Illegal in Sri Lanka, Promoted by LPL: SLC’s Betting Sponsorship Dilemma

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Skyfair News, 1XBAT, 1XBook, Crickex.in, Kheloyar News, BABU88, Satsport, wolf777 and TigerEXCH have sponsorship deals with LPL franchises.

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) LPL 2023 has landed itself in trouble with the increasing involvement of gambling firms with sponsorships. Concerns have been raised about the advertisements of betting firms and cryptocurrency with the economy, especially in turmoil.

Sri Lanka’s Central Bank has not licensed any companies to operate any cryptocurrencies. Platforms like BFICOIN and MTFE are unregulated forex trading platforms. Both have sponsorship deals with LPL teams.

Other betting companies include Skyfair News, 1XBAT, 1XBook, Crickex.in, Kheloyar News, BABU88, Satsport, wolf777 and TigerEXCH. However, SLC’s ACU has approved all of these sponsors.

There is fear, however, that this trend will lead to complex ethical and social questions, particularly as betting interests can influence ‘weak individuals’. Furthermore, this comes after Sri Lankan cricketers were considered the most vulnerable to among all countries by the ACU which conducted high-level investigations into match-fixing some years ago.

Samantha Dodanwela, the Tournament Director, however, defended the sponsorship. He said LPL allowed the sponsor’s logos in player attire only after getting the ACU’s green light.

“Even now we have three ICC anti-corruption officers working closely with us to ensure the credibility of the tournament. We have allowed all these sponsors after a thorough vetting process,” he insisted.

Earlier this season, LPL asked Jaffna Kings to cover one of the logos in the player jersey after their first match in the season. It was because the franchise had printed the logo before taking approval.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam categorically refused to wear the logos of betting companies on his jersey during the LPL tournament, which is currently being played in Colombo and Kandy. He represents the Colombo Strikers, who had signed up with a betting firm. Betting is forbidden in Islam.

Source: Inside Sport