AIGF welcomes India’s call for ban on online gambling media ads

Content Team 1 year ago
AIGF welcomes India’s call for ban on online gambling media ads

The All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) has welcomed the Indian government’s call to television and digital media to stop showing ads for online gambling sites.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting put out an advisory earlier this week, saying such sites pose significant financial and socio-economic risks for consumers, especially youth and children. 

It said that neither the gambling platforms, or the surrogate news sites linked to them, are registered with any legal authority in India. 

“We are grateful to the government for taking such a decisive step against illegal offshore gambling websites, which have been advertising in India in the garb of surrogate news and sports websites,” said AIGF CEO Roland Landers.

AIGF warns of long-term problem

The AIGF said in a statement on its website that it has warned against illegal offshore sites since 2018 and has provided proof to the government of significant advertising on websites and satellite channels. 

Gambling in India is regulated on a state-by-state basis. In most states, apart from Sikkim, Goa and Meghalaya, games of chance are prohibited. However, games deemed to be based on skill, such as poker, are legal as per a Supreme Court ruling.

“We will continue to monitor this and report any infraction to the government,” Landers said. “We hope that unlike earlier, the TV networks, OTTs and digital news publishers will take this advisory seriously and not support these anti-national websites and give them prime time airspace. This will also help distinguish Indian online skill gaming players, which provide the highest player protection measures and are a form of entertainment, from these illegal gambling sites, which are the main reason for widespread consumer harm and problems.”

The AIGF estimates that some of the offshore gambling sites are taking in deposits of between Rs750 and Rs1,400 crore a month from Indian players.

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