Games of skill are legal, as they are excluded from the ambit of Indian gambling legislations including, the Public Gambling Act, 1867 and the West Bengal Prize Competition and Gambling Act 1957. The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in the cases of State of Andhra Pradesh vs. K Satya Narayana (AIR 1968 SC 825) and K.R. Lakshmana vs. State of Tamil Nadu (AIR 1996 SC 1153) has held that a game in which success depends predominantly upon the superior knowledge, training, attention, experience and adroitness of the player shall be classified as a “game of skill”.
GAME OF SKILLS
The services and Features offered by SBK are a comprehensive mix of skills and understanding of the game. By no manner does SBK promote, encourage or support gambling or betting in any manner nor is the platform made to lay a wager. The Platform that SBK provides is meant for participants to exercise their knowledge and skills. A game of skill is a game where the outcome is determined mainly by mental or knowledge based skill, rather than chance The individuals in game of skills use their skills, knowledge, training and attention for participation and winning.
Fantasy sports are considered to be a legal practice around the world with certain states being an exception. The fantasy sports are entirely based on the concept of Game of Skills, wherein the users form their own teams and are allocated points on the basis of on-field performance of their chosen players. To ensure that the playing firld is levelled for all participants, SBK provides all the participants with 100 points for setting up their teams. Data and player index are also provided to all participants to ensure an equal understating of the players and the conditions.
SBK is completely legal as it offers services, Features, Program(s) and Contest(s) related to fantasy Sports. The platform services, contests and programs related to fantasy sports offered by SBK enables its users/ Participants to create their own team of playing XI prior the match begins and then the teams are awarded points on the basis of the real life performance of the players chosen by the users in their playing XI. The individual whose team scores the highest aggregate of points is announced as the winners. The Team formation by the participants/users of SBK is entirely dependent on the skills, knowledge and attention of the users coupled with data provided by SBK on real life past performances of the players which makes the fantasy sports offered at SBK a game of skills and 100% legal.
ALIGNMENT WITH THE INDIAN LAWS
Fantasy Sports based on the skills are considered to be legal all over India expect certain states such as Assam, Odisha, Telangana and Nagaland. The Public Gambling Act, 1867 (“PGA, 1867”) is recognized as the primary legality driving the prevalence of gambling in India.
The PGA defines the act of “public gambling” and keeping of a common gaming house as a criminal and punishable act in India. However, the fantasy sports games are considered to be an exception under the PGA wherein the provisions and punishments of PGA shall not be applicable to games played by the user using their skills and knowledge as primary tools.
ASSAM, ODISHA, TELANGANA AND NAGALAND
There are various states in India wherein the laws related to the game of skills are unclear. In this regard, for the websites offering fantasy sports it remains unclear whether to offer the services for free or not. The Indian states with no clearance regarding the offering of pay-to-play contests include Assam, Odisha, Telangana and Nagaland.
In this context, SBK does not permits the users identified as the residents of Odisha, Telangana, Assam and Nagaland to participate in the pay-to-play contest(s) organized on the platform provided by SBK.