Bollywood superstar actress Tamannah Bhatia and Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli seem to have landed in some sort of trouble as an advocate filed a petition before the Madras High Court seeking their arrest. The petitioner has accused both celebrities of promoting online gambling which is causing damage to the lives of young ones in the country.
Both celebrities are brand ambassadors of Mobile eSports platform, Mobile Premier League (MPL). Virat Kohli was appointed in March 2019 while Tamannah signed the deal in 2020.
The practicing advocate, A P Suryaprakasam filed the petition to arrest Tamannah and Kohli for causing havoc in the lives of youngsters by misguiding them on online gambling and promoting such sites.
The Chennai based petitioner further mentioned that the two celebrities were “brainwashing” the youngsters. He referred to a particular youngster who was reported to have committed suicide because of the huge debt he accrued from online gambling. Many other young ones have also been reported to have taken aggressive steps to recover losses due to online gambling.
According to the petitioner, all online gambling sites should be closed and personalities promoting such sites should be prosecuted.
“…it is just and necessary that authorities have to be immediately directed to close all online gambling sites forthwith and arrest and prosecute Virat Kohli and Tamannaah for their role in abetting the youngsters to gamble online as playing and abatement to play gambling is a criminal offence,” the advocate said in his petition.
He also submitted that gambling online was “immoral and unethical” and said popular people are used by these sites to pressurize and deceive the youths to fall into the “evil trap of gambling”.
The plea further points out that gambling is an illegal activity in the country and has been the reason for the rise in suicide cases in Tamil Nadu.
“This gambling addiction is more dangerous to the society and violative of Article 21 of the constitution of India, as it infringes the right to life. Hence, this writ petition seeking a ban,” the plea reads.
In his opinion, online gambling causes a devastating effect in a short while. Unlike cigarettes and alcohol which takes about fifteen years to show harmful effects in an individual, gambling could wreck a person in days or months.
Many youths start to gamble online with their extra money, then they get to their income and also get to their family savings. After exhausting their savings, they resort to borrowing money from friends. But with all the huge amounts wagered on these sites, they never make profits but only losses from time to time.
The bigger problem kicks in when they no longer have money to spend and when the lender starts to request for the money. It leads to embarrassment and eventually results in them taking extreme measures.
In summary, the petition seeks the following from the High Court:
- Closure of all online gambling platforms
- Arrest and prosecution of online gambling operators
- Arrest and prosecution of celebrities and popular personalities promoting these activities.
Gambling has always been an issue in India. But even though it is largely prohibited nationwide, people have been able to gamble online safely. While there are many who criticize online gambling, there are those who advocate the benefits of regulated online casinos (increased taxes and better policies for responsible gambling).
One of such persons is Nikhil Patel, the person behind onlinecasinoguide.in. He says: “Presently, many Indians are gambling on foreign websites and the operators of these sites are making huge profits from the country. If online gambling becomes regulated in the country, it will be a good source of extra income for the nation.”