Rajasthan High Court dismisses Plea against Online Fantasy Games

Online Fantasy Games control football television Law Insider

Aishwarya Rathore-

The Rajasthan High Court recently dismissed a plea seeking to restrict the offering or playing of Online Fantasy Games in the State, after observing that such an order would be in violation of Article 14 and 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India.

The Petition requested that the State regulate or prohibit the offering and playing of any Online Fantasy Game and other online games involving “mere skill by putting money at risk in the expectation of winning.”

The Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS) submitted a reply in which it relied on judgements from various courts to argue that Online Fantasy Sports are skill-based games that are protected under Article 19(1) (g) of the Constitution of India.  

Further emphasis was placed on Draft Self-Regulation Guidelines issued by Niti Aayog as well as research conducted by the IIM Bangalore, which found that putting up teams on a Fantasy Sports Platform requires a greater level of skill than managing a mutual fund portfolio.

It further opined that the plea is nothing but an attempt of reviewing its judgment in the case of Ravindra Singh Chaudhary v. Union of India & Ors. whereby plea against Dream 11 Fantasy was dismissed.

The Court held that, “Since the result of Fantasy Game depends on skill of participant and not sheer chance, and winning or losing of the virtual team created by the participant is also independent of the outcome of the game or event in the real world, we hold that the format of Online Fantasy Game is a game of mere skill and their business has protection under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India, as repeatedly held by various Courts and affirmed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court.”

Accordingly, the instant petition was dismissed by the Court.

Also read: Delhi High Court orders Centre to frame Policy on Online Gaming

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