Harsh Jain calls for government regulations in fantasy gaming at Oxford India Forum

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Harsh Jain, CEO and Co-Founder of Dream Sports and Dream11, emphasized the necessity for government regulations in the fantasy gaming industry during his speech at the Oxford India Forum. Unlike many industries that resist regulation, Jain argued that such measures would benefit the fantasy gaming sector by promoting responsible engagement over high-risk gambling.

“I think it’s very important that here’s where the government can really help us, and we’ve been asking for this and hopefully we should get it soon. We want the government to come in and help us. Regulations are necessary because we aim to engage people in sports, not to encourage a big win, lose big mindset,” Jain stated.

As reported by India Today, Jain pointed out that Dream11, given its scale, is well-positioned to offer low-risk, high-reward opportunities that align with regulations distinguishing games of skill from games of chance. He emphasized that the excitement in fantasy gaming stems from small monetary stakes rather than potential winnings.

“It’s not about the money; it’s about the excitement of having a little bit at stake. We’ve designed our system carefully to ensure it’s not all about money. Out of 250 million users, only about 20% play with money, and the average transaction size is just Rs 63,” Jain explained, highlighting how this small amount creates an engagement loop without promoting excessive gambling.

Jain also noted that a significant portion of Dream11’s users come from tier 3 cities, showcasing the platform’s broad reach beyond major metropolitan areas. He proudly described Dream11 as an Indian company catering exclusively to the Indian market.

“We don’t need the rest of the world’s population. If you solve for India, you pretty much become the world’s largest player in that vertical anyway,” said Jain, underscoring the potential within the Indian market.

He discussed the unique challenges and advantages for startup founders and business people operating in India, pointing out that the country’s specific DNA and culture require agility and an understanding of local hurdles. “India’s specific DNA and culture require agility and an understanding of the hurdles. This is our biggest competitive advantage. The population, once seen as a disadvantage, is now our greatest strength,” he noted.