NITI Aayog, the Indian Government’s policy think tank, extends relief for fantasy gaming platforms. With the emergence of several large fantasy gaming platforms and the significant funding rounds, the sector is enormously thriving. On Friday, NITI Aayog recommended setting up a regulatory organization to provide some relief to such platforms. Still, the legality issues of such media continue to stay a bit hazy.
Difference between Sports betting and DFS:
DFS (Daily Fantasy Sports) platforms are the ones making use of the internet for providing betting services on sports. But, some of the high courts of the nation claims to make distinct arguments on the matter. The confusion in the beliefs seems rising because betting is illegal across the country and is also a bit more controversial.
The general public differentiates DFS platforms as betting and fantasy games, but the Government’s law distinguishes between them based on the games of chance and the skills. Since the games of chance are illegal across the nation, this is different from the latter one. In the games of chance, the output relies on the chances of winning or losing.
Why is DFS’s legality still unclear?
Indian Supreme Court claims that games of skills, including the games horse racing and rummy, are illegal. Thus, the states are allowed to take such rulings as the country’s code. But, the Supreme Court stays far from giving any opinion on DFS. And this decision also makes sense as the Indian states have the authority to handle gambling issues within the borders. Many states also stated that high courts’ decisions from Rajasthan, Punjab, and Haryana call fantasy sports games of skills and thus legal.
On 6th March, Supreme Court stayed the Bombay High Court order in favor of fantasy sports and will soon hear the case. Now, the final decision of the Supreme Court will turn out to be a new law.
Indian Government’s take in the matter:
The center still stays quiet and hasn’t commented on the matter, but some ripples are spreading across the nation. On Friday, a draft report came out, named Guiding Principles for the Uniform National-Level Regulation of Online Fantasy Sports Platforms in India, where NITI Aayog stated that there is a necessity for the formation of a self-regulatory body for governing the matters of fantasy gaming.
Actions of most of the states in the matter:
Telangana, Odisha, and Assam, previously made fantasy sports applications illegal across the borders. However, Tamil Nadu passed an order banning online gaming applications in the state. Tamil Nadu’s law didn’t mention DFS platforms explicitly. On the other hand, Nagaland explicitly recognized fantasy sports as games of skill. In contrast, Sikkim allows some special license for the real money based-games to function correctly across the state.
Likewise, Haryana, Punjab, and Rajasthan High Courts also passed the rules recognizing Fantasy sports as skill games.
Some more prominent players across the nation:
The biggest fantasy sports supplication across the nation is Dream11, the sponsor of the Indian Premier League 2020. Dream 11 is the earliest release in the sector, and it presently values 2 billion USD. Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports released a report stating that Dream11 currently has around 75 million nationwide users, MyTeam11 has 15 million users, and My11Circle acquired 13 million users. Other players in the market are Cricplay, FanFight, MPL, and Halaplay.