With the accessibility of smartphones and cheap internet, it has accelerated a boom in online gambling and betting apps in India. Specifically, cricket is a major driver, with fans wagering on everything from match results to individual player performances. In addition, these apps provide convenience, anonymity, and wide options for betting, attracting a decent user base, particularly young adults.

Under that fact, the Government of India recognized the potential risks of online gambling and issued an advisory targeting social media influencers. According to that advisory, social media influencers are warned against promoting betting apps, citing concerns about the glamorization of gambling and the exploitation of young audiences as well. So to have a brief knowledge, let’s have a deep dive therein.

Evaluating the Risks of Online Gambling 

The government has issued such a restrictive advisory, but this thing raises questions about online gambling: does there exist a risk? For this, I tried to observe and found that online gambling, while marketed as fun and easy money, carries significant financial and social risks, especially for young people. Potentially, there are two types of risk, i.e., financial harm and social harm. So, let’s have a closer look at them.

Financial harms

As the name reflects, online gambling leads to a loss of money because these platforms are designed in such a way that they appear to be addictive, which invites money loss as well as accumulating debt. Even as per the independent researchers’ report, around 60%–80% of people who gamble lose their money. Apart from that, these apps employ manipulative tactics that exploit impulsive behavior in young users.

Social harms

These are the harms that come because online gambling apps’ easy access and immersive nature keep players addicted. All this leads to increased anxiety, depression, and even social ideation. Online gambling hurts relationships, especially with the family. Meanwhile, online gambling has an impact on mental health and relationships, mainly.

Government’s Concerns and the New Advisory

After getting in-depth about the potential risks of online gambling, we now have a look at how the Indian government addressed them. I mean what the government issued in their advisory regarding this. The Government of India’s latest advisory regarding online gambling states growing concerns about the influence of social media personalities promoting betting apps. For this, they emphasized two things, as given below.

Ban on all promotions

From now on, it is strictly prohibited to promote offshore online betting and gambling platforms, including both direct endorsement and surrogate advertising. However, surrogate advertising disguises the promotion of banned products by promoting something seemingly unrelated (e.g., online games, fantasy sports, or similar).

Platform applicability

According to the advisory, the prohibition applies to all major social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and others where influencer marketing is prevalent. Meanwhile, no influencer can promote online gambling there, and even such platforms are advised to take down content promoting betting apps.

Consequences of Ignoring an Advisory

If any social media influencer ignores this advisory, he or she could face several consequences. These are the removal of content, legal actions under the Consumer Protection Act, damage to reputation, and many more things. From this, a very clear meaning comes: this comprehensive approach aims to deter influencers from promoting betting apps and protect consumers, particularly younger users, from potential risks.

class="wp-block-heading">Impact on influencers and the industry 

After reading several associated things with the latest advisory for online gambling, you crave to know what is next. I mean, what would be the impact of such an advisory on such a huge queue of social media influencers and industries? So as per different indications and our judgement of understanding social media influencers and industry, we found the below-mentioned expected impacts.

Impact on influencers

  • Influencers who previously promoted betting apps will need to adapt their strategies and, for sure, collaborate with brands in other sectors.
  • Influencers might face closer scrutiny from platforms and audiences regarding brand collaborations. 
  • Influencers may diversify their income streams by focusing on sponsorships with non-restricted brands.

Impact on the Online Gambling Industry

  • Without influencer promotion, the online gambling industry will lose a key marketing channel.
  • The industry may shift its focus to other marketing strategies.
  • These restrictions might push the industry towards innovative marketing strategies.

Overall, this advisory will likely reshape the online gambling industry’s marketing landscape. For sure, influencers need to adapt, and the industry faces challenges in reaching new users. However, these are just speculations. It would be interesting to see how influencers and the entire industry behave after the enforcement of such an advisory.

Final Thoughts

To sum up the discussion, the Government of India’s stance on influencer promotion of betting apps is clear: it’s prohibited. This advisory reflects concerns about the financial and social risks of online gambling, particularly for young people. These risks include potential addiction, financial strain, and negative impacts on mental health. We know influencers play an important role in shaping consumer behavior, but somewhere transparency is less in the gambling industry. So, it would be curious to see what more the Indian government plans for the future.

Frequently asked questions

Q1. What types of promotions are banned under the advisory?

Ans. The advisory prohibits all promotions of offshore online betting and gambling platforms by influencers and celebrities. This includes both direct endorsements and surrogate advertising.

Q2. What are some alternative, responsible influencer marketing practices?

Ans. Influencers can collaborate with brands that align with their values and audience interests. This could involve promoting sustainable products, educational services, social causes, or other non-restricted products. 

Q3. Why did the Government of India issue this advisory?

Ans. The government is concerned about the potential negative impacts of online gambling, particularly on young audiences.

Q4. How will this advisory impact influencer marketing strategies?

Ans. The major impact is that influencers who previously promoted betting apps will need to adapt their strategies.