Doctor urges celebrities to stop promotion of online gambling

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According to a senior doctor working at the Sadar Hospital, celebrities and actors should refrain from endorsing online gambling applications since they encourage depression and suicide among young people.

This request was made on Sunday after a young person committed suicide last week after losing a significant sum of money playing an online game, according to Dr Muazzam Akbar, an eye surgeon at the Hospital. The deceased was from the Bhojpur district and was a police inspector’s son.

Speaking on the celebrity advertisements, the doctor said, “They also have a moral obligation and responsibilities towards the young generation who love the stars,” according to Times of India.

A Psychiatrist named Rakesh Kumar Singh said he has been reviving around four-five cases of depressed individuals due to online gaming every month. Kumar said, “Recently, I attended to a patient who lost Rs4 crore in online gaming.”

Cases like these are not new, and many studies have revealed that these celebrities’ endorsements influence the majority of users to engage in these activities. A study by Director Professor of IIM Rohtak, Dheeraj Sharma, revealed that celebrity endorsement has more than a 50% chance of convincing users to try online gambling.

The percentage also increased based on attractiveness and how famous the celebrity/influencer is. The number, however, saw a reduction if the celebrity promoting online gambling also gave a statutory warning.

Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Telangana have already banned online gaming and gambling through their own legislation, although in the crossfire, skill-based games that are not deemed as gambling are also prohibited in the state.

While the new amendments to the online gaming rules do aim to change this, it is yet to be seen oh how big of a scale it will help.