The rise of Betting in Pakistan

You might have noticed during PSL matches that 1XBAT appears on Karachi King’s jersey and in advertisements. The team Multan is sponsored by Wolfnews, which is actually a renamed version of a betting website. Additionally, Dafa News, which is one of the main sponsors of PSL, is quite similar to Dafabet. It’s worth noting that all the teams in the league are sponsored by betting websites.

Here is the list:

  • MCW Sports- QG (BJ Sports Quetta sponsor)
  • Melbat- LQ
  • Wolf777- MS
  • 1xBAT- KK
  • DafaNews- PSL (Dafa News = Dafa Bet)

As a media buyer, I was curious about their business and what they do. When I first saw the logo of 1xBat, it seemed familiar, and I realized that it resembles the logo seen at the Tapmad application for digital streaming you know that Kieran Pollard endorses 1xBet which is the website that invites live viewers to bet on a live game. I am surprised as to why is PTA allowing it.

We have known that Imran Khan had admitted in his book of betting to pay off his loans on the party and towards his brother-in-law in his book and in his interview on the programme “Mahaz” on Dunya News with Wajahat Khan. And we are all aware of Wasim Akram who is a mentor to Karachi Kings of Salman Iqbal (a crony of Imran Khan).

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It is speculated that ARY are gold smugglers and they introduce this betting under the regime of Ramiz Raja. It is contested that inspite of PTV getting rights of World Cup 2019 India in the U.A.E. that happened in 2021, at times, with ARY Zap changing rules of procedure to facilitate Salman Iqbal. Much like Kerry Packer who was an Australian media magnate who created World Series Cricket (WSC) in the late 1970s. There were also allegations of corruption during this time, with reports of players being paid extra money to underperform on the field.

ARY Karachi Kings Titanium Sponsor is 1xBat. I asked this question to Shoaib Jatt and Mr. Faizan Lakhani and their responses were that these are different brand names. That’s what we call surrogate marketing.

But there’s a catch – the logo in movies is ‘1XBET,’ while the one on the jersey is ‘1XBAT.’ 1XBET is a cricket betting site where anyone can bet on teams, players, and matches, also known as ‘SATTA.’ On the other hand, 1XBAT is a venture of 1XBET where they sell sports goods such as jerseys, bats, and kits. But none of the equipment is actually available. Everything is coming soon.

Interestingly, their TV ads encourage viewers to ‘Search on the Internet’ without providing much detail. However, if you search for 1XBAT, you will easily and automatically come across 1XBET (betting site). This is precisely what they intended! One of the famous Pakistani YouTuber is also promoting this 1xBat site in his videos.

As they couldn’t openly advertise or promote betting in Pakistan, they began a side venture to be advertised on a mass level and used it as bait to lure people into betting. A couple more sponsors are doing the same in PSL, hiding behind side ventures but are actually betting sites.

From a marketing perspective, this is evil genius. However, as a nation, it is alarming and concerning, and no one is talking about it. We should always be cautious and keep our eyes open!

Betting is illegal in Pakistan

It may come as a surprise to many, but a significant amount of betting occurs regularly on PSL and other league matches. There are a large number of bookies present in Clifton, who do a lot of betting business. It’s important to remember that this is a corrupt practice, and we must remain strong in our values. Neither you nor I used to visit local bookies in the past, and we shouldn’t be visiting these online betting sites now. We should stick to our principles and values. Those who were involved in betting before are still doing it and will continue to do so in the future.

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