Playing Fantasy Cricket, both in real money and free, is legal in India since it is considered to be a game of skill according to Section 19(1) of the Constitution. The Supreme Court of India has found that playing skill games such as Fantasy Cricket for cash or free is 100% legal. The states of Meghalaya, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Orissa, Sikkim, Nagaland, and Telangana have banned players from participating in games online for real cash. In contrast, the remaining states have allowed access to Fantasy Cricket without charge. The Bombay, Punjab, and Haryana High Courts consider the fantasy sports game a skill game.
The Supreme Court of India has found that fantasy sports are a game of skill rather than chance. The legality of fantasy sports apps in India eventually comes down to whether a game qualifies as a game of skill or a game of chance. Whether the skill element applied by a player is thus allowed to carry the Fantasy Game within the scope of commerce or commerce protected by Section-19(1)(G) when Fantasy sports are played in the application developed by a gaming company, and India has so far not had any mechanism for the certification of applications for standards that the civilised society wants in place. To conclude, a shift to an assessment of influence and impact introduced via legislation/statutory interpretation is advisable to assess the legal status of fantasy sports. A fantasy game or sport must meet other statutory compliances when cash-for-stakes are involved.
Only days ago, Karnataka’s high court struck down a government-imposed law prohibiting citizens from participating in Fantasy Cricket. Before that, the petitioners had brought the issue before the Karnataka High Court that the Fantasy Sports Act illegally prohibited a legal and legitimate online game of skill. On Valentines Day, Hon’ble Justices of the Karnataka High Court have also shown their fondness for the Indian gaming industry. They have called out the law against Fantasy Sports as unconstitutional.
On 4th August, the Supreme Court of India dismissed the appeal of the Rajasthan High Court ruling, which found the online Fantasy Game, which is popular in Cricket Betting, Dream 11, involves skills and is not gambling. The fantasy sports industry in India gained momentum when the India Fantasy Cricket games and apps were launched during the 2008 Indian Premier League (IPL). Several smaller Fantasy game platforms, my11circle, MyTeam11, Fan2Play, and 11 Wickets, have gained traction in the country over the past two years. Sports enthusiasts can participate in Fantasy Sports games via the following popular platforms across India and around the world for playing Fantasy Cricket, Fantasy Football, Fantasy NBA, Fantasy Hockey, Fantasy MLB, and Fantasy NFL, and other fantasy leagues.