The meteoric rise of online fantasy sport in India was particularly documented during the 2020 edition of the Indian T20 League. The ongoing India tour of Australia, however, has seen a wave of massive surge, especially for sports betting companies like Betway and Dafabet.
Online fantasy sports are purely skill-based engagement platforms, and this has played its bit part in the growth of the digital economy in the country. Industry reports claim that one out of every seven or eight Indians is active on the fantasy sports platform. This has resulted in higher flow investments, and also the viewership in the low key tournaments/series. It is said that online fantasy sports will attract a whopping Rs 10,000 crore in foreign investment over the next few years.
Lack of recognition from the government and also the absence of a regulatory body means there is no particular framework for online fantasy. NITI Aayog recently decided to step up to release a draft 'Guiding Principles for the Uniform National-Level Regulation of Online Fantasy Sports Platforms in India' to look after the legal aspect of fantasy gaming. As per the draft, it has been documented that the fantasy sector has elevated the digital economy and it has the potential to generate 1.5 billion online transactions by 2023.
Online fantasy sports has time and again been mixed with betting and gambling, but NITI Aayog has mentioned that its identity must be entirely different than betting and gambling, as fantasy gaming requires knowledge and experience in creating a team. Even if the users are participating in a paid contest, entry amount is as low as Rs 35 and a majority of the users manage to recoup the amount invested. Note that fantasy sports are less addictive and its audience is relatively matured; between the ages of 25 and 40.
Under the supportive guidelines of Niti Aayog, one can expect fantasy sport to thrive and continue its contribution to digital growth.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Noah Seelam