Despite repeated advisories from the Indian government to cease advertising on social media platforms, online betting and gambling portals continue to promote their apps, according to a report by ET.
Popular apps such as FairPlay and Appa Book are being promoted on social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, by high-profile personalities and micro-influencers. Additionally, many television actresses and internet personalities fail to disclose that the campaigns they are participating in are paid sponsorships or advertisements, violating influencer marketing guidelines.
FairPlay and Appa Book have thousands of followers on Instagram, with FairPlay boasting over 1.3 lakh followers and Appa Book over 1.5 lakh. Both apps are also advertising on popular messaging apps like WhatsApp to reach potential customers.
FairPlay promotes different matches taking place and encourages users to place bets on those matches in its Telegram group, which has 246.8k subscribers. The app offers a 5% lossback bonus on every match, a 300% bonus on the first deposit, and a 50% bonus on the second deposit. Appa Book offers a 2% bonus on creating a new ID with a condition of ten bets attached to the offer.
Earlier this month, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) advised media entities, platforms, and online advertisement intermediaries to refrain from carrying advertisements or promotional content of betting platforms. The advisory was issued to all media formats, including newspapers, television channels, and online news publishers. However, these apps continue to advertise despite government warnings.
In February, the Indian government banned 138 Chinese betting apps that flouted Section 69 of the IT Act. The Centre also directed Google to stop overseas online betting platforms like Betway and 1xBet from marketing their ads in the country late last year.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has seized INR 212.91 crore in connection with money laundering probes involving online gambling platforms until December 2022. The government has been cracking down on online gambling and betting platforms in the country due to the potential for financial fraud and exploitation.