IPL Boosted Interest In Fantasy Sports But The Indian Gaming Industry Still Needs To Develop

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The Union government reportedly set up an inter-ministerial body to oversee internet gaming last week, according to reports. Online gaming is a popular new industry with a lot of potential, but it’s been stifled by regulatory uncertainties so far. The terminology is one of the causes for this ambiguity.

Online gambling may encompass everything from online casinos to fantasy sports platforms like Dream11 at times. This is regrettable since Indian courts have consistently separated skill-based games from chance-based games. One of the panel’s main tasks would be to expand on this difference by devising a method for determining whether a game style is skill-dependent. This will assist the young sector to separate itself from gaming, in addition to providing regulatory certainty.

The Indian Premier League is a good indicator of the popularity of online skill gaming, particularly online fantasy sports platforms (OFSPs). The IPL has supported and confirmed the fast proliferation of OSFPs in recent years.

My 11 Circle, an OFSP, is the primary sponsor of the Lucknow Super Giants, one of the two new clubs in the 2022 season. Another OFSP, Dream11, was the IPL’s title sponsor two years earlier, in 2020. The event has also included new monetary rewards for athletes who earn the most fantasy points in a game.

The fantasy sports industry is caught in between two opposing realities. The first truth is that it has a lot of economic potential. Between 2016 and 2019, the industry increased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 212 percent, and between FY21 and FY27, it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 38 percent.

The industry’s entire market size is INR 34,000 crore, and it serves 13 crore people. Fantasy sports are likely to attract more than INR 10,000 crore in FDI over the next several years, pay over INR 10,000 crore in different taxes, and generate more than 5000 direct and 7000 indirect employment in the short to medium term, according to a NITI Aayog discussion draught.

In addition to these immediate economic benefits, the expansion of OFSPs is anticipated to assist India’s “minor” sports, which have previously been overshadowed by cricket. Many OFSPs provide other competitions in addition to cricket, such as kabaddi, football, and hockey.

As success in a fantasy tournament necessitates a good understanding of the details of the sport, including kabaddi, football, and hockey in OFSPs will enhance interest in and consumption of these sports.