CCPA cautions celebrities promoting online gambling, issues advisory against its endorsements

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Taking Cognizance of the rise in instances of advertisements promoting illegal activities such as betting and gambling, the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has issued a comprehensive advisory, in accordance with Consumer Protection Act, 2019.

The advisory emphasized on the prohibition of advertising, promotion and endorsement of unlawful activities prohibited under various laws.

As per the official notice, betting and gambling were strictly prohibited under the Public Gambling Act, 1867, and are considered illegal in the majority of regions across the country. Despite this, online betting platforms and apps persist in advertising betting and gambling directly, as well as under the guise of gaming. Endorsements of such activities present considerable financial and socio-economic implications, especially to the youth.

The advisory underscores the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’s efforts in issuing various advisories to media platforms, cautioning them against publicizing betting and gambling platforms. Online advertisement intermediaries have also been warned against targeting such advertisements toward the Indian audience.

The advisory highlights that, 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 reiterated that the guidelines applied to all advertisements, irrespective of the medium used and warned celebrities and influencers against any engagement in the promotion or advertisement of online gambling and betting. Given to its unlawful status, the advisory further mentioned, such acts rendered one equally liable for participating in an illegal activity.

Through this advisory, CCPA cautions that any advertisement or endorsement of activities which were otherwise prohibited by law, including but not limited to betting or gambling, shall be subject to rigorous scrutiny. In case of any violation of the guidelines was detected, stringent measures, as per the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, would be initiated against those involved, including manufacturers, advertisers, publishers, intermediaries, social media platforms, endorsers, and any other relevant stakeholders.

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