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26 Apr 2022

The Delhi High Court on Monday directed the police to file a status report on the petition filed by a company operating online fantasy games.

Operating under the brand name GameKing 11, Dream7 Entertainment Pvt Ltd approached Delhi High Court with a prayer to declare fantasy sports as a game of skill and it be not harrassed by  the law enforcement for operating gambling business. It is not clear if GameKing 11 is related to Chourasias who owns the brand GameKing. Delhi MP Manoj Tiwari acts as the brand ambassador for GameKing 11.

In the earlier hearing, the Court directed the state government to decide on the petition within 2 weeks considering it as a representation.

The Company alleged that the officer of Respondent No.2 (Delhi Police) at P.S. Lajpat Nagar New Delhi, has visited the premises of the petitioner in the area, several times and has without passing any order in writing, orally directed not to continue with the aforesaid activity else the same shall be booked under the Delhi Gambling Act and closed down, the petition alleged.

On Monday, Justice Yashwant Varma directed the counsel appearing for Delhi Police, to file a status report on the petition within one week.. The court listed the matter on 18 May for further hearing.

It is pertinent to note that the Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS), the self-regulatory body of online fantasy sports platforms in the country had obtained a legal opinion from the Hon'ble Justice (Rt) Ashok Bhushan on the applicability of the recently notified amendment to the Karnataka Police Act, 1963 (KPA) to OFS operators. The Justice opined that the courts have consistently held fantasy sports as a skill predominant and as a legitimate business activity, duly protected under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India. The Karnataka enactment was recently struck down by the High Court as unconstitutional. 

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