Centre issues strict advisory for social media influencers on promoting offshore online betting, gambling platforms

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The Centre on Thursday issued an advisory for all endorsers and influencers on social media and asked them to refrain from promoting or advertising, including surrogate advertisements, of offshore online betting and gambling platforms. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has said that these ads have significant financial and socioeconomic implications of online betting and gambling on consumers, particularly the youth.

The advisory cautions that failure to comply with it may lead to proceedings under the provisions of Consumer Protection Act, 2019 including removal or disabling of social media posts or accounts and penal action under the applicable statutes.

“While Section 79 of the IT Act, 2000 provides for exemption from liability of intermediaries for third party information, data, or communication link made available or hosted by them, Sub section (3)(b) of Section 79 provides that the exemption from liability shall not apply if upon receiving actual knowledge, or on being notified by the appropriate Government or its agency that any information, data or communication link residing in or connected to a computer resource controlled by the intermediary is being used to commit the unlawful act, the intermediary fails to expeditiously remove or disable access to that material on that resource without vitiating the evidence in any manner,” tha advisory read.

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