Understanding the Legality of Fantasy Sports in India

Fantasy sports have been garnering significant popularity among the masses around the game. The concept of Fantasy Gaming came into existence over a decade ago, but now it has become a global phenomenon. Several sports including cricket, football, baseball, NFL, hockey, kabaddi, and handball made their way into fantasy gaming. Fantasy Sports or Fantasy Gaming has become quite popularity in recent years, especially since the 2020 lockdown period. The craze for online gaming has paved the way for people to try hands-on fantasy sports or fantasy gaming. Fantasy Gaming platforms allow users to get involved in the game rather than being spectators of the sport. Several fantasy gaming platforms enhance the experience of the users by providing them with an opportunity to unleash the skills of their favourite sport in a competitive environment. 


However, there are several questions raised Fantasy Gaming or Fantasy Sports is a gambling or skilled-based game. There is a stark contrast between gambling and skill. In gambling, players need to rely on rather than skill and strategy. Whereas in skilled-based games, players have to strategize their game and use their unique skills in order to succeed in online gaming. Nowadays, fantasy sports are gaining immense popularity and one can start playing the games exploring the real fun. According to Indian Law, fantasy sports don’t fall under gambling but rather skilled-based games as the players are required to have an understanding of sports and use their skills to make the best use of the opportunities. In Fantasy Sports, you can play the games for free without any worries. Therefore, Fantasy Gaming doesn’t involve any luck but rather relies on strategy and skill. 


Under Indian Law, the game of skill is considered legal, while the game of chance or gambling is still considered illegal in India. It’s important to understand why Fantasy Sports fall under the skilled-based game category and not gambling. 


Here are four reasons why Court Rules Out Fantasy Sports as Not Gambling


  1. Skilled-based Activity: Fantasy Sports require players to have an in-depth understanding of a particular as well as skill and knowledge of selecting the players for your team. Players use statistical data and analysis, research, and strategic decision-making to build successful fantasy teams, rather than solely relying on luck and chance. In Fantasy Gaming, luck and chance have only a little role to play, especially in tough situations? The better your skill and strategy, the better your chances will be in fantasy games. Therefore, courts have recognized the skill involved and distinguished it from games of pure luck and chance usually associated with gambling. 


  1. No Direct Betting: In gambling, players place their bets on the outcome of the event and the result determines whether they win or lose. In Fantasy Sports, players pay an entry fee and compete against their opponents in a contest or a league. The participants will earn points based on the performance of the selected players. Points will be converted into cash prizes, which will be disturbed among the participants. The participants’ success doesn’t depend on the outcome of a single game but on the overall performance of the chosen players over a certain period of time, thus reducing the element of chance and luck. 


  1. Research and Analysis: Research and Analysis are important factors in Fantasy Sports. The participants are required to do thorough research about the teams and players and analyze statistics, players’ injuries, and other details that influence the performance of a player. When participants put their time and effort into researching and analyzing every detail about teams and players, then it may have a significant impact on the overall performance of the team. Research and Analysis play a very important role in strategizing your game as well as picking your players for your team. The belief in knowledge and understanding of the sports further distinguishes Fantasy Sports from a game of luck and chance. 


  1. Long-Term Engagement: The major distinction between fantasy sports and gambling is engagement. In Gambling, player’s engagement last until they won the best. Whereas in Fantasy Sports, the engagement lasts over a long period of time.  Fantasy Sports usually involve participating in a league or contest that lasts for an entire season. Participants put most of their effort into drafting players, making trades, and changing their line-ups, which requires continuous engagement and skill. Participants constantly need to keep an eye on their line-ups and see whether changes are required. Throughout the match as well as the league, the activeness of the participants is very essential. Therefore, Fantasy Sports contribute to game of skill rather than gambling. 

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