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


The Karnataka High Court overthrew a state government on Monday law prohibiting online gambling.

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

Following the ban, an FIR was also filed against CEO and co-founder of Dream11, Harsh Jain. However, the court had granted him relief from any coercive action.

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

While Dream Sports is the most valuable startup in the industry, MPL, backed by Virat Kohli, ranks second as it raised $350 million at a valuation of $2.3 billion in September 2021.

The Tamil Nadu government had early last year passed a law banning online games such as rummy, poker and other games of skill that involve betting and cash prizes, but it was revoked in August.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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