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Pune Cop Won Rs 1.5 Crore On Fantasy Gaming App. Did He Gamble? Inquiry On

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Pimpri Chinchwad Police Commissionerate Sub Inspector Somnath Zende with his wife

Pune:

He won Rs 1.5 crore on Dream11, a popular online fantasy gaming platform. Pimpri Chinchwad Police Commissionerate Sub Inspector Somnath Zende had started receiving the money in his account. However, the joy was short-lived.

The cop now faces an inquiry. The key question being asked is could he have participated in such a game while being actively employed in the police service?

“With the profit of Rs 1.5 crore, I thought I would not get any money but yesterday on a transaction of Rs 2 lakh, they deducted Rs 60,000 from it. One lakh forty thousand rupees came into my account,” said Mr Zende.

The cop maintains that he will use the money to pay off the loan on his home. He will further invest the other half in fixed deposits and use the interest from it to pay for his childrens’ education.

“Can one participate in such online games while working in the police department? Does this follow the rules? Is this game legal? Can one talk in the media about the money received in this way? Is all this within the rules. All this will be investigated. The investigation has been given to DCP Swapna Gore and appropriate action will be taken after a report is submitted,” said Satish Maane, ACP, Pimpri Chinchwad.

Dream11, which provides a fantasy gaming platform for various sports, is India’s first gaming startup to be valued at over $1 billion (roughly Rs. 7,535 crore). It has faced legal challenges in the past due to the similarities of fantasy gaming to gambling.

The company, founded in 2008 and which now has a user base of over 110 million, says the bets placed on its platform are games of skill, not amounting to gambling/betting.

“”Fantasy leagues have been recognized by the courts in our country, they also come under the purview of GST and tax. So there is no doubt left about their legality,” said Himanshu Shekhar, Supreme Court lawyer.

“There were three-four such cases which originated from different High Courts  and were later rejected by the Supreme Court. So it is settled that fantasy games are games of skill and games of skill are legal in our country. And there is no restriction as such,” the Supreme Cort lawyer added.

For now, the cop will have to wait and watch as the inquiry is underway.