India asks Google to stop displaying online betting ads - Mint


FILE PHOTO: A man walks past the sign of "Google for India", the company's annual technology event in New Delhi, India, September 19, 2019. REUTERS/Sankalp Phartiyal/File Photo

BENGALURU (Reuters) - India has asked Google not to display surrogate ads of overseas betting companies, Mint newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing a person aware of the development in the ministry of information and broadcasting.

The letter sent last week to Alphabet Inc's Google India asked the company to immediately drop all advertising, direct or surrogate, from betting platforms like Fairplay, PariMatch, Betway in search results and YouTube, the report said.

India's planned regulation of online gaming will apply to all real-money games after the prime minister's office overruled a proposal to only regulate games of skill and leave out games of chance, Reuters reported on Dec. 4, citing a government document and three sources.

“After our last advisory on 3 October, TV channels and OTT (Over-the-top) players stopped showing surrogate ads of online betting firms, but it was brought to our notice that many such ads are running on YouTube and Google. We have asked Google to stop this immediately," said a senior ministry official to Mint.

Google did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment.

India should create a regulatory body to classify online games as based on skill or chance, introduce rules to block prohibited formats and take a stricter stance on gambling websites, a government panel stated in a draft report seen by Reuters earlier in September.

(Reporting by Meenakshi Maidas in Bengaluru; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil)

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