Dream11, which provides a fantasy gaming platform for various sports, last year became India's first gaming startup to be valued at over $1 billion. It has faced legal challenges in the past due to the similarities of fantasy gaming to gambling.
The Karnataka high court recently extended the stay on any possible coercive action by law enforcement authorities against the founders of online gaming app, Dream 11, in connection with alleged violation of the state’s new online gaming and gambling law. The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday extended the partial relief it had granted to Harsh Jain and Bhavit Sheth, the cofounders of Mumbai-based fantasy gaming platform Dream11, last month. The extension of relief means the Bengaluru Police will not take any coercive action against them until further orders from the court.
The directions come over a month after Manjunath filed a complaint with the Annapoorneshwari Nagar police station on October 7 against the company for the alleged violation of the new act that was notified on October 5 by the state government. Justice Sreenivas Harish Kumar observed that the investigation on the matter should continue, an advocate aware of the developments said in a report by ET. “Dream11 counsel noted that there is a Supreme Court judgment on the issue and amendments to the Karnataka Police Act will not apply to them. The judge said he will apply the SC judgment if it is applicable to them after hearing the matter and arguments,” the advocate cited above said, requesting not to be named. The Karnataka Police (Amendment) Bill, 2021 which among other changes, has banned “any act or risking money, or otherwise on the unknown result of an event including on a game of skill,” which had added to friction as it proposes to include skill in what was earlier only on a game of chance. Forums like All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) and others have approached the court for prolonging the ban itself.
Instruments of gaming, the law says, included any article used or intended to be used as a subject or means of gaming, including computers, computer system, mobile app or internet or cyberspace, virtual platform, computer network, computer resource, any communication device, electronic applications, software.