Google India asked to put a stop to online betting ads

Google India

The Indian government has asked Google to stop displaying direct or surrogate betting advertisements.

The government has asked Google India to put a stop to online betting advertisements from platforms such as Fairplay, PariMatch, and Betway in search results and YouTube. 

As per media reports, a letter was sent to Google India last week regarding the same with inputs from Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) representative. According to MIB’s last advisory, TV and OTT players have stopped showing direct or surrogate betting ads but Google and YouTube are yet to adhere to the regulations. 

Also Read: Best Social Media Brands SAMMIE 2022 winners to be announced on December 13

The panel of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s officials have been working for months on drafting regulations on the online gaming sector, according to a report by Reuters. The report said India needs a new federal online gaming law, which will provide regulatory flexibility ‘with punishment provisions, along with blocking powers, for the government against prohibited gaming formats’. The ministry has concluded that online betting games pose a significant financial and socio-economic threat to Indians, especially the youth. 

The Indian gaming industry has been booming for some time now. A 2020 report by Indian trade group FICCI and consulting firm EY stated that of 65 billion Indian rupees ($817 million) garnered by the online gaming industry the previous year, transaction-based gaming, including real money, contributed 71%, or 46 billion rupees. 

Following the restriction, Google has updated its advertising policy on its support forum. Advertisements on online betting games are unsupported if they involve real money value and target minors. However, it supports the promotion of social casino games if there is no opportunity to win anything of value, such as real money or prizes.