The Kerala High Court served notices to Team India Captain Virat Kohli, actress Tamannah Bhatia and Malayalam actor Aju Varghese, all brand ambassadors of online rummy games, asking them to answer why have they been endorsing online gambling websites. The Thrissur police faulted the celebrities for campaigning in favour of online gambling websites and filed a public interest litigation in the Kerala High Court asking for a ban on them as many youth were getting addicted to them.
The PIL stated that several people lost their lives after losing heavily by playing the online games.
After hearing to the arguments on the PIL, the court issued notices to the celebrities asking the state government also to give an explanation.
Last year, the Madras High Court also took exception to celebrities and cricketers endorsing online gambling games.
The court said that many people involved in online gambling were dying by suicide and asked the celebrities why were they promoting such websites. At the same time, the court also questioned the government why it was not initiating severe action against the celebrities.
Around 15 days ago, Vineeth, 27, ended his life by suicide at Kuttichal in Thiruvananthapuram, after having lost Rs 21 lakh in online gambling game.
Another youngster, Sajesh, 32, said he lost more than Rs 6 lakh playing online rummy.