In a major development in India’s Fantasy Sports industry, an FIR filed against Dream11 co-founders Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth at Bangalore, Karnataka has been quashed by the Karnataka High Court on the grounds that in view of a division bench’s order striking down several provisions of Karnataka Police (Amendment) Act, 2021, nothing remains in the FIR. This removes all the impediments for the Fantasy Sports Business in the State.
Earlier in the year, Karnataka High Court had struck down several provisions inserted by the Karnataka Police Amendment Act in 2021 holding them to be ultra vires the Constitution.
Senior Advocate Gopal Jain commenting on this development said, “Several High Courts are gradually but steadily recognising the distinction between Fantasy Sports and games of chance, gambling, betting and wagering. The FIR registered by Karnataka Police against Dream11 founders was quashed in court today, signalling another positive step toward deeming India’s sunshine sector legal. Such moves will enable more investment in the Fantasy Sports industry, which has already extensively contributed to creating a deeper engagement with sports.”
The Supreme Court of India had already taken a similar position in August 2021. It dismissed an appeal against a Rajasthan High Court decision and stated that Fantasy Sports platforms involve skill and do not account to gambling.