For the majority of the Greek people, the only way they and their family members come in contact with the outside world is via the internet and television.

And, while reading an article on the internet requires the user’s consensual interaction, the commercials on TV are on even before yοu press the power button.

This new practice of “bombarding” citizens with online gambling ads, urging them to “stay home” while they gamble in “online” casinos and slot machines, has to stop for as long as the lockdown lasts.

It is quite hypocritical of Μessrs. Tsiodras and Hardalias to announce mental support telephone lines for citizens (10306) at 18.00, when just a little later the consistent shut-in citizens are repeatedly called to empty their credit cards and pockets in gambling.

Of course, television is a medium that has been definitely hit hard in terms of revenue; however, this does not justify that, for the sake of profit, such advertising campaigns should be running at the moment, urging citizens to find solace in online gambling (casinos, slot machines, etc.) in companies of dubious legal status and identity.

Obligatory house arrest turns desperate and mentally sensitive people into “easy prey” for the “predators” aiming to plunder any savings left in their bank accounts, of course with their consent and while they “stay home”…

Recently, even the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) was forced to issue “recommendations” to its member companies for the “responsible operation” of their services on online gambling.

In addition, the Mitsotakis government and the competent Ministry of Finance, having acknowledged in time the social damage caused by the indiscriminate promotion of online gambling, had banned even before the pandemic – by Regulation issued last January – any commercial communication (advertising) of gambling through various websites, except through those of legally operating companies.

The country is at war with an invisible enemy.

Citizens and their families are called to endure unprecedented conditions of confinement and remain physically, mentally and financially healthy, so that when the pandemic is over, they will be able to carry on with their lives in order for our national economy to function again.

Greece is not allowed the “luxury” of coping with ruined families, who may survive the pandemic but the next day find themselves devastated by gambling, which invades our homes every night through television.

The State must react without further ado, so that the words of Messrs. Tsiodras and Hardalias do not remain dead letters.