Mubashir Aalam Wani
Srinagar, Nov 7: It is the ODI cricket world cup at its peak and Sajad (name changed), an avid cricket lover from north Kashmir, is hopeful to make his fortune out of the game.
Since the beginning of the prestigious tournament, he has been entering into an online betting contest -Dream 11- to win the prize worth crores of rupees.
Though in the beginning he won a few thousands, Sajad kept losing the amount he invested in Dream 11 for the last one month.
In hope for a jackpot overnight, he for the last month lost more than Rs20, 000, which he had saved to buy a second-hand bike.
Sajad is not an isolated case as thousands of the people, particularly youth, join online betting platforms, only to lose money.
In recent years, fantasy gaming apps have exploded in popularity in India, with millions of users joining platforms such as Dream11, My11Circle and MPL, among others.
Dream11, a fantasy sports platform that allows users to create their virtual cricket teams and participate in cash-based contests, has gained immense popularity in recent years. It offers the thrill of participating in cricket matches on a digital platform, allowing users to use their knowledge of the game and compete for cash prizes.
The addictive nature of this virtual cricket world has left many young Kashmiris engrossed in their smartphones, spending hours on end selecting their dream teams, making predictions, and monitoring the real cricket matches.
This obsession with Dream11 has not only raised concerns about productivity and academic performance but also caught the attention of religious scholars who believe it is at odds with Islamic principles.
Religious scholars call participation in such fantasy contests ‘haram’.
They argue that Dream11 involves elements of gambling and relies heavily on chance, which contradicts the principles of Islamic finance and ethics.
“It is gambling, which is clearly prohibited in Islam. Gambling whether physical or online both are against the principles of Islam. It is akin to other major sins including drinking alcohol,” said Mufti Zia-ul- Haq, religious scholar.
He appealed to the youth from Kashmir to give up such practices. “No matter even if someone wins the game, God will never be happy with him. I appeal to our youth not to enter into such contests,” Mufti Zia-ul-Haq said.
Pertinently, many states including Assam, Sikkim, Nagaland, Odisha, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh have banned the fantasy cricket application Dream 11. Karnataka had previously banned all forms of online gaming which includes wagering, betting and gambling in any form.