‘Dream 11’ Fantasy Sports Game Is Not Gambling: Supreme Court Upholds Rajasthan HC Judgment Dismissing PIL Seeking Its Ban
The Supreme Court upheld a Rajasthan High Court order dismissing a Public Interest Litigation that sought ban of online game known as “Dream 11”. The bench comprising Justices RF Nariman and BR Gavai dismissed the special leave petition filed against the High court order. Dream 11 is an online Fantasy Sports Game in which one can create a fantasy sports team based on a real-life match and can participate in contests and win cash prizes. One Chandresh Sankhla, had approached the High Court alleging that public in general are being cheated in the name of “Dream 11”. To dismiss this petition, the High Court referred to Punjab and Haryana High Court and Bombay High Court judgments which held that “Dream 11” game does not involve any commission of offence of gambling and betting. “The issue of treating the game “Dream 11″ as having any element of betting/gambling is no more res integra in view of the pronouncements by the Punjab and Haryana High Court and Bombay High Court and further the SLPs have also been dismissed against the orders of these High Courts”, the High court had observed. Before the Apex Court, in appeal, a judgment of New York Supreme Court was referred to contend that the fantasy sports like Dream 11 are pure gambling and not games of skill. “This matter is no longer res integra as Special Leave Petitions have come up from the Punjab & Haryana High Court and have been dismissed by this Court as early as on 15.06.2017. Also, from the Bombay High Court, Special Leave Petitions have been dismissed on 04.10.2019 and 13.12.2019.”, the bench said while dismissing the SLP.