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01 May 2022

Offshore betting companies are aggressively adopting surrogate advertising in India to gain legitimacy. The betting websites through surrogate marketing tactics are luring customers from India and claim to be legally offering betting services to residents of India.

Also read: Dream11 in race for IPL broadcast rights 2023-27

Over the past couple of years betting firms have started marketing aggressively in India but often without using their actual names. Dafa.news linked to Dafabet, Pari Match News linked to betting website PariMatch both have even acted as sponsors for football teams in Indian Soccer League. Most of these websites advertise in the garb of news entities and promote parent company apps on their platforms. ‘

‘The Indian gaming industry has often complained about this aggressive surrogate advertising by illegal offshore betting websites, which openly accept deposits from Indian players through hawala channels and dubious Indian entities and individuals. 

Surprisingly, Dream11, which often takes a moral high ground and distances itself from betting websites, has recently started promoting surrogate news website 1x(dot)news through FanCode. Dream11 owns FanCode, a streaming and live scoring website. Team G2G has seen 1x(dot)news as a banner ad on FanCode android application. 

While 1x(dot)news operates as a news platform, it has promoted parent company betting apps prominently throughout its website. The 1x(dot)news website has download links to the illegal offshore betting app of the parent company on its website. A group company of an Indian gaming operator which is seen as a leader in the real money skill-gaming industry promoting a news website which is nothing but a surrogate of illegal betting website is seemingly contrary to the US$8 billion Dream Sports Groups’ stated values and principles.

Interestingly, the banner on FanCode is not clickable. Team G2G has written to FanCode for comments on this surrogate advertising of offshore betting.We will update the story as and when we receive a response from FanCode. 

Numerous courts including the Supreme Court have held that the format offered by Dream11 is a game of skill and does not amount to gambling or betting. 

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