If online rummy is banned, why do cricket betting games get a pass?

The recent ban on online rummy by the Tamil Nadu government brings up the question: What about cricket betting game apps?

In the UK, gambling on cricket is legal. The game is so uncertain that outcomes, big and small, are opportunities for punters. In India, however, it is illegal

Yet, apps like Fantasy League and Dream 11, which call themselves cricket apps, are involved in gambling under the guise of offering cricket-based games

Users pick players for a cricket team, and based on their real-life performance, points accrue to the team. Dream 11 uses this format for all sports, not just cricket

Online games based on sports have been cleared by the Supreme Court, as it endorsed a lower court observation that the game involves skill more than chance

Courts have viewed online rummy also similarly but individual states like Tamil Nadu are banning online card games that are traditionally associated with gambling

Online fantasy cricket is addictive too. Users talk about being drawn in and getting hooked. But rarely do critics of online rummy apply similar logic to the cricket apps

Perhaps because fantasy cricket is an industry of billions of dollars. Dream 11 is the first Indian gaming company that is a unicorn; it has investments of over $1 billion

Moreover, Dream 11 sponsors real cricket matches too; the Indian gaming app was the main sponsor of IPL in Dubai. The BCCI has approved of this lucrative deal

Cricket has often drawn dodgy sponsorships, like Wills. Cricketers wearing jerseys with Wills logos helped it circumvent rules that prevented advertising cigarettes

Cricket stars like Dhoni, Tendulkar and Ganguly advertise for the app, giving it legitimacy. Dravid is probably the only big player who has not endorsed the apps

Betting for money is at the core of these apps. But they also deliver cricket news and views, which gives them a facade of being legal, unlike online rummy

In fact, Fantasy League or Dream 11 did not carry any disclaimers initially. But as the apps became successful, reports of money lost by users also started coming out

Disclaimers were then added by the apps, advising user discretion, in order to absolve the companies of any liability

If the TN government is taking a moral position against online rummy, then it should apply to fantasy cricket apps as well. Many states have acted against the apps