Asia round-up: India advises anti-gambling; new complex in Mae Sot & Macau
Indian I&B Ministry advises media against gambling advertisements
The Indian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has issued a notice to all print, electronic, social and online media, advising a halt to all advertising of online betting platforms.
The announcement comes after the Ministry was made aware of several instances in which these media outlets had openly advertised online gambling websites and platforms.
As gambling is illegal in most of the country, the Indian authorities voiced concerns that these online betting advertisements work to promote a prohibited activity, while also posing financial and socio-economic risks for consumers.
The Ministry went on to note that these advertisements contradict regulations laid out in the Consumer Protection Act 2019, the Advertising Code under the Cable Television Networks Regulation Act 1995 and the Norms of Journalistic Conduct under the Press Council Act 1978.
The Ministry said: “In light of the above and having regard to the larger public interest involved, the print and electronic media are advised to refrain from publishing advertisements of online betting platforms. The online and social media, including the online advertisement intermediaries and publishers, are advised not to display such advertisements in India or target such advertisements towards the Indian audience."
Mae Sot district ready to host entertainment complex
Thailand’s Mae Sot district is now ready to host an entertainment complex, as reported by the Bangkok Post.
“The print and electronic media... The online and social media, including the online advertisement intermediaries and publishers, are advised not to display such advertisements in India or target such advertisements towards the Indian audience”Indian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
The district in Tak is currently discussing plans to open an entertainment complex – which would include a casino – along the border with Myanmar, competing with a similar complex that opened in Myawaddy on Myanmar's side.
In his capacity as a member of a committee studying the feasibility of opening such a complex, former Democrat MP for Nakhon Si Thammarat Thepthai Senapong said Mae Sot’s infrastructure is perfect for the project, due to improvements in the district’s cargo transport and immigration checkpoints.
The district’s transport infrastructure has also improved, which includes a newly built four-lane road connecting the border with Muang district, as well as an upgrade in Mae Sot airport to receive international visitors.
Thepthai, however, noted that several outstanding issues still need to be addressed to continue with the project, primarily the fact that most of the land in the district is owned by the State. This means there is little incentive for investment as investors will not be able to own the land.
Moreover, most of the land is expensive, meaning the cost of the project will rise.
Macau: No cross-shareholdings between concessionaires and 5% shareholders
The latest amendment to Macau’s long-anticipated revision of its gaming laws only allows cross-shareholdings up to 5%, if an investor holds more than 5% in a concessionaire already.
The same would apply to concessionaires themselves, who may not directly hold the capital of other concessionaires, but may indirectly hold up to 5%.
Macau’s Legislative Assembly (AL) met once again to discuss this latest amendment, in a meeting held by the Chair of its Second Standing Committee, Chan Chak Mo.
Chan said: “[Macau] made the change in the hope of preventing collusion among the concessionaires to enhance their effectiveness.”
Chan and the AL are expected to complete an opinion letter on an update to the law following a meeting on 15 June 2022, with the new gaming laws expected to be passed by 26 June 2022.
Chan added: “After signing the opinion letter, the [AL] will come together five working days later to discuss and vote on this law.”