‘If BCCI President (Ganguly) is endorsing fantasy leagues, you possibly can’t count on gamers to not do it. Ban ought to come from high’: Gautam Gambhir

Ex-cricketer and BJP politician Gautam Gambhir got here out in opposition to surrogate promoting and its rise in Indian sport due to endorsements from celebrities and fellow athletes. He additionally mentioned if the cricket board president Sourav Ganguly endorses a fantasy league, “you possibly can’t count on gamers to not do it”.

“If the BCCI president (Ganguly) is doing it, you possibly can’t count on different gamers to not do it. If he says that nobody needs to be allowed to do it, I feel everybody ought to observe that … It has to come back from the highest. Both we must always ban this utterly in India. It could’t be statewise. And nobody needs to be allowed to endorse that,” mentioned Gambhir on the Indian Specific Thought Trade.

Gambhir mentioned that almost all of IPL’s endorsements and sponsorships come from fantasy league video games akin to Dream 11 and that banning an entity like that may require a collective choice from the BCCI and never a state-level verdict.

“Within the IPL, a lot of the endorsements and sponsorships are from fantasy league video games akin to Dream 11. It needs to be a collective choice from the BCCI whether or not we must always enable this to occur or not.”

Sport blogs or web sites like 1XBET are types of surrogate promoting whereby they arrange a platform the place ideas and match predictions for various sporting occasions are offered. These insights, coupled with the promoting of their names on prime sporting occasions just like the Asia Cup and the US Open, assist drive folks in direction of their fundamental betting web sites.

The federal government’s draft tips prohibit surrogate ads and reads: “Commercials for items or companies whose promoting is in any other case prohibited or restricted by legislation shall not circumvent such restrictions by purporting to be ads for different items or companies, the promoting of which isn’t prohibited or restricted by legislation”.

1XBET’s sponsored athletes embody Yuvraj Singh, MC Mary Kom in addition to actor Ranbir Kapoor. The corporate is blacklisted in lots of nations and has been banned from Russia – the nation it was based in. In keeping with a Norwegian publication, 1XBET is bankrupt in Curacao, the island nation from which they’ve the license to permit bets to come back in from all internationally.

Gautam Gambhir (proper) in dialog with Abhinav Rajput on the Thought Trade. Abhinav Saha

Gambhir additionally mentioned that he has by no means been approached by one in every of these surrogate commercial web sites. “By no means. I feel Dinesh Karthik was as soon as approached by an organization, I don’t even bear in mind what firm it was. We have been very clear that we weren’t going to endorse any betting web site,” mentioned the BJP politician.

“Towards money prizes” in fantasy gaming

However on the matter of fantasy gaming, Gambhir felt that so long as there weren’t money prizes and folks weren’t pouring their cash into the sport, it was a effective enterprise. Gambhir has additionally endorsed a fantasy gaming platform prior to now.

“I do endorse fantasy (video games). I used to be additionally very clear that we had this apprehension at one cut-off date about whether or not we must always or not. Fantasy and betting are most likely somewhat comparable, however not precisely the identical. After I spoke to the proprietor of the fantasy sport I endorse, I requested in the event that they pay again in money. He mentioned no, we don’t pay again in money. There are solely items and hampers concerned,” mentioned Gambhir.

He then added, “My fantasy contract has expired which I endorsed for one 12 months. However in a single 12 months, there was no challenge of an individual’s cash getting caught within the sport. That’s harmful. That could be a form of betting. So all of us have to be very clear on that entrance. We have to be very cautious about that pattern.”

Gambhir mentioned he was personally in opposition to endorsing blogs or web sites that promoted on-line betting however laid the onus on the person when it got here to different athletes endorsing them.

“I personally don’t consider in all that. I used to be at all times in opposition to folks endorsing alcohol, tobacco and even for that matter, even this (on-line betting). I don’t like that as a result of it’s a collective duty to see what ought to and shouldn’t be promoted in India, particularly from the kids’ perspective.”

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