Government’s stern warning to media organizations showing betting advertisements

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Government's stern warning to media organizations showing betting advertisements
Government's stern warning to media organizations showing betting advertisements
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Government's stern warning to media organizations showing betting advertisements
Government’s stern warning to media organizations showing betting advertisements

The central government has warned media organizations against publishing advertisements of betting platforms. The Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting warned media organizations after advertisements appeared in mainstream English and Hindi newspapers.

In an advisory, the ministry advised media houses, media platforms and online advertisers to refrain from advertisements or promotional material for betting platforms.

An official statement said that the advisory has been issued to all media formats including newspapers, television channels and online news publishers and examples have been shown where such advertisements have appeared in the media in the recent past.

The ministry has cited examples of companies 1XBet, Fairplay, Lotus365, Betway Scores, Panther777, Khiladi.com, which have advertised recently. It said that it has also objected to the promotion by one specific betting platform encouraging the audience to watch a sports league on its website, which is in violation of its Copyright Act, 1957.

The advisory states that the provisions of the Press Council of India’s norms of journalistic conduct mention that “newspapers should not publish advertisements that are illegal.”

Ministry said, “Under Section 7 of the PRB Act, 1867, editors are legally responsible for all material including advertisements. Merely earning money cannot and should not be the sole aim of the press, it amounts to a huge public responsibility.”

Betting apps have run into a lot of trouble with the authorities. Last June, the ministry had issued an advisory asking newspapers, private TV channels and digital news publishers to refrain from publishing advertisements of online betting platforms. The government had then said that it had come to the notice of the government that several sports channels on television, as well as on OTT platforms, have recently been showing advertisements of offshore online betting platforms as well as their surrogate news websites.