Rajasthan High Court dismisses PIL filed against Dream 11 for terming fantasy sports as ‘betting’

  • | Tuesday | 20th October, 2020

The High Court while dismissing the petition said that that fantasy sports are a game of skill and not a game of chance, hence do not amount to gambling.

Rajasthan High Court has dismissed the PIL filed against this year’s IPL title sponsor Dream 11 Fantasy Private Limited, alleging that the online game on Dream 11 is “gambling/betting”on cricket matches which is banned in India.

The High Court while dismissing the petition said that that fantasy sports are a game of skill and not a game of chance, hence do not amount to gambling.

Dream 11 allows users to form their own team upto the maximum budget of Rupees 100 crore Rupees. The users can form their own team for various online (fantasy) sports and virtual games such as football, cricket, basketball, kabaddi etc.

At the time of registration, the user has to make a payment of Rupees 100, out of which 20% is retained by Dream 11 company and the rest 80% is pooled up for the transfer of the amount to the winner of the fantasy tournaments.

The petitioner had also contended that the fantasy sports are a game of chance and putting stakes on it in the form of fee amounts to gambling. Since gambling is illegal in India and state government is not taking adequate steps to combat online gambling, the High Court should intervene in the public interest and declare Dream 11 fantasy sports illegal as the virtual platform facilitates gambling and betting.

The division bench headed by Justice Indrajit Mahanthy stated that business operated by Dream 11 is protected by Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India which protects the right to carry business in India. Further, the fantasy sports depend on the skills of the user and do not amount to gambling. Therefore, fantasy sports games offered on the Dream 11 platforms are not gambling or betting.

The Court stated that, “We are of the considered view that PIL has been filed without any real public interest, without disclosing the relevant facts and without proper research. Various judgments in respect of respondent, Dream 11 itself have not even been referred to in this PIL. The PIL is misconceived.”



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