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Casino ads debut in Eden Test

Press Trust of India  |  Kolkata 

Although gambling is not allowed in India, two casinos from have put up their banners inside the Eden Gardens here during the ongoing versus Test match.

Probably for the first time here 'Ballys Casino' and 'Casino Marino', both from Colombo, have put up large banners in between spectators' stands and below the floodlights at the High end of the ground.

When contacted for comment, Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) treasurer said, "For all advertisements there is some kind of an approval from a government body. Even the Municipal Corporation collects taxes from such ads."

Under the Public Gambling Act, 1987, public gambling is banned in all states of barring Arunachal Pradesh. Two other states in India, and Sikkim, have however allowed casinos to operate by giving them licenses.

Eminent lawyer Ushanath Banerjee opined that there is no bar on mere usage of the word casino under the Indian

"But if they ask people to come to casino for betting or gambling then there is a prohibition on that," he told PTI.

Both the casinos who have advertised, also has resturants for fine dining and conference rooms for meetings besides providing gaming tables.

"Since casinos offer other entertainment services besides a platform for gambling, one can use the word casino without any problem. But when you indicate gambling, then there is an issue," the lawyer said.

Jeet Banerjee, who now runs a sports management company and had earlier handled in-stadium advertisements said, "This is something new I am hearing of."

Many sports veterans can't recall noticing any such marketing effort by casino companies anywhere during cricket matchs earlier.

First Published: Thu, November 07 2013. 15:43 IST