Gambling has seen an unseen expansion and acceptance in the last two decades, especially Online Gambling. Many countries are loosening their laws and allowing online gambling platforms mostly centered around popular sports events to be organized and also to thrive. One of the major proponents of this sector in India is Dream 11. The company had to enter courts however, against a domain name.
Sporta Technologies Pvt. Ltd. filed a complaint in the Delhi High Court against the infringement of its trademark. The parent entity owns the trademarks over ‘Dream 11’. A domain name Dream11.com is also associated with them which was registered in March 2008.
The Complaint was against Unfading OPC Private Limited (UNFADING). The Complaint claimed that the Respondent had registered and operated a gambling platform on SattaDream11.com. The Respondent had used the trademarks of the Complainant and tweaked the marks a little to offer services similar to that of the Complainant. The Complainant presents this as a clear case of trying to benefit from the established goodwill of it.
The Complainant also claimed that the nature of gambling provided at the disputed domain name was illegal in India. The platform allowed bets on the mere occurrence or non-occurrence of an event, which wouldn’t require any specialized knowledge or skill set. The Complainant on the other hand requires users to form a team from a number of available choices. This process requires some degree of familiarity and knowledge about the game.
The panel gave decision in favor of the Plaintiff and granted an injunction against the usage of ‘SattaDream11’ mark by the Respondent.
The Public Gambling Act of 1867 prohibits anyone from running or being in charge of a public gambling house.
However, this law only applies to games of chance, and according to the Supreme Court of India, games like rummy and poker need skill and acumen; they’re not entirely up to chance. But government should take control over these betting companies like Dream11 as they are increasing gambling culture in our youth.