MIB alerts broadcasters on misleading online gaming ads

Owing to the concerns over misleading advertisements on online gaming and fantasy sports, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has issued advisory to TV channels to follow guidelines issued by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) on 24 November.

MIB stated, “All broadcasters are advised that the guidelines issued by ASCI are complied with and advertisements broadcast on television adhere to the guidelines of the ASCI. It may also be ensured that advertisements do not promote any activity which is prohibited by statute or law.”

Quite a number of commercials on online gaming, fantasy sports and more are being aired on television, which appear to be misleading, and do not correctly convey the financial and other risks associated to the consumers, MIB further added in the advisory. 

Hence, the governing body, along with the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, held a stakeholders consultative meeting on 11 November with ASCI, News Broadcasters Association (NBA), Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), All India Gaming Federation, Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports and the Online Rummy Federation.

After discussions, it was agreed that ASCI would issue appropriate guidelines for the benefit of the advertisers and broadcasters to ensure that the ads are transparent and protect consumers interests.

According to the recent ASCI guidelines, no gaming advertisement may depict any person under the age of 18 years engaged in playing an online game for real money winnings, or suggest that such people can play these games.