Vikash Sharma

Betting and gambling are prohibited under the Public Gambling Act of 1867 and are considered illegal in most regions across the country. Advertisements of online betting platforms and apps promoting an activity that is predominantly banned carry significant financial and socio-economic implications on consumers, particularly the youth.

The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has issued a comprehensive advisory in view of increasing instances of advertisements promoting illegal activities such as betting and gambling.

Despite ban, online betting platforms and apps persist in advertising betting and gambling directly, as well as under the guise of gaming.

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.

“It has come to our attention that betting platforms are employing celebrities and influencers to endorse and promote their betting activities. Consequently endorsement by celebrities gives an impression that indulging in such activity is acceptable,”said CCPA.

Engaging in the promotion or advertisement of online gambling and betting, given its unlawful status in majority of the states, renders one equally liable for participating in an illegal activity. Hence, celebrities and influencers are advised to refrain from endorsing and promoting illegal betting and gambling activities.

It is hereby cautioned that any advertisement or endorsement, whether directly or indirectly, of activities which are otherwise prohibited by law, including but not limited to betting or gambling, through advertisements or promotions, shall be subject to rigorous scrutiny.

“In case the aforementioned guidelines are violated, stringent measures as per the provisions of Consumer Protection Act, 2019 shall be initiated against the entire spectrum encompassing manufacturers, advertisers, publishers, intermediaries, social media platforms, celebrities, influencers, endorsers, and any other relevant stakeholders,” the CCPA notification read.