T20 World Cup: Star Sports again telecasts surrogate betting ads during NZ vs SL match

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Star Sports, India’s top sports broadcaster which appeared to have muted gambling promotions is found to be promoting surrogate Pari Match brand again during the yesterday’s match between Sri Lanka and New Zealand.

Betting and gambling is illegal India. The government has issued multiple advisories to media and broadcast sector against betting and gambling promotions.

In the backdrop of government advisory earlier this month, Star which earlier has promoted various surrogate gambling ads has paused the relationship during the on-going T20 World Cup. But in the yesterday’s match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka, our readers have pointed out surrogate ads of Pari Match with prominent placements.

According to skill gaming body AIGF, the offshore websites annually spend nearly INR 3,500 crore on advertisements and promotions, and another 500 crore on celebrities and influencers to endorse their platforms, making it a total of around 4,000 crores spent by these companies annually. The revenues are estimated to be even higher creating a major socio-economic risk to the country if left unhindered.

Star Sports appears to not miss out on this huge market revenue even if it leads to a legal violation. Revocation of a broadcast license is a big threat that broadcasters could face in promoting gambling websites.

Earlier this month, Central Consumer Protection Authority initiated action, asking offshore websites to refrain from carrying advertisements on online betting sites.

Offshore gambling websites which became inaccessible due to a ban under IT Act, 2000  are now operating by frequently changing domain names to by-pass the ban.

Earlier this month, we reported that the offshore betting companies are under the scanner of the Enforcement Directorate, the investigative body under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) for routing betting proceeds. FEMA doesn’t permit remittances in relation to betting and gambling.