India asks Google to drop all overseas online betting ads

Posted: Dec 07, 2022 13:18 Category: Asia , Online , Regulatory , Posted by Maria Debrincat

India has requested Google not to display surrogate adverts for foreign betting companies, the Mint newspaper reported on Wednesday.

In a letter last week, Google India, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., was urged to stop all direct and indirect advertising from betting sites like Fairplay, PariMatch, and Betway in YouTube and search results, two months ago, when the government instructed broadcasters and online video streaming services to stop running these adverts.

According to Reuters, which cited a government document, India’s proposed regulation of online gambling would cover all real-money games after the prime minister’s office rejected a proposal to merely regulate games of skill and exclude games of chance.

A senior ministry official reported to Mint newspaper what was said in the letter. “After our last advisory on 3 October, TV channels and OTT (Over-the-top) players stopped showing surrogate ads of online betting firms, but it was brought to our notice that many such ads are running on YouTube and Google. We have asked Google to stop this immediately.”

According to a government panel’s draught report, seen by Reuters earlier in September, India should establish a regulatory organisation to categorise online games as being based on skill or chance, enact regulations to restrict forbidden formats and adopt stronger regulations for gambling websites.

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