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ATV, TVB Probed Over Holiday Casino Ad Blitz

21 February 2005

MACAU -- As reported by the Standard: "The Broadcasting Authority is investigating television advertising campaigns launched recently by two Macau casino companies.

"The blitz by Greek Mythology Casino and Stanley Ho's Sociedade de Jogos de Macau (SJM) appears to skate the edge of the authority's ban on broadcast advertisements for commercial betting and exploit a loophole in the Gambling Ordinance.

"Two months ago, the authority warned TVB's Jade and ATV's Home channels against broadcasting ads for the Mona Lisa gaming hall at SJM's flagship Casino Lisboa.

"...The authority noted that the Mona Lisa ads promoted a card `primarily used for buying chips for betting' and telephone hotlines that promoted a betting service.

"The Lunar New Year ad for SJM, broadcast during evening programs on TVB Jade, is more subtle. It briefly flashes an image of the exterior of Casino Lisboa, displays the name of the casino operator and shows managing director Stanley Ho personally offering viewers his Lunar New Year wishes.

"...The authority has so far received one complaint against the SJM ads and another about Greek Mythology's.

"...The Legislative Council codified restrictions on betting advertising when it amended the Gambling Ordinance three years ago..."

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