Case Study : Designing skill-based fantasy sports platforms

We advised a fantasy sports platform hosting cricket and e-sports contests. The client had a unique game format that gave it a competitive edge. But since the format was different from judicially-blessed fantasy sports formats, it faced a higher risk of being considered an illegal game of chance. We closely studied the game’s format and assessed whether it meets the ‘game of skill’ standard under Indian law. We suggested changes to make the game more skill-based and avoid scrutiny from law enforcement agencies and courts.

We also review the platform’s advertising campaigns, and advise them on issues relating to taxation and data privacy.

Ikigai Law’s digital gaming practice

We have advised digital gaming companies on a diverse range of issues, ranging from corporate structures and contracts, fund raising, game design, platform liability, providing skill vs chance opinions, intellectual property protection, token offerings, taxation, data, disputes, representation before law enforcement authorities and enforcement directorate, and public policy support. We have advised two of the World’s largest technology companies – one, a leading social media network, and another offering a global app store – on liability issues arising from offering games and game-related advertisements across states in India. We have also advised the central and certain state governments on policy issues pertaining to gaming regulation. We have advised on industry-wide issues through industry associations such as Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and All-India Gaming Federation (AIGF). We have advised start-ups and investors on the legal and policy status of fantasy stocks games, that pose risks under both anti-gambling and securities laws and lie in a grey area.

We regularly advise one of India’s largest gaming platforms on legal and policy issues relating to gambling, data, payments, advertising, virtual assets, intermediary liability, tax, etc. We monitor legislative proposals and court cases at the central and state level and assess their impact on the client’s business. We also authored an investor-facing report which assessed the client’s legal compliance and demonstrated its adherence to best practices.

Our gaming practice has regularly been recognized as a leading practice by the India Business Law Journal (IBLJ).


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