Several days ago, Singaporean actor Terence Cao faced a wave of criticism and an investigation after acting in three promotional videos he claims are aimed at stopping people from gambling on illegal online gambling platforms.
In an interview held over the phone, the famous actor admitted that he was invited to act in the three short videos by a production company that was unknown to him and he has never worked with it before. At the time when he was asked to act in the videos, he was unaware of the gambling platforms, too. He did not deny shooting the video adverts or promoting the message of “small gambling” and entertainment but he denied the alleged motive behind the spots. However, if this is true, it seems that he did not do his own research before accepting the role in the controversial ads.
Cao urged the press to tell people not to gamble and said that, in his opinion, local people should watch the controversial videos.
Some reporters asked him to provide more information about the video because they were not openly telling people not to gamble but instead encouraged them to place small bets that usually were not that stressful. The actor, however, did not respond to the follow-up questions via phone call or text message.
Terence Cao Claims the Three Videos Should Have Promoted Responsible Gambling
For the time being, there are several casino venues in Singapore, with the country exploring further expansion of its gambling operations. At the same time, the local Government does not allow certain forms of advertising, and these rules are exactly what could cause some problems for Terence Cao.
Under the Singaporean gambling laws, only the lottery and sports betting chain Singapore Pools is allowed to openly promote its services. As a result, this is the only operator that holds the license required to advertise its services. All unlicensed gambling activities are also banned in the country.
It seems that Mr. Cao faces claims that he promoted an illegal online gambling site – a violation of the existing gambling legislation that could bring him a maximum penalty of SG$20,000 for breaching the country’s gambling control laws. For now, the actor claims that he is innocent. He also shared that the production company standing behind the three video spots approached him about participating in responsible gambling adverts. As mentioned above, 55-year-old Cao also claims that he accepted the job without being aware of the background of the website.
Unfortunately, instead of taking part in a responsible gambling campaign, he seems to have participated in a marketing campaign promoting an illegal online gambling website. Although the actor claims that the videos were supposed to encourage people not to gamble, the spots actually suggested gamblers bet in small amounts in order to get maximum entertainment.
The adverts are currently being investigated by the Singapore Police Force, as well as by the Gambling Control Authority of Singapore. The three videos are no longer to be found on the operator’s website.