YouTuber Dhruv Rathee misleads viewers about fantasy sports in new video on online gambling

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Popular YouTuber Dhruv Rathee recently tweeted about how an “online betting app” has now become the lead sponsor of the Indian cricket team and that he would be covering the topic in his upcoming video.

This raised a few eyebrows as the sponsorship rights for the Indian cricket teams’ jersey have been acquired by Dream11, a fantasy sports platform that is part of the skill-based gaming category (legal) and does not classify as gambling (illegal).

Following the controversial Tweet, many people were eager to hear his views on the matter. However, Rathee focused on the psychological methods and tricks that are used by casinos and online betting apps rather than talking about fantasy sports platforms. It appears that he considers the latter as online betting too, given that he mentioned that online betting apps are sponsors of IPL teams and their adverts are shown during the league’s broadcast.

It is far from the truth that online betting apps are IPL team jersey sponsors and their adverts are shown during the broadcast. It is fantasy sports brands whose adverts are shown. Therefore, Rathee failed to accurately and clearly state the facts and, at the most if we may say, misled his viewers.

The video also shies away from mentioning the names of online betting apps plaguing the gaming sector, let alone talk about the Indian cricket teams’ newest sponsor. He provides the reason that he does not want any form of copyright claim on his video.

One aspect, however, about which Rathee’s claims cannot be disputed is that several illegal offshore betting apps have mushroomed which promote themselves through popular celebrities and surrogate brands.

Meanwhile, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), before selecting the jersey sponsor, had specifically announced that real money gaming (apart from fantasy sports apps) and betting brands will not be allowed to bid.

It can safely be said that the BCCI is not on the wrong footing by allowing fantasy sports brands to bid. As mentioned earlier, these apps have been categorised as games of skill by various high courts. The Supreme Court has specifically declared Dream11 as a game of skill (legal). As a result, clubbing online gambling apps and fantasy sports platforms in the same category (game of chance) is invalid and misleading.