The Indian Federation of Sports Gaming (IFSG), successfully hosted its half-day long flagship event ‘Game Plan’ in The Trident Hotel, Mumbai on 22nd February The event brought together various stakeholders from the fantasy sports industry in India. Luminaries who attended the annual conference discussed and deliberated upon various aspects of the online Sports Gaming industry, primarily focusing on the growth potential of fantasy sports in India.
The first-ever report on ‘The Laws Relating to Fantasy Sports Games in India’ was launched by Harsh Jain, Chairman of IFSG and CEO & Co-founder of Dream11, Nandan Kamath, Principal Lawyer at LawNK & Researcher at Sports Law & Policy Centre (SLPC) and Ranjan Chatterjee, former Chief Secretary of Meghalaya & former Member of NGT.
The report delves into the skill element of fantasy sports games, need for self-regulation by online gaming companies, the use of third-party intellectual property in fantasy sports games and the recent developments in the Supreme Court of India relating to the determination of the fantasy Sports format as a game of predominant skill.
Game Plan 2018 had three panel discussions that addressed key aspects of fantasy sports, including its investment potential in India, the legal landscape, and why some of the biggest sports leagues rely on Fantasy Sports as a tool for fan engagement. The discussions featured eminent panelists such as Aarti Dabas (ICC), Arun Prabhu (Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas), Abhinav Srivastava (LawNK), Gowree Gokhale (Nishith Desai Associates), Jamie Stewart (CPL), Nandan Kamath (LawNK), Renuka Ramnath (Multiples Equity), Srinivvasan Gopalkrishnan (ISL), Sumit Sinha (Multiples Equity), Sundar Raman (RIL Sports), Vani Kola (Kalaari Capital) and Yannick Colaco (NBA).
While inaugurating the conference, Harsh Jain Chairman of IFSG and CEO of Dream11 noted that the fantasy sports sector has grown exponentially in the past few years with around 56 fantasy sports companies operating in India at present. He also stated that consumer interest is paramount and all steps should be taken to protect the consumerby industry stakeholders, which is one of the objectives of IFSG.
On the successful organisation of the half-day event he said, “We were delighted to be able to successfully host the inaugural edition of Game Plan, India’s Annual Sports Gaming Conference aimed at bringing together eminent leaders to help shape the industry on a collaborative platform. These are exciting times with an increasing number of sports leagues, Fantasy Sports operators and investors aligning to offer Indian sports fans an immersive and engaging sports experience.”
On the launch of the legal report, Nandan Kamath, Principal Lawyer – LawNK & Researcher – SLPC said, “The recent developments in the courts are an encouraging sign for the fantasy sports ecosystem in India as it shows the willingness of courts to carefully and favourably evaluate game formats on criteria of predominance of skill.
The SLPC report is a collaborative effort by leading law practitioners which aims to document the state of the law relating to online fantasy sports gaming and aims to lend clarity to the industry. We hope this empowers the entrepreneurial spirit and benefits and protects the interests of the wide variety of stakeholders involved with fantasy Sports games, including operators, fans, players and governing bodies.”