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Central Consumer Protection Authority Issues Advisory Against Illegal Betting and Gambling Advertisements

Central Consumer Protection Authority Issues Advisory Against Illegal Betting and Gambling Advertisements

New Delhi:  To counter the surge in advertisements promoting illegal activities such as betting and gambling, the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has taken a decisive step by issuing a comprehensive advisory. This advisory, aligned with the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, emphasizes the strict prohibition of advertising, promotion, and endorsement of activities deemed unlawful under various laws.

Betting and gambling, explicitly forbidden by the Public Gambling Act, 1867, remain illegal in the majority of regions across India. Despite these legal restrictions, online betting platforms and apps persist in promoting such activities, both directly and under the guise of gaming. The endorsements of these activities present significant financial and socio-economic implications, particularly for the youth.

The advisory underscores the ongoing efforts of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, which has previously issued advisories to media platforms cautioning against the promotion of betting and gambling platforms. Furthermore, online advertisement intermediaries have been warned against targeting such advertisements toward the Indian audience.

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

Crucially, the advisory warns celebrities and influencers that engaging in the promotion or advertisement of online gambling and betting, given its unlawful status, renders one equally liable for participating in an illegal activity.

CCPA, through this advisory, cautions that any advertisement or endorsement of activities prohibited by law, including but not limited to betting or gambling, shall be subjected to rigorous scrutiny. If any violation of the guidelines is found, stringent measures, as per the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, will be initiated against all involved parties, including manufacturers, advertisers, publishers, intermediaries, social media platforms, endorsers, and any other relevant stakeholders.

The Central Consumer Protection Authority urges all stakeholders to strictly adhere to these guidelines and refrain from promoting or endorsing activities that are illegal under Indian law. This proactive stance aims to safeguard consumers and maintain the integrity of advertising practices in the country.

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