Legalities of team
The legal precedents, both internationally and in India, it can be persuasively argued that fantasy sports games are games in which success depends upon a substantial degree of skill. It is also pertinent to note that, not all fantasy sports games have been held to be games of skill. Various factors that a participant would need to assess keeping in mind the different conditions and scoring metrics set out for drafting a team affect the result of the fantasy sports game. Based on the reasoning of various courts, analysis of the conditions or the metrics within which a user is required to draft their team, viz., restrictions on the number of players from a single team, upper caps and limits, etc., plays a critical role in analysing the element of skill involved in fantasy sports games.
The Central Government Act (The Public Gambling Act, 1867) comprises of 18 Sections and in Section 12 (Act not to apply to certain games), it clearly states that – “Nothing in the provisions of this Act contained shall be held to apply to any game of mere skill wherever played.” That means fantasy sports that are part of skill-based games are excluded.
The Supreme Court of India (“SC”) has interpreted the words “mere skill” to include games which are preponderantly of skill and have laid down that (i) the competitions where success depends on substantial degree of skill will not fall into category of ‘gambling’; and (ii) despite there being an element of chance, if a game is preponderantly a game of skill, it would nevertheless be a game of “mere skill”. Whether a game is of chance or skill is a question of fact to be decided on the facts and circumstances of each case.
As dictated by law, we ensure the following:
- A player must select his/her own team consisting of same number of players that play in real-time (example: 11 players in cricket)
- Contests are run for at least the duration of an entire sports match which is taking place in reality
- Team changes are not permitted by after the commencement of a match