1. The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) is a self-regulatory industry body that has been set up for the regu­lation of advertisements on television/broadcasting. ASCI seeks to ensure that advertisements conform to its Code for Self-Regulation, which requires advertisements to be legal, decent, honest and truthful and not hazardous or harmful while observing fairness in competition. ASCI looks into complaints across all medias such as Print, TV, Radio, hoardings, SMS, Emailers, Internet / website, product packaging, brochures, promotional material and point of sale material etc.
  2. On 24th November, 2020, ASCI has introduced guidelines to make real-money gaming advertising safer and more responsible and are intended to ensure that such advertising makes users aware about financial and other risks that are associated with playing online games with real money winnings.
  3. Online Real Money Games are those games which are skill based and covers Card Games (Rummy, Poker etc) and Fantasy Sports. The Supreme Court of India has held the gaming laws in various states do not apply to games where there is a preponderance of skill over chance.[1].
  4. The idea of framing specific guidelines for advertisement of such games is to inform advertisers as well as members of the public what criteria will be use to scrutinize advertisements against which the ASCI receives complaints.
  5. The guidelines will be effective from the 15th December 2020, and apply to advertisements that are legally permitted.

[1]While online gaming is permitted in most part of India, states like Telangana, Andhra Pradesh (recently through Andhra Pradesh promulgated the Andhra Pradesh Gaming (Amendment) Ordinance 2020) have banned all forms of real money games in the States.


  1. Guideline #1 – No gaming advertisement may depict any person under the age of 18 years, or who appears to be under the age of 18, engaged in playing a game of “online gaming for real money winnings”, or suggest that such persons can play these games.
  2. Guideline #2 – Every such gaming advertisement must carry the following disclaimers:

Disclaimer for Print/Static:

This game involves an element of financial risk and may be addictive. Please play responsibly and at your own risk.”

  • Such a disclaimer should occupy no less than 20% of the space in the advertisement;
  • It should also specifically meet disclaimer guidelines 4 (i) (ii) (iv) and (viii) laid out in the ASCI Code

Disclaimer for Audio / Video:

This game involves an element of financial risk and may be addictive. Please play responsibly and at your own risk.”

  • Such a disclaimer must be placed in normal speaking pace at the end of the advertisement.
  • It must be in the same language as the advertisement.
  • For audio-visual mediums, the disclaimer needs to be in both audio and visual formats.
  1. Guideline # 3 – The advertisement should not present ‘Online gaming for real money winnings’ as an income opportunity or an alternative employment option.
  2. Guideline #4 – The advertisement should not suggest that a person engaged in gaming activity is in any way more successful as compared to others.


  1. If you are an operator of regulated gambling products, draws or competitions, it is almost inevitable that you will use social media advertising to promote your business. Gaming companies are looking for some cheaper and most effective way to reach out to real cash game app users in tier-2, tier-3 cities. Influence marketing is on rise. Therefore, adherence to constructive, thoughtful online advertising standards is vital to effectively preserve the industry’s integrity and foster its future development and legitimacy.
  2. On certain social media platform like facebook, operators looking to advertise are usually asked to complete an “Initial Request for Information” or “Online Real Money Gaming Onboarding Application Form” which requires to provide a written opinion from qualified outside legal counsel that your game complies with all legal requirements in the jurisdictions in which you operate or allow game play.
  3. Advertising for online gaming is inconsistently regulated and often not completely addressed by most countries(including the USA) because advertising is universally recognized as a freedom of speech (though it’s not given a blanket protection). The gaming industry in the U.S. does, however, have its own voluntary responsible marketing standards, as supplied by the American Gaming Association, which is a gaming industry advocacy group. Likewise, Canada follows the American Gaming Association’s voluntary Code of Conduct for Responsible Gambling which contains a pledge to “advertise responsibly”. Italy has a “Dignity Decree” which bans gaming advertising. In United Kingdom overall Advertising in the UK is regulated by the CAP (Committee of Advertising Practice) and the BCAP (Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice) which regulates advertising relating to gambling (and gaming).
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