India Acts On Online Gambling Advertisements

Anil Panesar - Senior WriterAnil Panesar - 03 March 2023 in News
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Recently, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in India released a notice requesting the ban of all online gambling advertisements. The notice went out to all major TV and radio outlets. This comes after a surge of illegal betting apps made their way onto the market in recent months. But what does this mean for online Indian casinos and the potential profit they bring?

All Indian Gaming Federation Supports This Choice

It was recently reported that the All Indian Gaming Federation (AIGF) supports this choice wholeheartedly. The CEO, Roland Landers, even commended the government for taking appropriate preventative measures against illegal online gambling apps.

Illegal casino apps have infiltrated the Indian market by posing as either surrogate news, or legitimate Indian online casinos. The AIGF has been fighting this issue since 2018. The ban of advertising may lead to more stringent laws being put in place for online gambling in India. But not everyone is in agreement with this decision.

The Cons Of A Full Ban Of Casino Advertising

A recent paper highlighted the massive tax revenue India is missing out on by ignoring the financial potential of a regulated online gambling market. Industry commentators mentioned that by regulating the online gambling market, India would not only benefit financially but could reduce the amount of crime surrounding illegal gambling as well.

As of 2022, online and offshore gambling is only available in Goa, Daman, and Sikkim. This restriction has led to the rise of illegal casinos. Locals have been setting up makeshift betting facilities throughout the country. The regulation of online gambling could potentially lower this need for illicit gambling dens to be formed.

A Potential Compromise

Both sides of the argument have their value. So how then, will the country limit casino advertising, while still being able to cash in on advertising revenue? The concept of watershed hours has been introduced.

The United Kingdom follows this practice. Gambling advertisements are banned on national media platforms until 9 pm. This was put in place to lower the number of minors seeing or hearing the ads. A similar strategy could work throughout India.

One thing is for certain though. The government needs to reach a consensus on their online gambling laws, and fast. The sooner this can be reached, the sooner the market can be regulated. This will lead to a safer gambling environment for all Indian citizens. This will not only protect citizens from illegal gambling apps but also reduce the need for illegal land-based casinos.

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