Is Playing Fantasy Cricket Legal in India?
The Indian fantasy sports industry has gone through a massive growth curve over the past decade. India has emerged as the largest fantasy sports market in the world, with over 15 crore users and 200+ Indian operator companies. Low data costs and increasing smartphone penetration have played an essential role in pushing the accessibility of fantasy sports.
However, some users doubt the legality of playing fantasy cricket in India. Questions like whether fantasy cricket is legal in India or if the user indulges in something illegal can cross a user's mind. As a result, we are here with the answer to the question – is fantasy cricket legal in India?
What is a skill-based game?
Before we dig deeper into the fact-finding journey whether or not fantasy sports is legal in India, it is essential to understand what’s a skill-based game. All kinds of games that require an understanding of the game, analysis, thinking, and talent to win the game can be termed as skill-based games. Fantasy cricket gaming requires understanding of the game, selection of teams, player performances analysis, external factors research and much more.
Is playing fantasy cricket legal In India?
As per Article 19(1)(g) of the Indian Constitution, a game of skill where players must use their expertise, talent, knowledge, and strategies to analyse, think, and develop techniques to win is a legal activity.
Winning is possible through judgement and analysis, and not just luck. As a result, fantasy cricket comes under the ambit of a game of skill where players need to use their expertise and knowledge of sports to create fantasy teams.
In February 2020, the Rajasthan High Court mentioned that Dream11 is a game of skill and does not involve offences of betting and gambling while dismissing the public interest litigation (PIL) against it. A challenge to this verdict was dismissed by the Supreme Court of India as well.
In August 2021, the Supreme Court said that fantasy sports have considerable skill and judgement and is, therefore, legal. The success of fantasy games depends on the user's knowledge, attention, and execution. As a result, success in fantasy cricket is not dependent on probability.
Therefore, Dream11 is legitimate business in India and does not fall under the Public Gambling Act, 1867. According to the Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS) - the country's first and only self-regulatory Sports Gaming industry body, games of skill are excluded from the definition of most gambling legislations and therefore are legal to play.
It’s time for you to go ahead and make your dream team for the upcoming cricket match on Dream11.