Warning to Media Entities: I&B Refrains Publishing Betting And Gambling Ads

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The Information and Broadcasting (I&B) recently issued a warning on 6th April 2023, Thursday to media platforms, advertisement intermediaries and media entities regarding the advertisements of betting and gambling to the newspapers. According to I&B, gambling and betting ads are illegal and at the same time, it violates the Code of Ethics and Broadcasting Standards.

The warning is significantly given the rising issue of gambling and betting in India. While some states have legalised such activities, many have banned them. With the rising popularity of online gaming and betting platforms, the issue has become more noticeable in recent times.

Recently, English and Hindi newspapers have been advertising and promoting the content of betting websites, for example in recent times sites like 1XBET, Khiladi.com, Betway Scores, Lotus 365 etc. It has also come to notice that these betting companies have been carrying content that encourages the audience to watch the sports matches on their websites. Such promotion falls under the violation of the Copyright Act, of 1957.

Betting and gambling are illegal hence advertising these directly or indirectly is unlawful or illegal and falls foul of the various statutes including the Consumer Protection Act,2019, Information Technology Rules,2021 (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code), and the Press Council Act 1978.

Newspapers have to upload responsibility and maintain the Code of Ethics and Broadcasting Standards. The promotion of such activities is against the public interests and it may cause serious consequences for society at a bigger level.

It is important to address the I&B’s warning to prevent individuals from the problem of gambling and betting. The ministry urges all media platforms and advertisement intermediaries to refrain from such kind of promotional content in any form.

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