The Union Information and Broadcasting (I&B) ministry has started a consultation with various stakeholders to decide if advertisements of entities, which are involved in online gambling, should be allowed to be broadcast on TV channels.
Though online gaming has become popular over the last few years, concerns are being raised whether the trend is flouting the Public Gambling Act, 1867.
A writ petition on this matter was filed in the Delhi high court (HC), which in October had suggested that regulatory bodies should look at the plea.
The petitioner had sought curbs on mushrooming of gaming websites, which allegedly facilitate online gambling and also carry advertisements.
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The Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI) looked into the matter following the HC order.
ASCI said it was not a competent authority to decide if entities such as the Mobile Premier League (MPL) were conducting gambling and suggested that the I&B ministry should look into the matter as the regulator.
The ministry held its first consultative meeting – a virtual exercise because of the raging coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak — on the matter, which was attended by Vikram Sahay, joint secretary, I&B, representatives of ASCI, gaming federation and broadcasters.
The ministry felt that the matter should be examined afresh because of the nebulous nature of the existing online gaming norms, said a person, who is aware of the developments.
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