Govt bans gambling companies sponsoring PSL

MoI&B has issued a statement advising all the stakeholders to avoid doing business with them

Our Correspondent September 28, 2023


The interim government has banned several gambling, betting and casino companies allegedly sponsoring some teams of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and giving advertisements to media houses, it emerged on Thursday.

Subsequently, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has issued a statement advising all the stakeholders to avoid doing business with them and immediately terminate their existing agreements with such “surrogate companies”.

Through a letter addressed to the high-ups of the PCB, PEMRA, PTV, PBC, PTA and SECP, the information ministry said that it has come to ministry’s knowledge that some betting outfits have entered the Pakistani market with slightly amended titles.

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The ministry said that such phenomenon is labeled as surrogacy and such firms are called surrogates of the mother enterprises, adding that some of the surrogates were engaged in sponsorship and advertising contracts with a number of media outlets and sports enterprises.

After listing the companies in the letter, the ministry stated that “These are originally gambling, betting and casino companies.” It adds: “Such operations are mostly run from some hostile countries with the motive to destroy the moral fabric of Pakistan, to introduce corruption in Pakistan team and to put Pakistan into further economic turmoil through moving untaxed money out of the country in dollars.”

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It maintains that many advertisements of such betting surrogate companies are being run on digital, electronic, social and print media in Pakistan, saying it is critical to stop all such surrogate betting companies from operating in Pakistan.

Therefore, it continued, Pakistan Cricket Board, Pakistan Super League, PSL franchises, club cricket, private leagues, television channels, radio broadcasters, internet platforms, newspapers, magazines and other media or advertisement platforms are “strictly advised to not make any agreements and business relations with such surrogate companies and to not promote them through any kind of advertisement.”

Moreover, it said, “it is advised to immediately terminate all existing agreements with such surrogate companies.” The government’s decision has come at a time when a massive crackdown against smuggling of dollars, among other things, is going on.

Earlier, it was reported that the government has initiated a sweeping crackdown on individuals and groups involved in dollar smuggling, hoarding, and organised crime cartels that have been causing substantial losses to the national economy.

This decisive action came on the heels of identifying government officials implicated in such illegal economic activities. The crackdown against foreign currency smugglers had resulted in appreciation of the Pakistani currency against the US dollar.

Reportedly, the official sources had revealed that major policy reforms were in the pipeline, signaling a transformation in commodity and currency trading. The sources had also emphasised the upgrading of surveillance systems at land, sea, and airports to combat illegal movements of goods and currency, stating unequivocally that such activities will not be tolerated.



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