Georgian public broadcaster to stop advertising gambling companies
Gambling advertisements will disappear from the first channel of Georgian Public Broadcasting starting 2020.
The channel will fulfill its obligations by the end of this year, but from January it will cease to take gambling commercials.
“Based on our own mission, the first goal of the first channel is to meet the requirements of society, to promote the promotion of a healthy lifestyle and, based on our own capabilities, to confront the serious ailment of gambling addiction in the country”, the statement of the first channel, circulated on October 30, reads.
The channel made this decision after the death of channel TV operator, 29-year-old Sandro Beradze.
For two days, Beradze was missing and being searched for by his friends and law enforcement officials.
The body of Sandro Beradze was discovered in the vicinity of Tbilisi, in the forest of Tskhvarichamia on October 29.
An investigation is underway. Some sources say that a gambling addiction brought him to commit suicide.
The management of the first channel is aware that the refusal to place gambling advertisements on the air will entail noticeable financial losses. According to the channel, the funds from this type of advertising were spent entirely on the purchase of licenses for sports broadcasts, their maintenance and technical support.
The statement of the Public Broadcaster states that “in connection with the negative impact of gambling, a unanimous negative attitude towards this has formed in society. The first channel of Georgia fully shares this point of view and, by its refusal to advertise gambling, joins the public demand.”
•The legislation of Georgia does not prohibit the advertising of gambling, and the sale of advertising of this type.
•According to the chairman of Mothers Against Gambling, Tamar Japaridze, from July 2019 to this day, due to gambling addiction and debts on this basis, 15 people aged 14 to 31 have committed suicide.
•The position of the gambling business in Georgia were especially strengthened during the presidency of Mikheil Saakashvili. This type of business was considered by the authorities as one of the most serious sources of replenishment of the budget. The calculation was made that in neighboring countries casinos and gaming houses were banned or operate with significant restrictions. The authorities believed that Georgia should definitely use its geographical advantage in the gaming business. The calculation was also made to attract tourists from Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia and the Middle East