India’s leading online fantasy gaming app, Dream11 has been banned in Andhra Pradesh after making changes in the AP Gaming Act -1974. The state cabinet has decided to ban all online gaming and betting platforms and impose strict punishments on those charged with gambling. The ban is a big set-back for Dream11, since they recently bagged the title rights of IPL for ₹222 crores.
On September 25, the Andhra Pradesh government passed an ordinance to amend the Andhra Pradesh Gaming Act 1974. As per the new laws, those convicted of playing banned online gaming platforms would be awarded six months of imprisonment, and two years of jail for a repeat conviction. The new laws will be implemented in immediate effect.
Under the Andhra Pradesh Gaming (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020, the government of YS Jaganmohan Reddy prohibited collection or soliciting of bets, receipt or distribution of winning or prizes in money or otherwise in respect of any wager or bet, any act which is intended to aid, induce, solicit or facilitate wagering or betting or such collection, soliciting receipt or distribution, and any act of risking money or playing stakes or otherwise on the result of a game or an event including on a game of skill.
The new laws will disrupt the potential audience and business for Dream11 in the southern state. Dream 11 faced a lot of criticism when it was launched in the Indian market. It slowly and steadily gained acceptance due to nature of betting. After a petition was filed in the High Court, Dream11 was declared as a game of skill and chance rather than betting and gambling.
As a consequence of this decision, fans of Sunrisers Hyderabad will not take part in contests on gaming platforms during IPL. Dream11 has gained a lot of attraction this year due to its new creative ads featuring Indian cricketers such as MS Dhoni, Rishab Pant, Pandya, Rohit Sharma, and Shikhar Dhawan.
It has also associated itself with multiple franchises along with being the title sponsor and central sponsor of the league. There are other fantasy sports apps also in the market which are endorsed by ace cricketers like Virat, Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag, KL Rahul.