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The Fantasies Of Fantasy Games (By-Tejas Meshram)

The Fantasies Of Fantasy Games

Authored By-Tejas Meshram

IV BA. LLB., ILS Law College Pune


Luck, Skills, Chance or Gamble. The fantasy sports industry is one of the most rapidly growing industries in the country. The Indian online fantasy gaming sector was around 20 billion Indian Rupees in the year 2021 and it is expected to reach the massive valuation of over 50 billion Indian rupees by the year 2025. The user base of this sector is also growing swiftly, the statistics shows 356 million users in the year 2020 and it reached the user base of around 510 million in the year 2020.

The fantasy sports are online prediction games where the user drafts a virtual team of the players who will be playing the real game. The user earns points on the performance of the player in the real game. The better your team player performs in the real-life game, the higher the fantasy points of the user. There are several teams in the fantasy games platforms created by the several managers/users. It involves almost all the popular games of real world like cricket, football, basketball, kabaddi, etc. The involvement of the real money in it, plays the important factor, which makes it more engaging and addictive. Such games can be played on the platforms like Dream 11, Mobile Premier League (MPL), GameZy, Faboom, My11Circle, Howzat, CricPlay, etc.

Games Of Chance Or Skills?

It was a big question that fantasy games are the games of chance or a skill? In a game of skill, the player has to devote themselves perfecting the skill in order to win whereas, in the game of chance the outcome depends upon the luck or chance. The Indian courts has decided this question of chance or skill in a case to case basis. In order to answer this question of chance or skill the Indian courts had adopted the test from the U.S. courts, Test of Dominant factor. In this test the games are decided upon the factor of dominance. If the degree of skill is dominant over the degree of chance, then the game will be declared as game of skills. The test of dominant factor is used by the supreme court in the cases of State of Andra Pradesh Vs. K. Satyanarayan & Dr. K.R. Lakshmanan Vs. State of Tamil Nadu in respect of Rummy game and Horse Racing respectively.

In the case of Varun Gumber Vs. Union of India, the petitioner had moved to the Punjab and Haryana High court stating that Dream 11(Fantasy game platform) is a game of chance and falls under the category of gambling. The court ruled in this matter that it requires a considerable amount of skills, judgement and knowledge while picking his team and thus declared it the game of skills.

The question is this that are the performance of the player solely depends upon the statistics of the player or there is still luck factor involved in it? And that the corporates such Dream 11 MPL, etc. can affect the performance of player or team to book huge profits. There might be chances for this also.

Legality Of Fantasy Sports Games.

According to the supreme court, the fantasy games are entirely a skill-based games and does not qualify as gambling. The fantasy games are protected by the article 19 clause (1) sub- clause(g) of the constitution.

The legality of the fantasy games was again called into the question in the Bombay high court in the Gurdeep Singh Vs. Union of India case, in this case the court reiterate the rulings of Varun Gumber case and stated that the participants do not bet on the outcome of the match and merely play a role similar to that of selectors in selecting the team. And again, the fantasy sports were again considered to be the game of skill and thus made legal.

Prior to the adoption of the constitution the gambling laws were introduced in the Act named, The Public Gambling Act, 1867. After the adoption of the constitution, the Gambling and betting were recognized as the legislative issues and has been included in list II, entry 34 of the seventh schedule and thus giving the authority to legislate on the subject.


The laws regulating the gambling laws came way back in 1967 and at that time neither the act nor the constitution envisioned that gabling and betting to be possibly at national and international level. There is a regulating authority in India formed in 2017, the Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS) which is the one and only fantasy sports self-regulating body. The main objective of this body is to secure the interest of players and promote the growth of online fantasy games platforms in India. All the game plans of this body have been sponsored by the big corporates of this field such as Dream 11, MPL, MyTeam11, etc. This body has been complete failure as still it is impossible to regulate this industry because of rapid technological advancement and wide internet connections.

Recently The Online Gaming (Regulation) Bill, 2022 was introduced in the lok sabha on 1st of April 2022. The bill seeks to create a unified law for an industry that currently has many laws and lot of them are contradictory, hence the bill steps on regulating the mechanisms for license approvals, data protection, grievance mechanisms but it does not say clear distinction between skill-based and chance-based gaming.

Regulating this industry is quite a difficult task as there are lot of rapid developments in the technology and lot of countries have failed in it because of the jurisdictional issues. A person can take part in such a type of competition by sitting at a different country or can use VPN (Virtual Private Network) to interchange the location.

 In UK, the legal position is settled and clear. Under UK law, fantasy sports are considered gambling and subject to the jurisdictions of the Gambling Act, 2005 with the Gambling commission as its regulators. Fantasy sports operators will require a pool betting operating license as well as gambling software license before they can offer their services to or advertise to the UK public.


The advertisement has played the substantial part for the boom in the growth of the fantasy sports industry. Almost every cricket star has advertised for such kind of fantasy sports platforms. At the final phase of IPL (Indian Premier League) at least 60% of commercial time on live TV goes to fantasy apps. In 2020, the Madhurai Bench of Madaras High Court, on Tuesday, had issued notices to Virat Kohli and Saurav Ganguly for endorsing online gaming apps that involves financial transactions. The Madras High court had expressed its anguish that several celebrities like them are endorsing products that are potential death traps. The fantasy gaming has caused many deaths till date due to financial losses to the people, the mind quickly diverts to the schemes of getting one crore just by investing fifty rupees in the game and just by that people tend to invest more and more in the game and faced financial loss which leads to the suicides. Not just this but, the player gets invested in each match, people previously might never have considered following the lesser important matches. But now they do because they have one or more fantasy players that are playing. Once you have a fantasy team you can’t watch a game without being somehow invested. The fantasy gaming has ruined triumph of watching the natural game.


The fantasy gaming industry is indeed a fortune industry and has substantial influence over the population. As there are no particular regulations on it, there are many repercussions of this industry which are very serious issues such as death, addictiveness, financial loss and it steals joy of watching the game without being invested in it. Moreover, indulgence of the leading celebrities to influence people to play the games and take part in the tournaments of the particular platform has led to the commercialization of the happiness of the people of watching the natural game. With no regulatory and statutory strings attached to it this industry has laugh all the way to the bank, there is desperate need to regulate this industry as it causes many damages to the people than they even realize. The actions were indeed been taken by knocking the doors of courts but the outcome is not what is needed and replications of this are severe and if still no regulations imposed on this industry, then it will be very deplorable for the general public.


State of Andra Pradesh Vs. K.  Satyanarayan
Dr. K.R. Lakshmanan Vs. State of Tamil Nadu
Varun Gumber Vs. Union of India
Gurdeep Singh Vs. Union of India
Ministry of Parliament Affairs official site (https://mpa.gov.in )
Federation of Indian Fantasy sports official site (https://fifs.in )
The Hindu Publications (https://www.thehindu.com )



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