The Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS), a self-regulatory body for the fantasy sports industry, has appointed Justice (Retd.) Mukul Mudgal and Justice (Retd.) GS Sistani, as panel members for the Fantasy Sports Regulatory Authority (FSRA), which is the committee that formulates self-regulatory practices for the industry. Code of ethics for responsible gaming, setting best practices and standards and audio mechanisms are some of the matters under its purview.
The appointment comes at a time when the industry is grappling with various legal battles in different states in India, and concerns over new GST norms being applied to platforms. It has already fought cases in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu last year, where authorities sought to ban such platforms from operating, owing to concerns that they promote gambling. While both rulings were eventually overturned in court, the industry continues to clash with regulators.
“The extensive knowledge, collective experience and expertise of Justice (Retd.) Mudgal and Justice (Retd.) Sistani will be invaluable to lead this sunshine sector and chart the path towards its long-term growth trajectory,” said Bimal Julka, chairman of the FIFA. “Our role will be to work as an independent regulatory body to ensure regulations, laws of India and our constitution are abided by,” said Mudgal.
Last month, the FIFS had appointed Joy Bhattacharya, the chief executive of the Prime Volleyball League and a cricket analyst, as its director general. Bhattacharya oversees the functioning of the body and will work with policymakers and industry stakeholders in the country. He was also the project director for the FIFA U-17 World Cup held in India in 2017 and has held positions at Indian Premier League teams Kolkata Knight Riders, TV channels History and National Geographic and more.
Other sports industry veterans like Professor Ratnakar Shetty, former Chief Administrative Officer for Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Amrit Mathur, former secretary of the Sports Authority of India are also advisors in the body.