Musician Gasmilla has added his voice to the campaign against the decision by the Ghana Gaming Commission to ban celebrities from endorsing betting companies.
In an interview on Hitz FM, the ‘Telemo’ hitmaker described the decision as a deliberate effort by the government to keep celebrities financially handicapped.
“For me the first time I heard it I just understood why artistes in Ghana are in this state they are in. It looks like government has decided to make artistes poor. It’s like an intentional thing they are doing to create poverty, to control the media or to control artistic people.
“You will tell a betting company not to sign an artiste in Ghana, but then that same betting company can sign an artiste from Nigeria. So they are taking the money and our tax money to pay someone else in Nigeria where we do not get to benefit,” he told Doreen Avio on Daybreak Hitz.
He explained that he lost a deal with a betting company that planned on partnering him to embark on developmental projects in some communities.
“I tried to work with somebody, and he loved the things that I was doing within the community. He said he owns a betting company and ‘I would like to put you in contact with the General Manager and see if you guys can do something because they also want to have activations in the community’.
“I said why not. If they are going to help the community and develop the community, that’s what I am for. Now the guy calls, and he’s like we’ve been told by the government not to sponsor musicians. If you control what a man eats, you control him.”
In 2020, the Ghana Gaming Commission banned betting companies from using celebrities in their marketing campaigns or as brand ambassadors.
The Commission claims that the decision was made because more celebrities were sponsoring betting companies, which could entice young fans into gambling.