India asks Google not to display surrogate ads of overseas betting firms

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India asks Google not to display surrogate ads of overseas betting firms

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 developments in the ministry of information and broadcasting.

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

India's planned regulation of online gaming will apply to all real-money games, after the prime minister's office has overruled a proposal to only regulate games of skill and leave out games of chance, according to 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 asked Google to stop this immediately," said a senior ministry official to Mint.

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