Karnataka HC lifts online gambling ban, big relief for fantasy sports



The High Court on Monday struck down a state government law that banned online gambling.


The government had notified the law banning betting and wagering in online games in October last year, after Governor Thawar Chand Gehlot gave his assent. Since then, fantasy gaming platforms like Dream11, Mobile Premier League have suspended their operations in the state.





In the aftermath of the ban, an FIR was also registered against CEO and co-founder Harsh Jain. However, the court had granted him relief against any coercive action.


Dream Sports, the parent firm of fantasy sports platform Dream11, raised an investment of $840 million at a valuation of $8 billion in November. This was led by Falcon Edge, DST Global, D1 Capital, Redbird Capital and Tiger Global, even though the larger gaming sector faced regulatory uncertainty.


While Dream Sports is the most valuable start-up in the sector, Virat Kohli-backed MPL is at the second spot as it raised $350 million at a valuation of $2.3 billion in September 2021.


The Tamil Nadu government had, earlier last year, passed a law to ban online games such as rummy, poker and other skill-based games that involve betting and money prizes, but it was revoked in August. Other states that have clamped down on the industry include Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Assam and Odisha.

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