The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B Ministry) recently issued an advisory for private satellite TV channels on advertising for online gaming and fantasy sports. The advisory directs gaming ads to have a disclaimer that such games involve financial risks and that no users below the age of 18 are to play on such platforms. The guidelines will come in effect from December 15th.
As per a report in BW BusinessWorld, the advisory addressed to all private satellite TV channels said, "No gaming advertisement may depict any person under the age of 18 years, or who appears to be under the age of 18, engaged in online gaming for real money winnings or suggest that such persons can play these games.”
As per the advisory, every gaming advertisement needs to have a disclaimer, "This game involves an element of financial risk and may be addictive. Please play responsibly and at your own risk." The disclaimer needs to occupy at least 20 percent of an Ad’s space.
On November 18th, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology convened with the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), News Broadcasters Association (NBA), Indian Broadcasting Federation (IBF), All India Gaming Federation (AIGF), Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS) and the Online Rummy Federation (ORF).
The discussion among these ministries and stakeholders led to ASCI issuing guidelines for advertisers and broadcasters to make real-money gaming advertising more transparent and safe. The ASCI guidelines will apply from 15th December to all real-money gaming platform ads on mediums like print, television and digital.
The recent I&B Ministry’s advisory for private satellite TV channels is in line with the guidelines issued by the ASCI. The I&B Ministry also resounded that gaming advertisements should not show “online gaming for real money winnings” as an income opportunity or alternative employment option. The ads are also to not suggest that people playing such games are in any way more successful compared to others.