gaming for a vast Indian audience.

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