TNPL teams onboard surrogate websites of illegal offshore betting companies as jersey sponsors

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The Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) 2023 season, comprising eight teams, got underway on June 12. Interestingly, most of the teams participating in the T20 cricket league are sponsored by surrogate brands of banned offshore betting websites.

The teams having such sponsors sport logos of these surrogate brands on the front of their jerseys. Gambling in India is strictly prohibited under the Public Gambling Act, 1867 (excluding horse racing and lotteries).

Lyca Kovai Kings (LKK) is sponsored by 1XBAT, a surrogate of 1XBET, a banned betting website that was recently declared bankrupt by the Dutch Supreme Court while Idream Tiruppur Tamizhans (ITT) is being sponsored by Parimatch Sports, a surrogate of illegal betting website Parimatch.

Photo by : Sandeep Shetty /Focus Sports/TNPL

Another team Ba11sy Trichy (BT) is being sponsored by Khiladix which is a sports news surrogate of Khiladi, another online gambling website while Salem Spartans (SS) is being sponsored by BatBricks7. Lastly, Chepauk Super Gillies (CSG) is sponsored by Crickex.

Photo by : Sandeep Shetty /Focus Sports/TNPL

Incidentally, the Tamil Nadu government recently banned online gaming including rummy through the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Bill. Under this new law, all forms of online gambling and betting along with online games that players can participate in using money are banned.

Despite the new law being notified it is interesting to see that several offshore betting firms that have been banned by the Central government are still being entertained as official sponsors of some of the TNPL teams.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has released multiple advisories as well asking business entities to refrain from associating with banned betting websites or their affiliates. Despite this clear stance of the Centre, many sports tournaments are still accepting sponsorships from them.

In February, one of the three ATP Challenger tennis tournaments, Bengaluru Open signed a three-year sponsorship deal with DafaNews, a surrogate website of the illegal offshore betting company DafaBet which was banned by MeitY along with 137 other websites.

While the major sports associations like the BCCI do not entertain betting platforms for sponsorships, the same is not the case with domestic leagues across the country.

Feature image courtesy – Sandeep Shetty /Focus Sports/TNPL.