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Dream11 pushes back against FIR lodged after Karnataka’s gambling ban took effect

In an amendment, the Karnataka government outlawed all kinds of online betting and gambling including games of skill.

Weeks after an FIR led to Dream11 stopping its services in Karnataka, the fantasy sports app's founders Bhavit Sheth and Harsh Jain have moved the Karnataka High Court seeking to quash the FIR. According to a report by The News Minute, the two founders filed a writ petition before the court on October 22. The FIR prompting Dream11 to exit the state was filed after the Karnataka government outlawed all kinds of online betting and gambling, including games of skill, in an amendment to its Police Act. However, the amendment has already been legally challenged by multiple gaming companies and industry bodies in the Karnataka High Court. Why was the FIR lodged? The FIR was filed after a 42-year old cab driver Manjunatha found that Dream11 was still operational in the state even after the ban took effect. According to a report by Hindustan Times, the FIR has been registered under Sections 79 (keeping common gaming house) and 80 (gaming in common gaming-house) of the Karnataka Police Act, 1963. Dream11's stance on the law In a press note shared with MediaNama, Dream11 had argued the applicability of the new law on itself.  We have been advised by the Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS) who have shared an opinion from a former Supreme Court Judge, stating  that the Karnataka Police (Amendment) Act 2021 does not apply to its member Fantasy Sports Operators. This is because the FIFS format of Fantasy Sports has been upheld by the hon’ble Courts of India as not amounting…

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I cover health technology for MediaNama but, really, love all things tech policy. Always willing to chat with a reader! Reach me at anushka@medianama.com

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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