Days before the start of the IPL 2020 in the UAE, fans in India demanded the banning of online gaming. (More Cricket News)
The words "online betting" is broadly used for fantasy sports platforms and operators who run pay-to-play games like cricket, rummy, poker, teen-patti, Blackjack and even Housey.
READ: From Ludo To Rummy, Online Gaming Comes To Roost During COVID Times
It's pertinent to mention that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) recently awarded the IPL 2020 title sponsorship rights to the fantasy sports platform Dream11 that is associated with at least six IPL franchises.
Fantasy cricket is becoming big in India and Dream11 is a leading player with more than 90 per cent share of the market. Other players include My11Circle and MyTeam11. There are close to 170 operators in India.
ALSO READ: Legality Of Online Gaming Business Models
All fantasy sports platforms have big investors and even bigger celebrities endorsing them. Four Indian captains are associated with these platforms that run online gaming. While MS Dhoni endorses Dream11, Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag and Virat Kohli are brand ambassadors of My11Circle, MyTeam11 and Mobile Premier League, respectively.
On Sunday, hashtag #BanOnlineGambling was trending in India with fans sharing their concerns and woes. Here are some reactions:
#BanOnlineGambling you are successful because of your fans... please don't spoil their lives by misleading ads. @imVkohli @msdhoni @SGanguly99 @KicchaSudeep @prakashraaj @DanishSait @RanaDaggubati @MsKajalAggarwal @iamRashmika @IPL @SharadaDiamond pic.twitter.com/7Lc3v1yqht— Pavan Patil (@pavan1f) August 23, 2020
Offshore betting companies are apparently using ‘loophole’ in our law to lure Indians to bet on pretty much everything. Our young generation spending lot of their times in this gambling and loosing everything #BanOnlineGambling @narendramodi @PMOIndia— Ajith Shetty Herenje (@Ajithshettyher1) August 23, 2020
Gambling has destroyed lakhs of lives & families
No one has become rich by gambling but lakhs have lost everything due to this
To build a morally stable society, getting rid of this evil is necessary
I request Govt to ban online gambling#BanOnlineGambling— Mahesh Vikram Hegde (@mvmeet) August 23, 2020
just open your eyes celbraties....just think for your self? ...what you doing for your fans????????#BanOnlineGambling @KicchaSudeep @CMofKarnataka @SharadaDiamond pic.twitter.com/kTOGJevC97— kiran kumar (@kiranku83880022) August 23, 2020
Giving credence to their demand, KS Eshwarappa, a senior BJP Minister in Karnataka, said that a comprehensive look at online gambling that is happening will be taken as the next step. A matter related to Dream11 allegedly evading GST to the tune of Rs 2,500 Crores is pending at the Supreme Court.
à²ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ Online Gambling à²ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂà²³ à²¬à²ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂà³ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂà²ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂà³ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ à²¸à²®à²ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂà³ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂà²°à²µà²¾à²ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂà²¿ à²ªà²°à²¶à³ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂà²²à²¿à²¸à²¿ à²®à³ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂà²ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂà²¦à²¿à²¨ à²ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂà³ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂà²°à²®à²¦ à²ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂà³ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂà²°à²¿à²¤à³ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ à²ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂà²¿à²ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂà²¤à²¿à²¸à²²à²¾à²ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂà³ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂà²µà³ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂà²¦à³ÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ.— K S Eshwarappa (@ikseshwarappa) August 23, 2020
Various stakeholders continue to deliberate on whether online gaming, particularly skill games which are not regulated under any definite law, needs a monitoring body and a robust legislation.
ALSO READ: Dream11 Helicopters Online Cricket Gaming To A World Of Fantasy
In fact, a petition to arrest Indian national cricket team captain Virat Kohli was filed in the Madras High Court for promoting online gambling.
"Youngsters are being hooked to this online gambling addiction by the organizers by providing huge cash bonuses to anyone.
"It uses the famous cricket and film personalities including cricketer like Virat Kohli and actress Tamannah who brainwash these young with their powerful appeal to join this game," advocate A.P. Suryaprakasam said in his plea.
The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court gave suggestions to the Tamil Nadu state government to pass a suitable legislation to regulate online and virtual games.
Three states -- Odisha, Assam and Telangana -- have put a ban on online gambling. It means one cannot play or register for any online gaming from these states.