Jaipur Division Bench of Rajasthan High Court has dismissed a petition seeking “prohibition on offering playing online fantasy games and other online games of mere skill by putting money at stake in expectation of winning.”
The order was passed dismissing the petition by a resident of Udaipur, which, as per the order, was seeking directions to the Rajasthan government to make appropriate Legislation to prohibit all sorts of online gaming activities, irrespective of whether they were games of skill or games of chance, with the emphasis being on online fantasy sports.
“We are, therefore, of the view that offering of online fantasy sports in accordance with the Charter of the FIFS has already been judicially recognized as a business and consequently, entitled to protection under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India and the prayer seeking directions to the State Government to prohibit the same would be opposed to Article 14 and 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India.” – Jaipur Division Bench of Rajasthan High Court
The respondents, Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports, filed a reply and relied upon various judgements of various Courts in India. It was asserted by the FIFS that it has been consistently held that online fantasy sports are games of skill distinguished from gambling/betting and enjoy protection under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India.
The Court further opined that the plea is an attempt of reviewing its judgement in an earlier case, whereby plea against Dream 11 Fantasy was dismissed.
Copies of the Draft Self Regulations Guidelines issued by the Niti Aayog as well as research conducted by IIM Bangalore have also been relied upon and placed on record in order to establish their assertion that making teams on a fantasy sports platform demonstrates a higher range of skill than what is required by a mutual fund manager to manage the mutual fund portfolio.
Source: LiveLaw; Order of Rajasthan High Court
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