Foundation of Concerned Arts Professionals (FOCAP), has met with leadership of the Gaming Commission, to deliberate and seek clarification on an aspect of the gaming advertising Guidelines.
They sought clarity on a part of the guidelines which says, “Operators not using celebrities in their advertisements to entice the general public to gamble” and to also find an amicable solution which will be a win win situation for all.
At a round table discussion, Leadership of FOCAP expressed worry over the advertising guidelines which speaks to celebrities not working with any betting company.
The advocacy group discussed with the Gaming Commission to re-look the guidelines which the Act 2006 (Act 721) mandates the Commission to come up with any guidelines which will help secure the safety of gaming in Ghana.
The Commission made it clear that it is not against and has not banned any celebrity from plying their trade with any betting company but the guidelines simply does not allow celebrities to advertise, endorse a betting company with the aim to influence the general public to patronise the products and services of that betting company.
They are also not to create an impression or portray that their lifestyle is as result of, being funded from the proceeds of betting or that betting is a source of livelihood.
They further clarified that:
1- Gaming Commission has not banned any celebrity from performing their Art or being a guest at a function or program organized by any betting company, for example, a musician may be hired to sing or perform at a function organised by a betting Company simpliciter. However, that celebrity cannot be used in an advert, billboard or any marketing material of the betting company as an influencer, Brand ambassador etc.
2- Celebrities are not to use their brand and image to promote/influence the youth/general to patronise the products of betting Companies since Betting is a game of pleasure and not a source of income.
The officials of Gaming Commission in their commitment to the growth of the Creative Arts assured FOCAP of their maximum support to the industry and to work in tandem with FOCAP and the industry as a whole to see the industry move forward. They also entreated members of the creative industry to rather use their influence to encourage Responsible gaming behaviour and create awareness about the negative effects of uncontrolled betting/ addiction to betting.
The Gaming Commission concluded that from the meeting it was clear that they may need to publish specific guidelines as to the dos and don’ts of Celebrity’s engagements with these Betting Companies as well as clarify what prime time is for advertising of betting products.