Dream11 is the most popular fantasy sports apps in India, with more than 1 crore app downloads on the Google Play Store. It is also the eighth-most downloaded gaming app on the Play Store.

Dream11 is an Indian fantasy sports platform that allows players to play fantasy cricket, hockey, football, and many more interesting sports. Dream11 also became the first Indian gaming company valued at over 1 billion. It is also known as the unicorn, which means a very rare and successful venture.

Dream11 was co-founded by Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth in 2008. They first introduced premium fantasy sports in India for cricket fans in 2012. That’s when it all started about fantasy sports.

Legality of Dream 11

Dream11 is a game of skill and endorsement, and therefore exempt from provisions of the Public Gambling Act, 1867 and hence a legitimate (legal) activity as per the Constitution of India.

However the accessibility of Dream11 is geo-restricted in some states . These state’s laws forbid anyone from taking part in skill games that require an entry fee. Due to this, the app conducts an IP address check for the players trying to log in and detect the state a user is in.

However there are states in India which has banned Dream 11. The following states have banned Dream11:

  1. Odisha

Odisha has banned all online gambling games under Odisha Prevention of Gambling Act, 1955. This includes fantasy gaming app Dream11 too which is under the category of skill-based games and is not considered as gambling.

Sec 2(b) of the Act states online gaming as “Gambling or gaming”, meaning a play or game for money or other stakes and includes betting, wagering and other acts by which a person intentionally exposes money or things of value to the risk or hazard of loss by chance. Ironically, lottery is not considered as gambling or gaming in this act.

2. Andhra Pradesh

Like Odisha, Andhra Pradesh has also banned online gambling and Dream11 along with other gambling activities through the Andhra Pradesh Gaming Act of 1974.

The Act was amended to impose harsh penalties on people found guilty of gambling, and the Andhra Pradesh cabinet resolved to outlaw online gaming and betting sites.

Following the introduction of the Act, Andhra Pradesh Gaming (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 was formed by the government of Y S Jaganmohan Reddy who prohibited any act of risking money or playing for stakes or otherwise on the results of a game or an occasion, including on a game of skill.

3. Telangana

Back in 2017, the Telangana cabinet approved an ordinance modifying the Telangana Gaming Act, 1974 to outlaw online gaming. This had an impact on both online fantasy sports and rummy.

Gambling, according to the ordinance, includes any activity that is based on chance, requires payment of money or rewards a prize. As a result of it, Dream11 is no longer permitted in Telangana.

4. Assam

Apart from horse racing and lotteries, all kinds of betting or wagering on games or sports are illegal under the Assam Game and Betting Act of 1970, which expanded the 1967 Bengal Act.

However, the 1913 revision to the Bengal Act, which permitted an exemption based on simple skill, was not taken into consideration by the Assam Act. As a result, there is no exemption or authorization for skill-based activities, and Assamese citizens are not permitted to use online fantasy sports platforms, including Dream11.

5. Sikkim

Sikkim has also made it mandatory for platforms that offer online gaming to have licenses. The licenses, however, stipulate that the games may only be played from within the state and may only be made available in designated gaming cafes within the state of Sikkim by intranet gaming terminals.

This condition virtually excludes every platform that wishes to operate from outside Sikkim. The casinos and other gaming companies operating in Sikkim that use the more latest online gaming machines are the ones for which online licenses have likely been obtained in the last 10 years.

6. Nagaland

The Nagaland Prohibition of Gambling and Promotion and Regulation of Online Games of Skill Act, 2015 has recognized the skill-based category for online gaming. Despite that, several requirements and regulations make it unviable to conduct business there.

For entities intending to offer such games on online media and generate revenue from them, Section 7 of the Act requires that a license be secured from the issuing body. Although being made aware of them, the Act is not readily accessible online, which creates problems with compliance.

The license costs Rs. 10 lakh per game per annum, or Rs. 25 lakh per annum if an entity wishes to offer a range of games. The charge is doubled after three years and the license is valid for five years. Because of the number of regulations to comply with such as KYC guidelines, banking requirements and foreign deposits getting a license is not attractive for online gaming companies offering games of skill. Though it is not banned Dream11 has not opted to operate in the state.

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By Srishti

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