Karnataka Gaming Ban: Make No Arrests, High Court

Author : Anurag Manoranjan

Last Updated: October 25, 2021     Published: October 22, 2021

The long-standing debate on fantasy sports continues as a PIL filed before the Karnataka High Court, seeking to ban offering and playing Fantasy sports, came up for hearing on the 22nd of Oct. A bench composed of the Chief Justice and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum heard the petition.

The gaming segment of fantasy sports, in recent weeks, has seen several petitions filed for and against it as petitioner, Saahil Nalwaya, who filed a PIL with the Karnataka High Court, has also filed a similar PIL with the High Court of Rajasthan, seeking to make fantasy games a criminal offence under the KPA (Karnataka Police Act).

On the other hand, courtrooms are also holding hearings to listen to the PILs filed by AIGF (All India Gaming Federation) and real money gaming company MPL (Mobile Premier League) challenging the amendments to KPA which came into effect on the 5th of Oct.

Agreeing to the request of Senior Advocate Aravind P. Datar, who appears for AIGF, the High Court directed the Advocate General appearing on behalf of the state government to make no arrests under the amendment that is now being heavily challenged by gaming firms.

While that comes as a relief for fantasy sports operators, things were not exactly the same at the start of the month. The Bengaluru Police had filed an FIR against the cofounders of Dream11 for continuing operations in the state, despite the latest developments on fantasy sports. Online rummy portal SilkRummy also saw a similar case being filed with the Cottonpet Police.

The numerous petitions filed by gaming companies will be heard next on the 27th of Oct.