New Delhi, September 4: A Special Leave Petition (SPL) was filed in the Supreme Court on Thursday challenging a February 2020 Rajasthan High Court order that dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that appealed to stop “illegal betting and gambling activities by fantasy sports operator Dream11”.

Dream11, the largest fantasy sports operator in India, replaced Chinese mobile company Vivo as the title sponsors of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020. Dream11, which receives funding from Chinese company Tencent, is a major ally of the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) and at least six of the eight IPL franchises.

The latest SLP against Dream11 has been filed by social activist and financial consultant Avinash Mehrotra, Outlook reported. His 200-page petition says the Rajasthan High Court dismissed a PIL filed by Chandresh Sankhla on the basis of orders passed by the High Courts of Bombay, and Punjab and Haryana, that said fantasy sports are “games of skill and do not amount to gambling.” Mehrotra’s SLP wants the Supreme Court, which stayed in March a 2019 Bombay High Court Order in favour of Dream11, to be examined in depth

It may be pertinent to note that on Thursday, the Andhra Pradesh government approved an amendment Bill to the Andhra Gaming Act, 1974. The Bill, if passed by both Houses, will mean online games like rummy and poker that involve money transactions, will be illegal in the state. The YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government argued that these online games are leading to “unhealthy tendencies” in the society and pushing the youth on to a wrong path.

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