Pari Match parent denies arrest of ‘India Operations Head’ by GST department

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PMI, a service company engaged in the development and implementation of the expansion strategy for the Parimatch brand, has denied the arrest of its ‘Head of Operations India’. The company said it never had a ‘Head of Operations India’ role. Pari Match, a Ukrainian brand operates a betting and gambling portal in India.

Earlier, industry insiders said a high-ranking official of Pari Match was arrested by Indian GST authorities. In a press release, PMI clarified that none of its employees was arrested and operations continue as usual. The press release stated that one of the employees of a Dubai based marketing agency engaged by PMI was involved as a formal witness in a pending judicial proceedings in India.

PMI didn’t reveal the agency or the person involved. “This situation is not related to the PMI’s business activity or our employees,” said a representative of PMI.

Betting and gambling are illegal in most states in India. To bypass the restrictions, the operators adopt to surrogate advertising. In India, DafaNews, a surrogate of betting company Dafabet sponsors a few teams from Indian leagues like ISL and Pro Kabaddi. Pari Match operates Pari Match News. Meanwhile, betting surrogate and competitor of Pari Match, Fairplay News portal recently announced its selection as an official team sponsor for the Sri Lankan National cricket team.

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.