The Telecommunications Minister of Morocco has caused unrest in the country this past week when he recently declared that he wants all live television transmissions featuring gambling to be outlawed in the country.
Moroccan gambling news has reported that critics feel the decision is a strong move in the Islamization of the media and are sternly against such an action.
There are currently no Moroccan gambling laws against the portrayal of live television gambling events such as lotteries, but minister Mustapha al-Khalfi would seek to rectify that should he get his way in the country.
Since the revolution in Morocco last year, the Islamist orientated Justice and Development part has gained control of the country, and now Mr. al-Khalfi, the youngest member of the government has expressed concern over the amount of youths this form of gambling is rumored to encourage.
Lashing out this week, Mr. al-Khalfi stated that “I will not allow gambling games to be screened live on state TV which is funded by the Moroccan people even if this costs me my job.
On one day in February, the number of viewers watching live gambling was more than 900,000. There is a difference between social liberalism and this type of unlimited liberalism that does not work towards protecting younger generations.”
The minister attempted to back up his argument by stating that most countries in the world have a ban of live gambling being shown on television, even in the form of lotteries; something that is simply put, blatantly untrue.
Mr. Saeid Lakhal is one of many who do not agree with Mr. al-Khalfi however. Speaking out against the remarks, Mr. Lakhal is an expert on the Islamic movement and feel that none of the practices doctored by the Justice and Development party are warranted as part of a productive development plan for the country.
Speaking to Al Arabiya news, Mr. Lakhal commented that, “this decision could have been significant had it been accompanied by a series of other steps related to politics and the economy. Banning live gambling will not solve any of the problems of average citizens. This only concerns gamblers and anyway they know where to go when they want to gamble and will not be affected by the ban.”
It is widely felt that internet betting in Moroccan and live television gambling are not the areas the new government needs to be aiming at resolving, with administrative changes, democratization of the media.
Other though have sided with the young telecommunications minister, such as Omar al-Kettani who feels that after taking up power the party is now answerable only to God, and that the principle rules of Islam need to be added to the society in order for it to reform.
Mr. Kettani feels that Moroccans three million gamblers don’t feel as though they have to work, with gambling used an excuse for not doing so and hopes for the abolition of all gambling in the country in the near future.
Mr. al-Kettani’s view is sure to rattle more swords though, as again religion appears to be taking priority in North Africa and is being used as an excuse to lay down laws much to annoyance of several critics and parties in the country.