Ashneer Grover’s new fantasy app CrickPe could run into regulatory concerns because of its new proposition to reward cricketers from the fantasy game’s player pot.
According to Jay Sayta, Technology & Gaming Lawyer, “Giving gifts to cricketers for performance or non-performance in a fantasy league game could be potentially perceived as violation of BCCI & ICC’s anti-corruption code.” Further, as per the anti-corruption code any gifts above ₹50,000 received by any cricketer have to be immediately brought to the notice of BCCI’s Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU).
“Clarity is awaited from BCCI’s ACU on whether they would perceive gifts received from fantasy sports platform users to be corrupt practices under the existing norms and rules set by Indian and international cricketing bodies,” he added. Adding to this, Jaya Chahar, Founder & CEO, TFG said, “There can be definite regulatory concerns around this proposition. Collecting money on behalf of cricketers may not work considering set guidelines. Most cricketers have already signed up with some of the other fantasy gaming apps as ambassadors and accepting money generated through a competing fantasy gaming app may be perceived as a conflict of interest.”
businessline messages sent to Ashneer Grover did not elicit a response till the time of press.
On the other hand, Roland Landers, President of All India Gaming Federation said, “We believe that it is an interesting product and provides another opportunity for fantasy users to feel connected and appreciate their cricketing idols. As we have seen over the past few years, there has been quite a few innovation and iteration on top of traditional fantasy games, which provides more choice for the users. In this case, it may also provide especially the younger or newer players an opportunity of additional money and at scale will probably incentivise them to play even harder and perform well.”
Further, Abhishek Malhotra, Managing Partner of TMT Law Practice, said, “Only if there are established allegations that this money is being channelled into gambling and for throwing matches will it be a problem. But I don’t think that this sharing of the revenue is likely to be impacted with that concern.”
Announcing the CrickPe app in a Linkedin post, Grover said, “Cricketers get paid for performance—not ads. 10 per cent pot split in ratio of points earned by each of the 22 players. Every match.” This means CrickPe winners will get the 80 per cent of the collected money, while CrickPe will take 10 per cent platform fee and cricketers get the rest 10 per cent of the pot.
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