India’s Advertising Watchdog Looks To Impose Regulations On Gambling Ads

Ministry of Information and BroadcastingGambling operators in India have enjoyed a lot of free over the last few years as there was little to no restrictions in place.

Gambling operators have spent heavily on television ads to get celebrities and sports personalities to endorse their brands as they look to compete in the lucrative Indian gaming market and capture as much market share as possible.

Gambling activities in India have come under scrutiny in the last couple of years as the industry has experienced exponential growth. The lack of regulations has hurt Indian players as there has been a spike throughout India in the number of gambling related deaths.

This has forced the Indian government and different watchdogs across the country to take more action. Multiple states such as Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have recently banned online gambling while Delhi and Karnataka are currently reviewing the options of banning online gambling or imposing regulations.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B Ministry) is finally getting into action after it issued a notice to private satellite channel distributors in the country. They were advised of a new set of advertising guidelines which come into effect from December 15.

Private TV satellite operators have been told that it is now mandatory to issue a disclaimer on all gambling related ads. These gambling ads cannot have any individual under the age of 18 in their content and the disclaimer should clearly mention the financial risks involved while gambling. The disclaimer needs to constitute for a minimum of 20 percent of the total ad space.

These gambling ad restrictions will not only be applicable to TV ads but also to online and print media. TV channels have also been instructed to not allow any advertising content that convince viewers that they can rely on gambling related activities as an additional stream of income or a new career.

Supreme Court Rules Against Waiver Of Gaming GST

Gaming operators have protested for months on the Goods and Service Tax (GST) that the Indian government imposed on gambling, betting and lottery related activities. They argued that a lottery ticket can be considered ‘goods’ as it had no value to it since it was only a piece of paper.

However, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the government and concluded that the GST rate will remain the same.

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