Maharashtra: NCP demands filing cases against artists promoting online rummy

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The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) members now demand that state government initiate action against several film actors for promoting and advertising online gambling and rummy in Maharashtra.

Cases under the law should be filed against those promoting online gambling and rummy, according to Babasaheb Patil, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP’s) head of film, literature, art, and culture department and Member of Legislative Assembly from Ahmedpur constituency. Patil has even addressed a letter to Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in this regard.

In his letter to Shinde, Patil asked, “The arts and artists represent society. And people believe in their actions and try to behave or imitate them. Would Marathi artists have encouraged their family members like mother, father, brother, and sister to play rummy?”

Patil also warned that if the issue is not taken seriously to stop the online rummy gaming that is pushing so many young people and families in Maharashtra into deshoddhi, the Nationalist Congress Party’s film division will adopt a combative posture.

The letter mentioned Marathi actors like Ankush Chaudhary, Amey Wagh, Sai Tamhankar, Swapnil Joshi, Shivaji Satam, Manoj Joshi, Sharad Kelkar, Shruti Marathe, Umesh Kamat, Santosh Juvekar, Gauri Nalwade, and Amrita Khanwilkar that can face problems due to promoting online rummy.

Along with Marathi actors, Bollywood actors were also mentioned, namely Hrithik Roshan, Annu Kapoor, Kumar Sanu, Shakti Kapoor, Alok Nath Raza Murdanup Soni, Manoj Vajpayee, Ali Azgar, Shishir Sharma.

The letter lauded actors but also said artists promoting online rummy need to be punished; Patil said, “If the artists are spoiling the society just for the purpose of earning money, then it is important to file a case against such artists and punish them.”

While it is true that actors can be liable for false advertising if the company they are working with has permission to conduct business and is following, all the regulations by the government should not be an issue.

Many of the actors promoting offshore illegal gambling websites can find themselves in trouble but it is unlikely that any action can be initiated against online rummy or other skill gaming websites if they are running advertisements that are compliant with guidelines issued by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) and other laws.