Fantasy sports have become immensely popular in India over the past few years, with millions of players participating in various contests and tournaments. The industry has witnessed tremendous growth, and it is estimated to be worth around $1.5 billion by 2023. In this article, we will provide an overview of the fantasy sports industry in India, its current state, and future prospects.
What is Fantasy Sports?
Fantasy sports is a game where participants create virtual teams consisting of real-life players from a particular sport. They earn points based on the performance of these players in real-life matches, and the team with the highest score at the end of the game or tournament wins. Fantasy sports are available for several sports like cricket, football, basketball, and hockey.
Overview of Fantasy Sports Industry in India
Fantasy sports have been around in India since the early 2000s, but the industry started to gain momentum after the introduction of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2008. The IPL, which is a professional Twenty20 cricket league, has become one of the most-watched sports leagues in the world and has contributed significantly to the growth of fantasy sports in India.
The first fantasy sports platform in India was launched in 2012, and since then, the industry has witnessed tremendous growth. According to a report by the Indian Federation of Sports Gaming (IFSG) and KPMG, the number of fantasy sports users in India is expected to reach 100 million by 2020.
Fantasy sports have become a significant source of revenue for the Indian sports industry, with many sports leagues and teams partnering with fantasy sports platforms to increase their visibility and fan engagement. In 2019, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) signed a deal with Dream11, the largest fantasy sports platform in India, to make it the official partner of the IPL.
Current State of Fantasy Sports Industry in India
As of 2021, there are several fantasy sports platforms in India, with Dream11, MPL, and MyTeam11 being the most popular ones. These platforms offer various sports like cricket, football, basketball, and hockey, and users can create their virtual teams and participate in contests and tournaments.
The fantasy sports industry in India is regulated by the Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS), which is a self-regulatory body. The FIFS has developed a code of conduct for fantasy sports operators, which includes guidelines for fair play, responsible gaming, and player protection.
The industry has faced some legal challenges in the past, with some states classifying fantasy sports as a form of gambling and banning it. However, in 2017, the Supreme Court of India ruled that fantasy sports are games of skill and not games of chance, which means they are exempt from gambling laws.
Future Prospects of Fantasy Sports Industry in India
The fantasy sports industry in India is expected to continue to grow at a rapid pace in the coming years. The increasing popularity of sports and the rise of digital technologies are expected to drive the growth of the industry. The advent of 5G technology is expected to boost the growth of the industry, as it will enable faster and more seamless streaming of sports events, which is essential for the growth of fantasy sports.
The industry is also expected to witness more consolidation, with larger players acquiring smaller ones to expand their reach and offerings. The industry is also likely to see more partnerships between sports leagues and fantasy sports platforms, which will further boost the growth of the industry.
In conclusion, the fantasy sports industry in India has come a long way since its inception in the early 2000s. It has become a significant source of revenue for the sports industry and has provided a platform for millions of sports enthusiasts to showcase their skills and knowledge.