‘If BCCI president is doing it, you can’t expect others not to do it’: Gautam Gambhir on fantasy sports endorsements – Firstcricket News, Firstpost

Former India batter Gautam Gambhir lashed out at the surrogate advertising in Indian sports and said that if BCCI president Sourav Ganguly is endorsing a fantasy league, other players cannot be expected to stop.

“If the BCCI president (Ganguly) is doing it, you can’t expect other players not to do it. If he says that no one should be allowed to do it, I think everyone should follow that … It has to come from the top. Either we should ban this completely in India. It can’t be statewise. And no one should be allowed to endorse that,” said Gambhir at the Indian Express Idea Exchange.

Gambhir further added that IPL has multiple endorsements and sponsorships from fantasy league platforms such as Dream 11 and the decision to ban these should come from the BCCI.

“In the IPL, most of the endorsements and sponsorships are from fantasy league games such as Dream 11. It should be a collective decision from the BCCI whether we should allow this to happen or not.”

Many betting websites have set up sports news and updates portals in India where match predictions are provided. These portals eventually lead people to betting websites.

The government does not allow surrogate advertisements and its guidelines say: “Advertisements for goods or services whose advertising is otherwise prohibited or restricted by law shall not circumvent such restrictions by purporting to be advertisements for other goods or services, the advertising of which is not prohibited or restricted by law”.

Gambhir also said that while his teammate was, he was never approached for surrogate advertisements.

“Never. I think Dinesh Karthik was once approached by a company, I don’t even remember what company it was. We were very clear that we were not going to endorse any betting site.”

The southpaw further clarified his one-year endorsement stint with a fantasy game platform – Real 11.

“I do endorse fantasy (games). I was also very clear that we had this apprehension at one point in time about whether we should or not. Fantasy and betting are probably a little similar, but not exactly the same. When I spoke to the owner of the fantasy game I endorse, I asked if they pay back in cash. He said no, we don’t pay back in cash. There are only gifts and hampers involved.

“My fantasy contract has expired which I endorsed for one year. But in one year, there was no issue of a person’s money getting stuck in the game. That is dangerous. That is a kind of betting. So we all need to be very clear on that front. We need to be very careful about that trend.”

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