Betting surrogate website to act as official team sponsor of Sri Lanka Cricket Team, may bring cricketers and bookies closer

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Betting surrogate website Fairplay News today announced its selection as an official team sponsor for the Sri Lankan National cricket team.

“We are extremely happy to welcome Fairplay News as the official sponsors of the national team during the upcoming Asia Cup and hope that this partnership will augur well for the sports site” said Ashley de Silva, CEO, Sri Lanka Cricket according to a press statement released by Fairplay News.

The Director of FairPlay News stated, “We are proud to be the Sri Lankan Cricket Team Sponsors. This association has given Fairplay News the right opportunity to be able to stand true to our name and work which imbibes the virtues of sport.”

Dasun Shanaka and his 20 member squad will wear the jerseys with the name FairPlay News, a part of the FairPlay Sports, which operates betting and gambling websites.

Similar to India, online betting and gambling is illegal in Sri Lanka. But in an economic crises hit country, the Sri Lanka Board has found a saviors in surrogate betting websites. Earlier, 1xbat another surrogate website sponsored the Srilanka – Pakistan test series.

This development of a national cricket board embarassing a betting company is in contrast neighbouring Bangladesh. Bangladesh Cricket Board, earlier this month, sought cancellation of a brand endorsement deal by Shakib al-Hasan with a betting surrogate brand.

Surrogate advertising is a very common strategy used by online betting companies to advertise in countries where betting is illegal. In India, DafaNews, a surrogate of betting company Dafabet sponsors a few teams from Indian leagues like ISL and Pro Kabaddi.

To combat surrogate advertising, the Indian government released guidelines under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 in June and defined “surrogate advertisement” as an advertisement for goods, products or services, whose advertising is otherwise prohibited or restricted by law, by circumventing such prohibition or restriction and portraying it to be an advertisement for other goods, product or service, the advertising of which is not prohibited or restricted by law. These guidelines prohibit surrogate advertisements. However, no action is reportedly taken by the government to combat surrogate advertising.