According to a person familiar with the situation in the ministry of information and broadcasting, India has requested Google not to run surrogate ads of foreign betting companies such as Fairplay, Betway, and 1xBet, Mint reported on Wednesday.
According to the report, Google India was requested in a letter delivered last week to stop all direct and surrogate advertising from betting platforms on YouTube and in search results. Two months ago, the government instructed broadcasters and online video streaming providers to stop running these ads.
“After our last advisory on 3 October, TV channels and OTT 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.
The official stated that the Center is worried about how many Indians are becoming dependent on or losing money to online betting businesses that are functioning despite not having servers or a physical presence in India.
In several Indian states, online gambling is prohibited.
Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
According to Reuters, which cited a government document and three individuals, India’s proposed regulation of online gambling would cover all real-money games after the prime minister’s office rejected a proposal to merely regulate games of skill and exclude games of chance.