Betting and tobacco are offensive, but still influencing ads costing approx Rs 18 lakh are shown during IPL

Betting is offence, and Tobacco is banned in India


Although the advertisement of Tobacco has been banned in India since 1st May 2004, Cricket Betting is also not legal, but IPL features more often in these advertisements. Now the question arises why isn’t any action was taken against it when the advertisement of such things are banned or known to be offensive? 

IPL fever is rapidly spreading across India, and marketers for promoting the event as one of the huge advertising ecosystems in the whole country. A whopping 71% of the viewers and respondents were surveyed. During the survey, the viewers said that their buying decision was highly influenced by any Bollywood celebrity or famous face in the streaming advertisements during the IPL.

A marketing and advertising survey was conducted by iCubesWire, a leading Digital Marketing Agencies that was practised among 1,000 respondents starting from Mid-March till Mid-April 2022. The survey further indicated that almost 74% of the respondents favoured that the streaming advertisements highly persuaded their decision to purchase any product during the ongoing IPL match.


Indian Premier League (IPL) is one of the largest sporting events in the world, and brands are investing heavily in advertising to reach their target audience. However, the survey clearly shows that brands still want to convey their message to Bollywood celebrities and reach their end-users. This trend is assumed to continue as many OTT celebrities are also involved in the battle.

In recent passing years, significant progress has been made towards returning to Indian roots, with 73% of respondents wanting to see ads promoting Indian culture and heritage shows. Not surprisingly, COVID is changing the way products and services are purchased. Healthcare is the main concern of all healthcare sectors, including health insurance ads during IPL streaming, with 78% of respondents surveyed. The respondents are encouraged to invest in physical health.

But with a closer look at the advertisements during IPL third of the total ads are about Pan Masala, Gutkha that have tobacco in it and cricket betting during the IPL. 

Betting ads during cricket streaming

While discussing this advertisement, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) is concerned about online betting organization’s advertising on Indian platforms. In the year 2020, they had urged commercial satellite channels to ensure that advertisements should not promote any prohibited conduct by statute or law.

Concerns had been expressed that advertisements on online gaming, which includes betting, and fantasy sports were misleading and did not adhere to the ‘Advertising Code laid down under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and 2019, Consumer Protection Act,’ according to a government advisory sent to ‘all private satellite TV channels.


“The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has become aware that many advertising on Online Gaming, Fantasy Sports, and other related topics have been appearing on television,” the MIB said. As a result, the Niti Aayog released a draught for public comment on how to govern online fantasy sports platforms in India. Dream11, Mobile Premier League, and My11Circle, among other online fantasy sports, have been accused of blurring the border between sports betting and fantasy gaming. As a result, several states with severe gambling laws have outlawed these games. However, recent High Court rulings have determined that these are skill-based games rather than chance games and do not constitute gambling.

Fantasy sports contests do not have their legal status and must rely on an unspecified exception to state gambling and public order regulations,” according to the draught. “Formal recognition of these fantasy sports industry and provision for principle-led governance would allow Indian Online Fantasy Sports Platform operators for focusing on innovation, achieve scale, and expand their operations in a clean and principle-based regulatory environment that aims at achieving the mission of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Initiative initiated by Prime Minister.


Apart from cricket betting, advertisements related to pan masala and gutkha are also shown as an advertisement during the IPL. Plain pan masala commercials, which continue to appear in Indian media, have been suspected of being a sham for the same name tobacco products. Therefore, the purpose of the study was to see if the ads were for the intended product or tobacco products with the same brand name.

Twenty-four hours were spent watching a popular Hindi news channel’s programme. Then, the same channel and its English counterpart were viewed on separate days to see if the adverts were repeated. The cost of advertising for a popular brand of plain pan masala (Pan Parag) was calculated by multiplying the whole telecast period by the fee charged by the station.


The annual selling value of the plain pan masala product was calculated by multiplying the overall sale value of the company by the proportion of people who use simple pan masala instead of gutka plus pan masala, as determined by a different study. Plain Pan Parag’s yearly sale value was projected to be Rs. 67.1 million. The cost of advertising the same product on two different television channels was projected to be Rs. 244.6 million per year. Plain pan masala advertising on Indian television is a sham for tobacco goods of the same name.

How much do these betting and pan masala ads are charged?

The online betting and pan masala ads are charged Rs 18 lakh per second. The charges have been increased from Rs 13-14 lakh. But now the question arises: Why are such things promoted that are not legal or banned in the country. In addition, the use of celebrity faces during these advertisements is a sure sign that it will convince the viewers. Are these advertisements calling for bagging out more money or more customers for these companies? However, the betting and pan masala advertisement might be creating a positive image in someone’s mind with these ads during IPL.

edited and proofread by nikita sharma

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