Indian real money gaming sector gears up for busy season with IPL 2023

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The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 is all set to start this Friday, March 31. This commences a busiest of seasons for the real money gaming sector in the country. The IPL has played a significant role in the penetration of fantasy and other real money games in India and who’s who of the Indian real money gaming industry acknowledge this aspect.

IPL is one of the biggest sporting events in India and attracts millions of eyeballs from all over the country. The league has been instrumental in promoting the game of cricket and has provided a platform for young and upcoming players to showcase their talent.

The popularity and reach of the IPL has led to the emergence of several fantasy sports platforms that allow users to create their virtual teams and compete against each other. Fantasy sports have become an integral part of the IPL experience, and users can win cash prizes based on their performance. It is also a time when these platforms introduce new features to add value and stand out from the competition.

Suraj Chokhani, Managing Director for Ability Games which owns 11Wickets, stated, “We at 11Wickets are really excited about the IPL this year. This year our focus is on players. We are bringing in more player-centric leagues along with ‘Leader Board’ which would give the players a sense of where they stand not just in terms of a single match but the entire tournament.”

Real money gaming portals including Dream11, MPL, My11Circle, to name a few, have been associated with the cricket league in some form in the past. In fact, Dream11 acted as a title sponsor for one editions.

“For online gaming companies, especially fantasy sports platforms, IPL seasons are always a good time to create new growth opportunities. Fantasy platforms provide a way for users to be able to leverage their passion and knowledge of cricket, and for companies the season means a greater influx of users. This season we are seeing new players among online gaming companies offering newer innovations and iterations over traditional fantasy games, providing more choice to users,” said Roland Landers, CEO of All India Gaming Federation (AIGF).

Talking of new players, India and CSK cricketer-owned Trade Fantasy Game (TFG) which was launched last month, is targeting to grow its user base during the IPL along with maximising rewards for them.

“TFG has recently been launched and IPL 2023 will be very important for the fantasy gaming enthusiasts. We rolled out our ad campaign ‘Tukka nahi chakka maro’ for the IPL season. The campaign showcases Deepak Chahar in different yet fun situations. The campaign will connect well with the fans of all age groups,” said Jaya Chahar, CEO & Co-founder, JCDC Sports Pvt Ltd which owns TFG.

“This campaign will be across social media, Google and other platforms too. This IPL we will target to grow our user base and our biggest target is to maximize rewards for our users. This will be done through giving out massive cash rewards. There will also be a chance for a meet and greet with Deepak and users can get to watch an IPL match too,” Jaya added.

In addition to fantasy sports, the IPL has also played a role in the growth of real money games. Real money games, including poker, rummy, and other card games, have gained popularity in India, and the IPL has been a major factor in this growth. Many real money game platforms have tied up with the IPL teams and players for promotion and advertising, further fueling the growth of the industry.

Advertising slots during the IPL telecast are a lucrative real estate and gaming portals in last half decade have invested aggressively for grabbing eye balls during match broadcasts.

“Being the peak of cricketing season, brands look at IPL as the best channel to connect with their audience. This cricket season is witnessing an increase in brand endorsements with athletes and influencers. Also strategies like ‘Predict & win’ or ‘Play & Get a chance to watch the game live with celebrities during and before the IPL are on the rise,” said Vaibhav Jaiswal, CEO & Founder, Sportzcraazy.

The number of advertisements concerning fantasy and real money games can be estimated from the fact that advertising watchdog ASCI finds more violations in the real money gaming sector during the two month IPL window than the remaining months of a year.