Despite online gambling being illegal in Sri Lanka, the latest iteration of Lanka Premier League have featured several illegal betting websites as some of the major sponsors.
The title sponsor for the T20 franchise-based league is Skyfair news which is a surrogate for offshore illegal betting website Skyfair that claims to provide news, insightful analysis, and expert opinions on sports while continuing their shady business practices.
Founder and CEO of IPG Group, Anil Mohan Sankhdhar shared the excitement of having a surrogate for the betting website as a sponsor. He said that Skyfair news will be providing in-depth analysis to the players.
These companies use surrogate websites to lure in people through several offers and are not registered with businesses in the country. As such, they do not pay taxes to the government.
As per observation, other illegal betting sponsors include 1xbat, surrogate for 1xbet, Kheloyar, Satsport, wolf777 and tiger exchange. Several of these illegal betting websites are featured in team jerseys for promotion.
Around two weeks ago, a test match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka also featured several illegal betting adverts for Fairplay, 1xbet, sketch, etc., which makes people wonder if the government is actually doing anything to stop them.
Betting is banned in Sri Lanka, just like in India, with the exception of licensed casinos. Despite that, the adverts for these illegal websites are increasing day after day.
The Indian government have released warning and advisories to media houses and sports leagues to not take sponsorships from these surrogate websites, while the Sri Lankan government is turning a blind eye.