Madras High Court Not Amused by Cricketers Appearing in Gambling Adverts

Cricketers such as Kohli, Tendulkar and Ganguly are endorsing betting sites and is something that Madras High Court is not too happy about.

The decrease of live cricket matches has prompted cricket fans to visit other mediums to satiate their cricket needs. One such avenue that has seen a huge increase in popularity are online gaming sites. It seems that with each passing month, more and more gaming operators are making their way into India.

Some have found success in reaching out to customers via their real money cricket betting sites while others are focussing on the fantasy niche. Operators like My11Circle, Dream11 and MPL are household names now and often seen advertising on TV, websites and other streaming platforms. Dream11 had even managed to save the day by becoming the latest sponsor of IPL after ViVo was shown the door. MPL Sports has just become the kit sponsors of the Indian cricket team and Ganguly’s brand has become the title sponsors of the Lankan Premier League.


Cricketers are also jumping on the bandwagon with Indian skipper Virat Kohli serving as the ambassador for MPL while ‘Little Master’ Sachin Tendulkar endorsing My11Circle. Even BCCI president, Sourav Ganguly is part of the action along with former skipper MS Dhoni.

While Dream11 has been lucky to escape the wrath of the Indian judges, judges Justices N Kirubakaran and Justice B Pugalendhi were eager to ask the question of whether celebrities should be held liable for endorsing these fantasy brands. Brands that as per the judges involve real money transactions.

Justice Kirubakaran’s remark on Thursday, “He (Ganguly) is a star. If he appears as a person in ads, people are becoming victims… For the ordinary common man, what does it mean when a star or film star appears? They will try to follow. Virat Kohli and Sourav Ganguly have so many followers. Fans and fans,” was reflective of the court’s mood.

This marks the first time, the court has shown this much interest in matters related to online gaming. More specifically, the court is looking into the damages that can be done to the society. In certain cases, the damages are unfortunately irreversible. Around October time, it was reported that the number of suicides in India related to online cricket betting had increased significantly.

About 30 cases of suicides were reported to the Madras High Court and Tamil Nadu could be following Andhra and Telangana in banning online gaming activities like rummy, pool, poker or cricket.