In recent months, India has begun debating the establishment of an online gambling regulator.
Last week, in an official letter, the Indian government asked Alphabet Inc’s Google India ( GOOGL.O ) to stop showing direct or proxy ads for offshore gambling companies in search results and on YouTube.
India’s planned regulation of online gaming will apply to all real-money games, after the prime minister’s office rejected a proposal to regulate only games of skill and leave out gambling.
Google responded to requests from the Government of India to stop displaying ads from foreign betting companies and said it already prohibits such ads under Indian law.
A Google spokesperson said: “In accordance with our advertising policies and applicable local laws and regulations, we do not allow any advertising that promotes online gambling. In our ad systems, we have strict policies to stop infringements and take swift action if we are made aware of infringing ads.”
Two months ago, the government ordered TV channels, over-the-top (OTT) services and news websites to stop running gambling ads. The Indian government is considering setting up a regulatory body for online skill games. There is no federal law regulating gambling in India, except for a Supreme Court precedent on skill-based gambling.
“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”.
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