Fantasy Sports has grown big in India and the industry is all set to break records when it comes to engaging sports fans and testing their sports knowledge & skills. It is expected that in the coming days almost all sports leagues in the country are going to offer their own fantasy leagues to their fans similar to fantasy premier league which is the official fantasy football game of the Premier League with more than 4.6 Million registered users. In India, IPL (Indian Premier League) & ISL (Indian Super League) are already running their own official fantasy leagues.
From a business point of view, fantasy sports are a great start-up idea to invest in India. The business model proves strong in terms of revenue and it ensures earnings through advertisements, contest sponsorships, brand partnerships and entry fees.
Indian Fantasy Sports Industry Stats
India has grown higher in the fantasy sports domain with a whopping number of 7 million players associated with the field. This number includes a variety of sports like Hockey, kabaddi, cricket as well as football. In terms of percentage, the growth rate ranges from 30-50% per year. Estimated numbers show that the country expects to reach a number of 50 million users in the coming three years. In this digital era of internet, the trend of fantasy sports is also increasing with each passing day.
Existing Fantasy sports operators in India
Since fantasy sports industry is new to the Indian market, the number of fantasy sports operators offering fantasy in the market is not too high. The major fantasy sports operators/providers in India are Dream11, Fandromedia, League Guru, Oyecaption etc. This clearly denotes that there is a lot of scope for new entrants in the Indian market to start their own fantasy sports business in India.
Favorable Legality of fantasy sports in India
Indian legal system clearly separates fantasy sports from betting or gambling activities and considers it a game of skill. A game where a sports fans are allowed to create their fantasy team by combining players, who they feel are going to perform better than others in the real field game.
The Public Gambling Act, 1867 which is a central government act comprises of 18 Sections. In Section 12, it clearly states that – “Nothing in the provisions of this Act contained shall be held to apply to any game of mere skill wherever played.” This statement confirms that fantasy sports which is a game of skill is excluded from this act.
According to the Supreme Court of India the meaning and usage of the words “mere skill” include games that include skill predominantly. With this established, the SC states two statements (i.) Those competitions which are highly dependent on degree of skill will not be included in the ‘gambling’ category and (ii.) Even if a game had an element of chance but it still majorly depends on skill, it will never be included as a game of “mere skill”.
In a recent development, the Punjab and Haryana High Court in a 29-page order has clearly stated that playing fantasy games online requires considerable skill, judgment and discretion and such games can’t be considered gambling.
Future of Fantasy Sports in India
In a growing economy such as India, Fantasy sports on Cricket, Kabaddi and Football have gained huge popularity along with increasing pace of technology.
With this said, there’s no doubt in stating that India will continue to be a spot of attraction for the foreign sports operators and sports industry in terms of expanding their operations. With about 500 million expected internet users in the year 2017 out of which 400 million accessing the internet via mobile devices, India is a sure shot choice for fantasy sports operators.
About GammaStackGammaStack is a team of technology specialists and fantasy sports consultants. Our business consultancy team keeps a very close eye on the recent developments in fantasy sports industry across the world. We work with fantasy sports start-ups, leagues and sports brands to answer the mostly asked question “How to execute fantasy sports and iGaming business idea successfully?”.