Online gaming ban: Fantasy sports body petitions Karnataka HC holding ban doesn’t apply to them

Yatti Soni | | | Updated on: Dec 06, 2021
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Earlier, Dream11 suspended its Karantaka operation after an FIR was registered against its co-founders.

Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS), which includes Dream11 as a founding member, has filed a new writ petition in Karnataka high court arguing that the state's gaming ban does not apply to fantasy sports platforms.

The bench decided to hear the arguments of FIFS on the next date of hearing in this case, that is, December 14, 2021. FIFS petition will be heard along with the six other petitions that have challenged the state's anti-gambling law. The six other petitioners include the All Indian Gaming Federation (AIGF), Mobile Premier League, Games24x7, Gameskraft, Head Digital Works Private Limited, and Junglee Games.

Last week, the bench decided that the ongoing interim plea hearing will be deemed as the final hearing on the matter, as the arguments have been advanced at length.

FIFS advised Dream11

Fantasy sports platform Dream11 had earlier said in a media statement that FIFS advised that Karnataka Police (Amendment) Act 2021 does not apply to its member fantasy sports operators, which is why the company continued operations even after the notification of the new law on October 5, 2021.

Later, Dream11 suspended its operation in Karnataka after an FIR was registered against Dream11 co-founders Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth in the Bengaluru police station. The two co-founders petitioned the court to quash the FIR and have been given interim protection by the court. The bench directed the state to not take any coercive steps against the petitioners till the next date of hearing.

Karnataka is not the first state to bring regulations on online gaming. Over the years, regulations in various states have pushed companies operating in formats like online fantasy sports (OFS) and online rummy to prove skill predominance in their respective game formats.

Published on December 07, 2021

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