A slew of judgements and subsequent restrictions put in place by few states have forced the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry to regulate advertisements on fantasy sports and online gaming. The IB ministry is working along with Ministry of Consumer Affairs and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. (More Cricket News)
It has been noticed that some top operators, who have made deep inroads into the cricket market by using celebrity faces, have been running advertisement campaigns across media platforms without telling consumers the dangers of real money gaming.
In recent weeks, there have been several cases of suicides after people lost their savings after engaging with online sports like rummy. The Madras High Court recently castigated Sourav Ganguly and Virat Kohli for endorsing fantasy platforms.
Dream11, who sponsored this IPL, has virtually the entire Indian cricket team endorsing them. MS Dhoni is their leading brand ambassador.
After bans in Telengana, Andhra Pradesh , the I&B ministry has issued guidelines to the Advertising Standards Council Of India (ASCI) to ensure that disclaimers were mandatory for all promotions of fantasy cricket and online gaming that involved financial transactions. The guidelines will come into effect from December 15.
Here are the complete guidelines:
l. 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 playing a game of online gaming for real money winnings, or suggest that such persons can play these games.
2. Every such gaming advertisement must carry the following disclaimer:
a. Print/static: This game involves an element of financial risk and may be addictive. Please play responsibly and at your own risk
i. Such a disclaimer should occupy no less than 20% of the space in the advertisement
ii. It should also specifically meet disclaimer guidelines 4 (i) (ii) (iv) and (viii) laid out in the ASCI code
b. Audio/video: "This game involves an element of financial risk and may be addictive. Please play responsibly and at your own risk."
i. Such a disclaimer must be placed in normal speaking pace at the end of the advertisement ii. It must be in the same language as the advertisement iii. For audio-visual mediums, the disclaimer needs to be in both audio and visual formats
3. The advertisements should not present 'Online gaming for real money winnings' as an income opportunity or an alternative employment option.
4. The advertisement should not suggest that a person engaged in gaming activity is in any way more successful as compared to others.