ASCI Receives 80+ Complaints Against Gaming Guidelines

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Within seven weeks since the Advertising Standards Council of India issued guidelines for real money gaming, it has processed complaints against 81 advertisements regarding the potential violation of guidelines. The guidelines which were formulated by ASCI for safer and responsible gaming advertising came into effect on 15th December 2021. 75% of those complaints arise from end-users, while the rest of the complaints were taken suo motu by ASCI. In those 15 cases, advertisers had voluntarily withdrawn their advertisement on receiving communication from ASCI. Among 27 cases the advertisements have been removed by the advertisers, once the complaints were lodged and before receiving any communication from ASCI. Advertisers contested the complaints in both these cases but these complaints were upheld as the advertisements breach the ASCI regulations. Complaints against 37 advertisements are under processing and ASCI is waiting for the written explanations from the advertisers in this regard. Most of the complaints in terms of platforms were received from Instagram and YouTube with 39 and 37 complaints respectively. Cricket with 55 complaints and Rummy with 15 complaints arise the most number of complaints in the category of games. The ASCI code contains the general guidelines concerning the advertising of online games using real money. These include rules such as advertisements should not direct on minors, and gamings should not be presented as a link to success or as a source of livelihood. The guidelines also insist the advertisers of gaming advertisements carry disclaimers explaining the addictive nature of such games as well as the potential risk of financial losses etc. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting requested the advertisements to adhere to the ASCI guidelines by the issuing of an advisory. The ASCI guidelines were formulated after conferring with various stakeholders including the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, industry stakeholders, individuals, and interest groups. As online real money has become an emerging industry, the ASCI introduced these regulations for ensuring the protection of consumers and stakeholders as well as for addressing their legitimate concerns.

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