The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) called for a meeting scheduled on 18 November to discuss television advertisements around online gaming. Platforms like Mobile Premier League (MPL) pool winner, Dear Lottery, and Naam11.com had recently come under scrutiny by the ministry for their advertisements. The ministry had stated that the meeting would be held to discuss the possible violation of consumer protection regulations by these platforms in their advertisements.
The ministry invited the following individuals to attend the scheduled video meeting. They have also mentioned that these individuals can nominate a representative to attend the meeting.
Along with the above-mentioned people, the meeting will also be attended by representatives of the All India Gaming Federation (AIGF), Federation of India Fantasy Sports (FIFS), and The Online Rummy Federation (TORF).
An advertisement endorsed by Virat Kohli for Mobile Premier League (MPL) was found by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) to not be accurate in their claims to be the “biggest online game” as there was no third party or audited report to verify the claim. The MIB notice stated that these ads could be the examined by a provision of the Cable Television Network Act which prohibits ads that could potentially mislead the public into believing that a product has miraculous or supernatural qualities.
They have also cited the ASCI’s self-regulatory code which requires transparency around ads urging people to partake in lotteries or prize competitions and the Consumer Protection Act, 2019, which prohibits false or misleading ads. However, the AICS mentioned that it does not have the ability to decide whether “MPL is conducting gambling” and instead suggested that the concerned regulator should look into it.
The ministry also noted that since gaming had only begun gaining momentum in the past few years the Cable TV Act or the ASCI’s rules do not address them. They said that there was always a possibility of advertisements for these activities to be misleading.
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