Yash Bhatia

As long as fantasy apps promote talent and provide expertise, we’re okay with it: Rajeev Shukla, vice president, BCCI

In an interview with Samdish Bhatia on ‘UNFILTERED by Samdish’, Shukla shared his viewpoint on BCCI's association with fantasy gaming apps.

In June 2023, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) implemented restrictions on several brand categories, including cryptocurrency, real money, alcohol, and tobacco, preventing them from participating in the bidding for the IPL title sponsorship for the period 2024-28.

The status of fantasy platforms in relation to these restrictions remains unclear, as the BCCI has not issued a definitive statement on the matter. However, in July 2023, BCCI announced Dream11 as the new lead sponsor for Team India.

During an interview on UNFILTERED by Samdish, Samdish Bhatia’s YouTube channel, Rajeev Shukla, vice president of BCCI, addressed the BCCI's perspective on these apps. He stated, "As long as they promote talent and provide expertise, we're okay with it. The apps associated with gambling are problematic." 

When asked about the potential legalisation of betting in India, similar to England, Shukla answers, “Our concern is that the match should not be fixed in any way, betting can’t be stopped.”

He mentioned an example, “People in Hampur bet on whether it will rain today. Gambling has been going on since Mahabharata.” 

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) announced a 28% tax on the full value of online gaming, horse racing, casinos, and other ventures, effective from October 1, 2023.

A May 2023 report by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) highlighted the real-money gaming industry as a major violator in terms of advertising regulations. 

The real-money gaming industry has suppressed the education sector to emerge as the most violative in advertising. The report revealed that 92% of gaming ads reviewed during FY 23 did not adhere to real-money gaming guidelines.

During the Asia Cup 2022, real money gaming apps such as FairPlay, Parimatch, and 1xBet were observed employing surrogate advertising tactics, presenting themselves as news platforms while being betting companies. This strategy is commonly used by alcohol and beverage brands. The report identified prominent names in the gaming industry, including Mobile Premier League (MPL), A23 Games, WinZo, and My11Circle, among others.

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