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Is the power of celebrity endorsements dwindling? Does the new generation of online social media influencers hold the attention of the markets more so? Here we look into the pulling power of celebrity and how India’s finest are turning to gambling campaigns to boot their profile and that of their sponsors.

Pulling power for online gambling institutions

Celebrity endorsement is no new thing in India or any other country, whether it the promotion of a soft drink or a clothing brand, the rich and famous have been at the front and centre of ad campaigns for over 100 years.

In India, much of the big interests are cricket betting sites and Bollywood movies. Merge these two titans of industry together and you have a very alluring and seductive force that helps to boost the appeal of the gaming operator and that of the star.

Speaking to the Editor-in-Chief of, we found out just how many celebrities from India are helping to push the gambling markets to new levels.

“India is a different culture to much of the seemingly modern westernised world. Now business deployment doesn’t need the big a-list celebrities to push a product. Money is now saved on influencers at a fraction of the cost and with more targeted groups. India is far from this yet and their icons remain as such. The endorsement numbers have shot up in the past 5-years with now eight of the country’s well-known headline makers now endorsing areas of the gambling industry.”

Let’s take a look at the top five that are changing the limelight for the green of the blackjack tables:


1: Sourav Ganguly

The country’s most popular cricket commentator, Sourav Ganguly, who once captained the national cricket team is the face of My11Cricle, an online sporting fantasy league. The 11 Circle app is big in India with coverage of fantasy cricket leagues and fantasy football as well. In addition, there are side games to play, with rummy circle having a total of 10+ million players registered.  So far, over ₹100 Crore prizes have been won. Sourav Ganguly hosts his own competition on the 11 Circle app with a prize of 1 Crore to be won.


2: Virat Kohli

Another of India’s cricketing greats, Virat Kohli is the newest promo tool for the Mobile Premier League app. It is indeed India’s biggest gaming platform. The MPL app is a games platform that gives members access to cash games, tournaments, and competitions. Members usually sign up for the app’s fantasy cricket feature because that is the side of the service that Virat endorses. Because of its ties to gambling, players from certain Indian states are only able to experience the full service of the MPL app.


3: Tamannaah Bhatia

Female actress Tamannaah Bhatia is another celebrity endorser of the MPL app. The blockbuster actress has a huge fan base across India, especially down south. She helped to boost the membership numbers that exceeded 35 million in January of 2020. Upon her new branding venture, she gave this quote. “I’m very excited about partnering with MPL. In such a short span, the MPL app has grown significantly to become the biggest mobile gaming platform in India that rewards users with skill and has impacted many people across the country. I look forward to working with MPL.”

Her use of social media through Twitter and Instagram has been key to the added success of MPL’s app.


4: Nawazuddin Siddiqui

PokerStars has its own Bollywood actor that is now brand ambassador, Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Staring in three different commercials, Nawazuddin Siddiqui is looking to attract new audiences to the biggest online poker platform in the world.

Using a campaign based on #MadeforPoker, PokerStars India took on a huge number of newly registered players with a vested interest in winning huge jackpots from the gaming platform.

The three commercials were tagged with titles:

Good at keeping calm like Nawaz? You’re #MadeforPoker.

Good at taking calculated decisions like Nawaz? You’re #MadeforPoker.

Good at keeping a poker face like Nawaz? You’re #MadeforPoker.


5: Sunny Leone

The Bollywood sensation Sunny Leone is the Jeetwin ambassador, she is the face, body and soul of the entire platform and with 45 million followers, it’s easy to imagine the success the platform is having. This is pulling power at an entirely different level as Sunny’s fame covers multiple industries and when the pull is at its mightiest, that’s when Sunny actually takes part and takes up the role of live dealer, for Jeetwin members to play against.

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Alex Marginean
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