Dinesh Karthik sparks controversy for endorsing surrogate of illegal betting site Parimatch

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Cricketer Dinesh Karthik appears in an endorsement of the surrogate of illegal offshore betting site Parimatch, a move seemingly conflicting with government guidelines. Parimatch Sports, the surrogate sportswear organized an exclusive fan interaction event with Karthik at Mantri Square Mall, Bengaluru. Despite being a prominent figure in the cricket world and known for his exceptional skills, especially in the death overs, Karthik’s association with Parimatch is raising eyebrows.

The event, featuring Karthik posing for photos with fans, engaging in a Q&A session, and interacting with the media, showcased the cricketer’s affiliation with Parimatch Sports. Dinesh Karthik, celebrated for his pivotal role in the Indian T20 international team, used the platform to share insights into his personal goals for the upcoming cricket season. However, the spotlight shifted to the questionable partnership with Parimatch Sports, a brand associated with an offshore betting site that operates outside the legal boundaries.

The event emphasized Parimatch Sports’ support for Karthik’s sporting ambitions, showcasing his exclusive sportswear line in collaboration with the brand. The cricketer proudly wore the polo from his collection, reflecting his unique style and unwavering passion for cricket.

The discussion took an unexpected turn when the partnership with Parimatch Sports became a notable highlight. This raised questions about the responsibility of prominent sports figures when endorsing brands, especially those associated with potentially illegal activities.

Illegal offshore betting sites like Parimatch, Lotus365, 1xBet, Fun88 etc. hire A-list celebrities and use surrogate brands to advertise their illegal betting apps. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Information and Technology (MeitY) has banned over 100 domains of these illegal betting platforms. Despite this, these operators have been hopping domains and continuing their operations.

So far, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has released four advisories, asking multiple media outlets, cable and OTT platforms, and others to refrain from promoting these illegal betting websites. The advisory notably states that the Central Government has taken action against people who collected money from users of illegal online gaming apps and laundered it out of the country. Apart from socio-economic and financial risks to young people, the activities also pose a security risk to the nation.

While these advisories have stopped some celebrities and media outlets from promoting these illegal betting sites, The Ministry of Information Technology is working on a framework to regulate online gaming and further prevent these illegal betting websites from operating and promoting themselves.

Dinesh Karthik’s involvement in a brand that has ties to offshore betting brings attention to the need for greater scrutiny and accountability in athlete endorsements, ensuring they align with established legal and ethical standards.