Why Fantasy Gaming Industry is Booming in India?

FANTASY GAMING: “YEH APNA GAME HAI” with this campaign, Dream11, a fantasy gaming company, bagged the Title Sponsorship of IPL 2020. It made us wonder what fantasy gaming is. How did it become so popular to bag IPL 2020 title sponsorship?

The first question that crossed our mind was, is this way of gaming even legal in India? Well, yes, it is. According to Indian law, any game which is played with skills, judgment, and knowledge is legitimate. A fantasy game like Dream11 involves all these attributes.

A fantasy game is an online game, where a virtual team comes together to play a tournament. Based on these tournaments, a player is rewarded with points. These points can further be cashed or can be redeemed for vouchers. Not only this, but these games will also reward you for inviting your friends to play.

For sports enthusiasts, this is a great way to play game online and earn while quarantined at home. This gaming industry boosted to a large extent during the Covid-19 lockdown. More and more people indulged themselves in games like cricket, hockey, basketball, tennis, etc. to both passing the time and earn money.

According to July 2019, the fantasy gaming market is as big as $150 Bn and it is expected to reach about $257 bn by 2025, witnessing a CAGR of 9.17% throughout 2020-2025. In India, this sector also saw a 160% increase in revenue jumping to Rs. 2,400 Crores in FY 2020.

Major investment banks like Vereeni Investments, Go Ventures, Sequiona Capital India, Steadview Technologies, Beenext, Titan Capital, etc., gaming experts like Nazara Technologies, Delta Corp, and digital platforms like Times Internet along with several angel investors are investing in this sector in India.

IPL season is the best time in India for these gamers. The fantasy game players not only play with the game, they also earn by predicting the player’s move. As all these moves that the fantasy players predict are based on careful examining, skills, and judgment, this kind of betting is taken to be safe betting. What makes it one of the best games and different from betting is that these games are not played on chance.

Hence, these games are also promoted by several sports players like MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli. Recently Sachin Tendulkar also associated himself with Paytm First Games. The number of these players are rising regularly. The CEO of FanFight, another Fantasy Game is expecting to reach 10 million players in the current IPL season. Fanspole too announced pre-seed funding by Better capital to launch its fantasy gaming app.

For this IPL season starting on 19th September 2020, fantasy gaming companies like Dream11, Paytm First Gamers, My11Circle, HalaPlay, etc. have been spending millions. Experts suggest that these amounts could also reach up to $1bn. The reason these companies are betting such huge amounts on marketing is believed to be Covid-19 Lockdown.

It is expected that in 2020 IPL, people can give more time to play games online.

In September 2020, Dream11 parent entity, Dream Sports, managed to raise a $225 mn investment led by Tiger Global Management and others. This is expected to be at a valuation of about $2.5 bn. Dream11 also bagged the title sponsorship for IPL 2020 at Rs 222 CRS.

Along with that, it has also partnered with Hotstar, Star Sports for broadcasting partners, and many other on-air sponsorship deals. The total investment by Dream11 is up to Rs. 500 cars for IPL 13.

This opens gateways and many other opportunities for many such companies. It will be a great spectacle to see how this industry grows further and makes a prominent space in our economy.

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