Indian Government Issues Advisory Cautioning Influencers Against Promoting Gambling Platforms

Indian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has issued an advisory for all endorsers and influencers on social media to refrain from publishing, or broadcasting advertisements of online betting platforms and any such product or service depicting these platforms in a surrogate manner. Based on the significant financial and socio-economic implications of online betting and gambling on consumers particularly the youth, endorsers and influencers have been advised to not advertise such things while online advertisement intermediaries are also advised not to target such content toward Indian audiences.

Those who fail to comply with this may have to undergo proceedings under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, removal or disabling of social media posts or accounts where such promotional content/advertisements/endorsements are being published, and penal action under the applicable statutes. The ministry has also reiterated its March 6th advisory in which the Central Consumer Protection Authority(CCPA) expressed concern about the endorsement of betting or gambling platforms by celebrities and influencers.

“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. The Indian government has earlier also taken steps in line with this by banning gambling apps. There has also been an indirect way that the government took by imposing 28% GST on the total amounts the online gaming companies collect from users.

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