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Consumer Protection Authority warns of stern action on betting, gambling ads


Consumer Protection Authority warns of stern action on betting, gambling ads

New Delhi, March 6 (IANS) In response to increasing instances of advertisements promoting illegal activities such as betting and gambling, the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) on Wednesday issued a comprehensive advisory, which emphasises the prohibition of advertising, promotion and endorsement of unlawful activities prohibited under various laws.

The advisory states that betting and gambling are strictly prohibited under the Public Gambling Act, 1867, and are considered illegal in the majority of regions across the country.

Despite this, online betting platforms and apps persist in advertising betting and gambling directly, as well as under the guise of gaming. Endorsements of such activities presents considerable financial and socio-economic implications, especially to the youth.

It reiterates that the guidelines apply to all advertisements, irrespective of the medium used and warns celebrities and influencers that any engagement in the promotion or advertisement of online gambling and betting, given its unlawful status, renders one equally liable for participating in an illegal activity.

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CCPA has cautioned that any advertisement or endorsement of activities which are otherwise prohibited by law, including but not limited to betting or gambling, must be subject to rigorous scrutiny.

If any violation of the guidelines is found, stringent measures, as per the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, will be initiated against those involved, including manufacturers, advertisers, publishers, intermediaries, social media platforms, endorsers, and any other relevant stakeholders.

The advisory stresses the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’s efforts in issuing various advisories to media platforms, cautioning them against publicising betting and gambling platforms.

Online advertisement intermediaries have also been warned against targeting such advertisements toward the Indian audience.

The advisory highlights that the Guidelines for Prevention of Misleading Advertisements and Endorsements for Misleading Advertisements, 2022, categorically prohibit advertisements of products or services prohibited under any prevailing law.

The CCPA urges all stakeholders to adhere strictly to these guidelines and refrain from promoting or endorsing activities that are illegal under Indian law.

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