Fantasy sports is a rapidly growing industry in India, with over 18 crore users and more than 300 platforms available. The industry, which allows users to create virtual teams of real-life players and compete against each other based on their performance, reported revenues of ‘6,800 crore in FY22, almost tripling from FY20. According to a joint report by Deloitte and the Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS), the industry is projected to attain a revenue of Rs 25,240 crore by FY27, with a user base of 50 crore. This article delves into the factors contributing to this growth and the future of the industry.

Driving Factors

The growth of the fantasy sports industry can be attributed to a combination of infrastructural and market-led factors. With the increasing digital infrastructure, digital payments have also increased. Moreover, the recent introduction of regulations for the online gaming industry would spur more growth for the industry. Under the new rules, an industry-led self-regulatory organization will have the power to decide which games can be offered to users. The government has cautioned that it will not allow wagering or betting of any kind, nor permit games that cause harm to consumers.

Beyond Cricket

Indian fantasy gamers also tend to explore sports other than cricket on these platforms. Gamers turned to these sports depending on the real-life tournaments of these games and promotions offered by the fantasy gaming intermediaries. This, in turn, encourages viewership of the live sport, driving up the value of media rights and increasing investment in sports assets. Fantasy sports platforms have also contributed about Rs 3,100 crore in FY22 to real-world sports by way of sponsorships and partnerships.

Industry’s Future

The industry is expected to grow at a 30% compound annual growth rate till FY27. Clarity on certain aspects such as the goods and services tax to be levied on the industry will help sustain “sustainable growth” for the sector. These changes, however, should be in line with the representations made by the industry. With the increasing interest in fantasy sports, entrepreneurs like Ashneer Grover and cricketer Deepak Chahar have entered the fray with their own fantasy sports platforms.

In conclusion, the fantasy sports industry in India is a booming market with a bright future. With increasing digital infrastructure, regulations, and the introduction of self-regulatory organizations, the industry is projected to attain a revenue of Rs 25,240 crore by FY27. The industry’s growth can also be attributed to the encouragement of viewership of the live sport, driving up the value of media rights, and increasing investment in sports assets. The industry’s future looks promising as entrepreneurs continue to invest in this rapidly growing market.