Surrogate ads from betting cos under scanner; Parimatch, 1XBet, Fairplay News, and DafaNews are cited as examples.
The MIB, in separate advisories, to private TV channels and digital media and OTTs has asked them to refrain from airing betting ads.
The online advertisement intermediaries are also advised not to target such advertisements towards the Indian audience said the advisory and warned of penal action against violations in the advisory to private satellite television channels.
“The Advisory had been issued for the reason that betting and gambling is prohibited in most parts of the country, and pose significant financial and socio-economic risk for the consumers, especially youth and children. Accordingly, the promotion of offline or online betting/gambling through advertisements is not advised in larger public interest,” wrote the MIB in the advisory.
The ministry also made note of the various spots of surrogate advertising from betting cos. “It has now come to the notice of this Ministry that some online offshore betting platforms have started using news websites as a surrogate product to advertise their betting platforms on TV channels.”
Supplementing this claim with evidence, the MIB posted screenshots of betting cos masquerading as news platforms. Examples cited include Parimatch, 1XBET, and DafaNews.
Betting remains an illegal activity in most parts of India and in June 2022, the government banned surrogate advertising.