The Legality of Fantasy Sports in India as per the Indian Federation of Sports Gaming (IFSG) Fantasy Sports is 100% Legal. Fantasy Sports are classified as “Game of Skill”. However, some state laws may differ in India.
From MS Dhoni to Kapil Dev, many prominent cricketers are promoting their version of a fantasy game. In the last year or so, an enormous number of fantasy sports websites have popped up. As per a report, currently, 20 million users are taking part in these games. The number is likely to go beyond 100 million in coming times. Still, one major question remains – is it legal?
In fantasy sports, the participants create imaginary or virtual teams of real players of a professional sport. These participants compete on the statistical performance of those players in actual games. These performances are allotted points which are compiled and totalled according to a pre-decided system. Computers track the actual results of the professional sport, thus calculating the points. In fantasy sports, team owners can draft, trade and drop players, like real sports.
Fantasy Sports does not depend on the outcome of a real-life event (an, e.g. result of the match). But It is purely based on the skills of the participant involving knowledge of the sport, players likely to participate, players’ forms, weather conditions and such other related factors. The outcome of a Fantasy Sports Game does not depend on the outcome of the real-life game.
The legality of Fantasy Sports in India:
As per the Indian Federation of Sports Gaming (IFSG), 66% sports fans in India know of fantasy sports. A few have taken an objection to these. Recently, the most popular fantasy platform, Dream11 faced a lawsuit. However, the Bombay High Court ruled in favour of the gaming company.
The verdict stated, “The result of the fantasy game contest on the platform of Dream11 Fantasy Pvt Ltd is not at all dependent on winning or losing of any particular team in the real-world game. Thus, no betting or gambling is involved in their fantasy games.”
Fantasy sports that are based on the skill of participants to determine the outcome do not come under the definition of a bet or wager since they do not rely on chance or luck to win. Fantasy Sports are classified as ‘Games of Skill’, where skill dominates over the possibility, with the result depending upon the “relative knowledge, training, attention, experience, and adroitness of the participants”. It means that fantasy games do not fall under the regulations prohibiting gambling under Indian law. The legality of Fantasy Sports some state laws may differ.
Some states like Telangana, Odisha, Assam, Nagaland, and Sikkim, Do not allow their users to engage in fantasy sports which take fees for playing. The laws in these states are unclear as to whether games of skill can be played for a fee or not.
Fantasy sports is one of the fastest-growing markets in India with its soaring popularity. Along with Dream11, many others have launched their version. It is good to know that this version of gaming is completely legal as per the Indian Gambling laws.