- February 27, 2024 10:55 AM
- April 6, 2022 8:09 PM
- November 15, 2022 4:25 PM
PHNOM PENH – Gambling advertisements are illegal, recalls the gambling management committee, adding that it will take legal action against a company that recently advertised online gambling on Facebook.
Over the Chinese New Year weekend, a 3’34-minute video was posted on the social media platform, starring famous Cambodian actor Neay Kroeun and promoting the DIG88 company’s gambling services.
The lyrics of the song praise the so-called benefits of using DIG88, while the music video showcases female dancers wearing t-shirts labeled with the company’s name and explains how to use the app.
Quickly after being posted, the video received a wave of criticism from the public, who consider it can have a bad influence on young people. The original video has been deleted since then, but reuploads have appeared on the Internet totaling several hundred thousand views.
Ros Phirun, the secretary general of the Commercial Gambling Management Commission of Cambodia (CGMC), said CGMC had not allowed any companies to advertise gambling and that all those broadcasts were illegal.
“CGMC and the Ministry of Post [and Telecommunications] have cooperated and taken action to shut down the gambling websites,” he said. “Any activity involving the promotion or distribution of any video containing any form of online gambling is illegal.”
Cambodia banned online gambling in 2019 while a 1996 law forbids Cambodian citizens to gamble – even though these two measures are not always enforced.
Phirun said art is a mirror that reflects society, awakening the public on certain issues. But when artists take part in such promotional videos, they badly influence society and ruin their social image while affecting people’s lives.
“I wonder if there is such a group of artists like them [those who made the gambling promoting videos],” he said. “Promoting gambling is illegal or not? If it’s not illegal, is it morally wrong?”
He added that CGMC will take action against the gambling company, in a move to set an example for the whole industry not to advertise gambling activities.
Pa Chanroeun, the president of the Cambodian Institute for Democracy, said artists influence society through their talents and accomplishments. Thus, he said other artists should pay attention to the ethics of art.
Chanroeun called on artists to avoid promoting activities that harm society, such as online gambling, adding that the Ministry of Culture and relevant authorities should closely monitor such practices.
Ros Phirun said CGMC has educated the public about online gambling and discouraged any advertisements made by artists and influencers, calling on the immediate cessation of all types of gambling advertising activities and by all means until further notice.
Originally written in Khmer for Thmey Thmey, the story was translated by Teng Yalirozy for Cambodianess