ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Ehsan ur Rehman Mazari has dismissed the speculations that organizers of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) have allowed its Franchises to hire betting websites.
Replying to a question on Wednesday, the minister told the National Assembly that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has neither granted betting rights to any entity nor allowed any of its partners, licensees or sub-licensees to do so in HBL PSL.
The minister told that the Franchises with whom PCB has entered into agreements have no nexus with betting.
In fact, clauses within the Franchise Agreements specifically prohibit the promotion of betting, he added.Ehsan ur Rehman Mazari said that it was brought to their attention that for HBL PSL 8 some of the entities/websites being operated/promoted by certain Franchise sponsors are being linked by the media to betting websites and are leading users/public to believe that certain products being promoted thereon are being done with the PCB’s knowledge and permission.
“Such false implication is adversely affecting the goodwill and reputation of PCB, the PSL brand, as well as the PSL Franchises, none of whom support and/or endorse betting, gambling or any other illegal activities,” he remarked.
The minister said that PCB has already sought and received from such Franchises assurances that none of the sponsors engaged by them are linked with any betting/gambling site(s) or entity(ies) and that the sponsors which have been brought on board by them are independent entities with no nexus with betting sites / entities.
Furthermore, he said that in addition to the prohibitory clauses already contained in the Franchise and Sponsorship Agreements entered into by PCB in respect of the PSL, the PCB has required the PSL Franchises as well as its own sponsors to submit written undertakings stating that they have respectively refrained from sub-licensing/assigning their commercial/sponsorship rights to any entity associated with batting, gambling, prediction games, alcohol or tobacco or to any entity that promotes, advertises and/or sponsors such activities and products; and that they shall abide strictly with the provisions of their Agreements with the PCB, especially in respect of seeking approvals for all franchise team sponsorship and/or sublicensing arrangements (as applicable) undertaken by it with respect to PSL and complying in full with related provisions detailed under the relevant Agreement.
The minister added that a similar exercise was conducted and undertakings received from the relevant PSL Central Sponsors & PSL Franchises with respect to such sponsors brought on board for PSL 7. In fact, a statement was released on January 30, 2021 clarifying that franchise sponsors were not promoting betting/ gambling.
The minister reiterated that no illegal or unlawful activities are allowed to be promoted by the PCB.
“If any such activities are identified as being conducted, the same will immediately be discontinued by the PCB and appropriate action will be taken against the entity found in violation,” he said.