Betting, Banning & Billions, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 29th April 2016

09 May

Betting, Banning & Billions


What is a ban? Well usually it is a simple no go zone from type of food, movie, habits such as poaching and most recently the betting business has caught the eye of the regulators.

The Kenya Film Classification Board CEO Ezekiel Mutua has announced a ban on betting, gambling, alcoholic and sexy adverts from 5am to 10pm, citing them not suitable content for children and young adults. However Government contests and lotteries will still be aired and allowed.

There are two sides to a ban. When something is not in your face or within your everyday walking, watching, listening then chances are that you will not know about it, pay enough attention or act or react. It is like they say ignorance is bliss.

The other side is that all is in within your reach, from a newspaper advert, to the TV breakfast show, the ads on your mobile phone, or social media pages, these items follow you everywhere and eventually you will give in. For example if a holiday offer keeps popping up, you may just one day decide to go for it, or notice how subconsciously when you are choosing your holiday destination you somehow pick on that one. Thus, these adverts do have a reaction.

Children grab the iPads, log on to YouTube without much guidance and watch an episode of Peppa Pig, what if a condom advert pops up, do you think this is preparing their mind? Yes it is. For the young adults, they browse the TV channels and while it is possible to put in parental guidance, what if they are watching a 3pm cartoon and an advert for an alcoholic beverage comes in? You can argue that the TV station owner would be wiser not to put an inappropriate advert but adverts pay bills and upkeep of any media establishment, sometimes morals can slip and bank accounts fill up.

Then who will be the moral checker in a media establishment? That’s when regulators have to step in and push in this ban. The cigarette ban has been imposed for over 10 years and they still make their sales. Recently with graphic packaging the sales might have been affected slightly but remember those who want to smoke will still go ahead. Gambling is an addiction and now with the easy access to betting, that is becoming a bigger addiction because it is almost interfering with the daily life of a person. But hold on for one second, before you blame the gambling or betting company, understand that to be a gambler you have to be a certain type of personality and in special circumstances.

This ban will help curb the immediate exposure of these products and services. But it is not the complete solution to any drinking problem, underage sexual habits or gambling and betting issues. The 5am to 10pm is buying time for media buyers be creative, media owners to rethink some moral responsibilities and the society that why these hours are banned and what is happening within their lives, at work, at home or school. If lung cancer still is a lethal killer despite bans then will this ban make any big difference? Perhaps it can be the start of a precedent that can do something different and actually address the deeper problems like, higher cost of living, low wages, peer pressure, opening of bars at every other corner and the list goes on. An addict is smarter than you think, he or she does go to almost every length to find their high substance, thus keeping an advert out of their way may offer temporary relief but will not actually save their life.

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Posted by on May 9, 2016 in Uncategorized


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