NITI Aayog pushed for the formation of a self-regulatory body for the online gaming sports in a draft report submitted to the Indian government. The move is surely welcomed by many in the online gaming industry. The recommendation was made on Friday (4 December) and has brought relief to many fantasy sports platforms in the country. The legality of fantasy sports has been a subject of debate in many parts of India due to the country’s betting laws which distinguish between games of skill and games of chance.
Out of the two, the latter is considered illegal in the country as games of chance are solely dependent on luck and not a skill of any kind. This means that the legality of betting is determined by the category in which the sport falls. Betting in sports like rummy and horse-racing is considered to be legal in the country because they are categorised as games of skill.
However, this distinction is not easily made when it comes to Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) as its still debatable whether its only a luck-based game or there are elements of skills required. The Supreme Court has not given a clear ruling on DFS, due to the fact that each state has the authority to regulate its own gambling laws with their borders.
The push for a self-regulatory body for online sports gaming is a huge step forward for fantasy sports to finally be recognized as a legal sport in the country. Fantasy sports are extremely popular in the country with platforms like Dream11 and MyTeam11 having a user base of 75 million and 15 million players respectively. An establishment of a self-regulatory organization as suggested by NITI Aayog will help these platforms to be officially recognized.
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