Ban Online Gaming Gains Steam; Will MS Dhoni’s Dream11 Face Music?

Days before the start of the IPL 2020 in the UAE, fans in India demanded the banning of online gaming. (More Cricket News)

The words “online betting” is broadly used for fantasy sports platforms and operators who run pay-to-play games like cricket, rummy, poker, teen-patti, Blackjack and even Housey.

READ: From Ludo To Rummy, Online Gaming Comes To Roost During COVID Times

It’s pertinent to mention that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) recently awarded the IPL 2020 title sponsorship rights to the fantasy sports platform Dream11 that is associated with at least six IPL franchises.

Fantasy cricket is becoming big in India and Dream11 is a leading player with more than 90 per cent share of the market. Other players include My11Circle and MyTeam11. There are close to 170 operators in India.

ALSO READ: Legality Of Online Gaming Business Models

All fantasy sports platforms have big investors and even bigger celebrities endorsing them. Four Indian captains are associated with these platforms that run online gaming. While MS Dhoni endorses Dream11, Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag and Virat Kohli are brand ambassadors of My11Circle, MyTeam11 and Mobile Premier League, respectively.

On Sunday, hashtag #BanOnlineGambling was trending in India with fans sharing their concerns and woes. Here are some reactions:

Giving credence to their demand, KS Eshwarappa, a senior BJP Minister in Karnataka, said that a comprehensive look at online gambling that is happening will be taken as the next step. A matter related to Dream11 allegedly evading GST to the tune of Rs 2,500 Crores is pending at the Supreme Court.

Various stakeholders continue to deliberate on whether online gaming, particularly skill games which are not regulated under any definite law, needs a monitoring body and a robust legislation.

ALSO READ: Dream11 Helicopters Online Cricket Gaming To A World Of Fantasy

In fact, a petition to arrest Indian national cricket team captain Virat Kohli was filed in the Madras High Court for promoting online gambling.

“Youngsters are being hooked to this online gambling addiction by the organizers by providing huge cash bonuses to anyone.

“It uses the famous cricket and film personalities including cricketer like Virat Kohli and actress Tamannah who brainwash these young with their powerful appeal to join this game,” advocate A.P. Suryaprakasam said in his plea.

The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court gave suggestions to the Tamil Nadu state government to pass a suitable legislation to regulate online and virtual games.

Three states — Odisha, Assam and Telangana — have put a ban on online gambling. It means one cannot play or register for any online gaming from these states.


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