Fantasy sports website Dream11 has suspended operations for customers in Karnataka after a first Information Report (FIR) was made against Dream11's founders for violating the law prohibiting betting and wagering on games played online.
Dream11 continued to be operational throughout the state, until the beginning of Sunday, even though its rivals such as Mobile Premier League (MPL), Paytm First Games and RummyCircle have been unable to offer their services to users of Karnataka following the fact that the state legislature adopted a law prohibiting betting and wagering platforms and money betting.
According to the company, they have been informed by Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS) that the Karnataka Police (Amendment) Act 2021 is not applicable to its members Fantasy Sports Operators. "The FIFS format of Fantasy Sports has been upheld by the courts of India as not amounting to gambling, betting or wagering," the statement reads.
The app was withdrawn soon after an FIR was registered against the co-founders of Dream 11 in the Annapoorneshwarinagar Police Station in West Bengaluru.
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Prior to Karnataka, such online games have already been banned in states like Assam, Odisha, Sikkim, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. While these platforms promote themselves as games that require skill, Karnaraka's ban does not comprise games of skill, however it does include a money-bet element.
In the past, FIFS Members of the Federation called on the Karnataka government to comply with and respect the constitutional and judicial safeguards that are provided to the company's business. Dream11 is the first member of FIFS which includes MPL as one of their members.