India central government: states can decide on fantasy sports

India’s central government has been steering clear of taking a stance regarding the legality of fantasy sports in the country and still doesn’t seem to want to get involved. According to an exclusive report by GLaws, the government dodged a question recently from a member of parliament (MP), stating only that the states can evaluate for themselves the industry and decide how to govern it.

On February 8, MP AP Jithender Reddy of Telangana Rashtriya Samiti (TRS) raised an unstarred question (a question that doesn’t necessarily require an immediate answer) to try and determine if the central government was considering regulations for the fantasy sports market, as well as the number cases pending in consumer courts related to the activity and whether or not fantasy sports was viewed as a game of skill or a game of chance per the Supreme Court’s definition.

The parliamentary member also wanted to know if fantasy sports was considered “gambling and betting” according to the country’s constitution and if there were plans to establish laws that would govern financial transactions related to the industry.

Pon Radhakrishnan, the Union Minister of State for Finance, responded to the inquiry, only said that betting and gambling is regulated under Entry 34 of List II of the Seventh Schedule of the Indian Constitution, adding that the individual state governments are capable of introducing their own laws on the subject.

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