Rajasthan looks to the fantasy sports sector; FIFS calls it a move in the positive direction
In a move applauded by the industry, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Mr. Ashok Gehlot is looking to regulate and manage the online skill gaming sector. This is a great decision for the online skill gaming industry as it is eventually gaining recognition across States and the nation as well. Recently, Hon. Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the growing potential of the skill-based gaming industry and how it is growing rapidly. The announcement of the AVGC task force during the Union Budget session of 2022 is a testimony to the sector’s potential gradually garnering recognition. FIFS welcomes the announcement and looks forward to working with the Rajasthan Government to support the growth of the Indian fantasy sports sector.
“The decision of the Rajasthan Government to regulate skill-based gaming comes only days after the Karnataka High Court’s judgement to strike down the Act banning games of skill. We, at FIFS, are constantly working in tandem with our members and advisory board to cater to the industry’s robust growth, and the announcement by Hon. CM comes as a vital step in recognizing and validating our efforts. Welcoming the decision with open arms, we are rooting for the industry to grow to its maximum potential,” said Anwar Shirpurwala, CEO, FIFS.
With over 13 crore users and 200+ Fantasy Sports operators, this sector has emerged as one of the top revenue-generating industries in India and an integral part of sports fans’ lives. With light-touch regulation, the goal of India becoming the global hub of this sunshine industry can be achieved. Fantasy Sports has risen to be at the forefront of India’s sports technology industry, with the potential to create over 12,000 additional highly skilled jobs in the next 3 years, attract an FDI of over INR 15,000 crore and contribute over INR 13,500 crore in taxes to the Government. The Rajasthan Government’s budget announcement aligns with the growth of this emerging industry.
In a vide judgement dated July 30th, 2021, the Hon'ble Supreme Court had upheld the validity of Online Fantasy Sports by stating that the issue of whether Fantasy Sports format amounts to gambling or betting or wagering is no longer res Integra. Besides, the Rajasthan, Punjab & Haryana and Bombay High Courts all had also upheld the validity of fantasy sports as being legitimate businesses entitled to protection under Article 19(1)(g) and Article 14 of the Constitution of India.
In alignment with Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, all the stakeholders in the sports technology industry can work in synergy to enable the sunrise sector to reach its true peak growth potential. This will provide a progressive ecosystem for existing companies and start-ups to flourish and create a pathway for Indian entrepreneurs to launch innovative sports tech platforms. The industry is eagerly looking forward to 2022 to cater to the need for regulations through holistic policy guidelines for its long-term growth and sustainability to compete on a global scale, Anwar added.