NEW DELHI :
The Indian Federation of Sports Gaming (IFSG), country’s self-regulatory industry body for the online fantasy sports gaming sector, on Monday announced the appointment of Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri as its ombudsman and ethics officer.
Joining IFSG as the industry body’s first ombudsman, Justice A.K. Sikri will be responsible for investigating queries/complaints raised by the users of the online fantasy sports gaming platforms. In this role, he will provide strategic council, resolve disputes brought forward regarding binding rules or financial discrepancies as well as steer hearings and make announcements for smooth operation and ease of functioning.
Harsh Jain, president, IFSG said, “Justice A.K. Sikri’s association with IFSG is an important development for the industry body. The sport gaming industry is growing at an exponential pace and so is the need to ensure that all operators adopt best-in-class ethical business practices. With Anwar as the CEO of IFSG and Justice Sikri as the ombudsman, IFSG will be able to frame robust industry benchmarks with strong governance protecting our industry’s 8 crore users and 32 operator’s interests."
An eminent jurist Sikri has served as a former judge of the Supreme Court of India and was recently appointed as a judge in the Singapore International Commercial Court. In his four decade long career, Justice Sikri has held several eminent positions. He retired as a senior most judge of the Supreme Court of India on 6 March 2019. He has also served as the Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and Acting Justice of the High Court of Delhi.
“The sports gaming industry provides an untapped opportunity for sports lovers to showcase their sports knowledge and come closer to their favorite sport. As the industry prepares for the next wave of sports enthusiasts, as a self-regulatory industry body it is important to protect and educate operators & users about the industry and its best practices," said Sikri.
His appointment comes after three months of onboarding Anwar Shirpurwala as the chief executive of IFSG. In the role, he will drive IFSG’s strategy and operations for the emerging sector of the entire sports gaming industry.
IFSG’s CEO Shirpurwala said, “With growing digital infrastructure, expanding smartphone penetration and increasing integration of technology with sports, online sports gaming has seen immense adoption by avid sports fans. The last year has seen an increasing number of operators entering the industry to provide sports fans with immersive experiences. While this presents an immense opportunity, it is critical to establish best practices to grow and scale the industry responsibly."
Formed in 2017, IFSG has former BCCI official Professor Ratnakar Shetty, Amrit Mathur, and Dilip Dixit as its advisors, and John Loffhagen, an eminent legal counsel, serves as the chairman of the body. Currently, IFSG has 32 members that are working together to create standardised best practices and drive self-regulation.