India’s MIB Warns Celebrities and Social Media Influencers Not to Promote and Advertise Offshore Online Gambling and Betting Operators

Recently, India’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has warned every social media influencer and endorser to abstain from advertising and promoting offshore gambling and online wagering platforms and surrogate advertising.

Specific warning to social media intermediaries:

There was a specific advisory to social media intermediaries which involved advice not to target the said promotional content to residents of India and to sensitize their clients to abstain from posting such content. Additionally, the advisory warns that negligence to comply may result in legal action according to the provisions of Consumer Protection Act 2019 involving the disabling or removal of social media accounts or posts and penalties in accordance with relevant laws.

Although Section 79 of the Information Technology Act, which was issued in 2000, exempts intermediaries from accountability for 3rd party communication, data or information they host, this immunity doesn’t apply if intermediary fails to immediately disable or remove access to the illegal material upon receipt of notification or actual knowledge from a governmental agency or government. However, this step have to be done without compromising proof connected to the illegal action.

Repetition of the warning issued by the Central Consumer Protection Authority:

The Ministry repeated the warning issued by the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) at the beginning of March of this year, which raised concerns about the endorsement of gambling/wagering platforms by influencers and celebrities.

Gambling and wagering are rigorously forbidden according to the Public Gambling Act, issued in 1867, and are regarded non-legal in most regions country-wide. Regardless of this, online apps and wagering platforms continue to advertise gambling and wagering under the guise of gaming and directly, according to what the CCPA commented in a statement.

Furthermore, in the past, the MIB has issu 7BALL CX ed many advisories to limit external advertising of gambling and wagering platforms, according to Inc42.

More:  LA Rams Player Bags $514,837 Jackpot at Caesars Las Vegas

In 2023, Apurva Chandra, the secretary of the MIB, officially wrote to all union territories (UTs) and states to limit external advertisements. However, in the letter, he emphasized that gambling and wagering aren’t legal in the majority of India because they represent a socio-economic and financial risk to clients, mainly children and young people.

Also during the past year, the country excluded 188 offshore wagering platforms. During the later period of the same year, to restrict non-legal online gambling platforms, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) also offered INR 5.87 Cr from few entities and persons according to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, which was enacted in 2002.