KC Ramamurthy, BJP Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka on Thursday posed an unstarred question in Rajya Sabha on misleading advertisement by gambling companies.
Responding to his query, Shri Anurag Thakur, the Minister of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) said that the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and rules made thereunder require that all advertisements telecast on private satellite TV channels to adhere to the Advertising Code, prescribed under the Act, which inter-alia provides that the advertisements have to conform to the laws of the country.
The Minister said his ministry issues advisories from time to time to broadcasters for ensuring compliance to the Advertising Code.
The MIB has issued an advisory on 04 April 2020 to private satellite TV channels to comply with the guidelines of Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) on advertisements relating to online gaming to protect consumers and inform them regarding financial risk and other factors involved in online.
ASCI is a self regulating body of the advertising industry, examines complaints relating to gaming advertisements of offshore gaming companies in the context of contravention of the ASCI code or Guidelines on Online Gaming for real money winnings. From January 2021 to January 2022, ASCI has processed 117 complaints related to Online real money gaming.
The guidelines issued by the ASCI that came into effect on December 15, 2020, require real money gaming advertisements to not be aimed at minors, not present gaming as a possible source of livelihood or link it to success.
In addition, the guidelines also require all advertisements to carry a disclaimer regarding the risk of financial loss and the addictive nature of such games in print and audio/visual formats: This game involves an element of financial risk and may be addictive. Please play responsibly and at your own risk.
Earlier in February 2021, ASCI said it processed 81 complaints against advertisements of various online gaming platforms after releasing guidelines related to real-money gaming. In terms of platforms, a majority of the complaints received were regarding ads on Instagram (39) and YouTube (37). The maximum number of complaints were filed against online cricket (55) and rummy (15).