The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, on 04.12.2020, had issued an Advisory to Private Satellite TV channels to adhere to the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) guidelines on advertisements of online gaming which contained specific Do’s and Dont’s for static/print and audio-visual advertisements of online gaming. It has now come to the notice of this Ministry that a number of advertisements of online gambling websites/platforms are appearing in print, electronic, social and online media.
Here’s what Mr Roland Landers, CEO, AIGF, had to say on the New Guidelines for Online Gaming Advertisement
Reacting to the advisory issued by The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Mr. Roland Landers, CEO – The All India Gaming Federation said, “We are delighted to see our persistent efforts against offshore gambling platforms come to fruition and would like to thank Ministry of Information & Broadcasting for initiating this step. In the last seven years, The All India Gaming Federation the apex industry body for the sunrise online gaming sector has been solely working towards creating awareness regarding the issue and pointing out that several offshore gambling websites are openly and brazenly advertising online gambling through TV Channels, internet, social media, hoardings and other digital media platforms.“
“Furthermore, AIGF has been continuously engaging with various government stakeholders to educate them about the ills of illegal gambling and perils of allowing foreign gambling websites to continue unabated while urging for a regulatory framework for online skill gaming in India to realise Honourable PMO’s vision of an Aatmanirbhar Bharat.”
Further explaining the impact of such illegal activities, Mr. Landers stated, “These offshore online gambling websites are not registered under the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 and do not pay applicable direct and indirect taxes that is required to be paid under Indian law even by companies that do not have their registered office in India and are based outside the country. This blatant tax evasion by the gambling websites is resulting in loss of revenue of thousands of crores per annum to the government exchequer.
“Besides the threat to the economic stability of India, there are many instances where such websites indulge in obvious fraud and manipulation of their games and numerous complaints have been received wherein such websites take deposits from gullible players but refuse to give them any option of withdraw of their winnings or balances under various pretexts. Thus, AIGF urges the Indian media platforms to adopt a robust mechanism and apply a stricter evaluation process when onboarding advertisements from such offshore gambling platforms.”