According to a research released earlier this month, a third of urban Indians claim to have played online fantasy sports for money in the previous month, with female participants nearly equal to men (35 percent men vs 32 percent women).
The Indian fantasy sports market has grown at an incredible rate during the last few years. Despite the widespread assumption that gaming is only linked with men, YouGov research data shows that women are actively involved and participating.
According to YouGov's Gambling Profiles data, nearly one-third of urban Indians (28%) stated they want to play fantasy sports for money in the next 30 days, with slightly more than a quarter of women saying the same (26 per cent).
Gambling is such a major industry that brands and partners deserve to have accurate and always-on data at their fingertips.Oliver Rowe, YouGov’s Global Sector Head of Leisure & Entertainment, mentioned in a statement.
With the advances in technology, seismic impact of Covid-19, and the contrasting changes in regulation around the world, YouGov Global Gambling Profiles represents the most comprehensive, in-depth and valuable dataset in the market. This tool is an important step in moving the conversation away from generic ideas about gambling and toward a more nuanced view of the distinct consumer bases within this competitive space.Rowe added.
Besides from fantasy sports, online casino slot games and online poker appear to be prominent among urban Indian women, with over a quarter claiming to have played these games for a living in the previous month (23 per cent for each).
When women were asked which online gaming apps they had used in the previous week, Dream11 emerged as the most popular and highly used one to play online money games.
Men and women use the app in about equal amounts (43 per cent vs 39 per cent). On the other hand, women in comparison to men utilize apps like Spin Casino, Spin Samba, and Casino Midas more often than men.
When you look at the profile of active female fantasy gamers in India (those who have played an online fantasy sport for money in the last month), you'll see that they're more likely to be married with children (56%) and live in tier-1 cities (52 per cent ).
A big percentage of them (44%) are in the (30-44)-year-old age bracket and come from middle-income families (45 per cent). They prefer more to live in India's north and south (32 per cent and 27 per cent, respectively).
In India, a third of female fantasy sports enthusiasts spend less than a thousand rupees each month on fantasy sports games (33 per cent).
Only 16% claim to spend more than $10,000 on online fantasy gaming, while nearly one-fifth (21%) claim to spend between $1,000 and $10,000.
The information comes from YouGov Global Gambling Profiles, the first product of its kind to provide unrivalled knowledge on gambling audiences ranging from bets to branding. It is based on over 500,000 interviews per year, with new data gathered and updated regularly, and it offers an instant snapshot of the size, makeup, attitudes, and behaviours of gambling customers in 24 major markets, namely India.
Fantasy sports in India seems to have a bright future.
Long ago fantasy sports became popular in India, sports consumption was limited to passive enjoyment in the comfort of one's own household. Fantasy sports has revolutionised the way people consume their favourite sport; they are no longer passive spectators, but active participants who are kept on the edge of their seats by this type of gaming.
Fantasy sports has become a facilitator in a country like India, where every sports fan has an opinion and believes himself to be experienced, bringing sports enthusiasts closer to the real-time action. Although cricket has dominated fantasy sports in India (in terms of subscriptions and popularity), other sports including football, kabaddi, and basketball (NBA) have begun to acquire traction during recent times.
As per the Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS) and KPMG's recent research "Business of Fantasy Sports," the gross revenue of fantasy sports operators in FY20 was Rs. 2,400 crores (US$ 340.47 million), up 3X from Rs. 920 crore (US$ 131.64 million) in FY19 yoy increase.
By 2024, the Indian fantasy sports sector is anticipated to be worth $3.7 billion, presenting a big potential for newcomers. In the last decade, the industry has observed that the number of fantasy sports operators has increased by 700 percent, while the number of fantasy sports consumers has increased by 2,500 percent.
It is vital to establish a governing body to develop and regulate the rapidly booming industry, that's the fantasy sports market, which is rapidly attaining critical mass and different operators are arising with various business strategies and products.
The growth of digital infrastructure, the increase in mobile internet subscribers, favourable demographics and rising disposable income, tech geek and fanatic sports watching Indian millennials, and growing investor interest in fantasy sports are all driving the Indian fantasy sports business. In addition, recent case law has established fantasy sports as a skill-based activity, as opposed to unlawful activities like sports betting. This has created a conducive environment for the business to thrive and become more accessible and entertaining for Indian sports enthusiasts.
The fantasy sports market is now in its development, with various start-ups vying for the attention of the nation's 800 million sports fans. This trend is likely to continue as these companies compete for marketers, customers, and investors in various sporting events.
Low-priced data plans and huge mobile phone penetration have made these start-ups an attractive option for investors, in addition to Indians' insatiable love for sports, particularly cricket. Investors have poured $112 million into India's sports fantasy marketplaces in the last five years.
According to economic times, in 2018, Tencent, a Chinese Gaming and social media global investment holding corporation, led a $100 million Series D funding round for Dream 11. Tencent, together with other investors such as Kalaari Capital and private equity firm Multiples Alternate Asset Management, supported Dream11's $100 million series D fundraising three years ago. This led to a massive increase in financial value for the year 2018.
As per the Inc42 last year's report, the startup established by Bhavit Seth and Harsh Jain was seeking to achieve $235 million from at least four private equity companies, namely TPG Capital, Tiger Global Management, and Footpath Ventures.
Nevertheless, increased competition, customer acquisition comes at a steep price, and creative offers by well-funded market leaders to keep and gain their customers, as well as the business impact of COVID-19, are expected to lead to some industry combinations in the short to medium term.
Last year in September, Dream 11, an indigenous online fantasy sports platform, substituted Vivo, a Chinese phone manufacturer as the title sponsor of the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL), pushing fantasy sports into the forefront.
Fantasy sports to contribute India's sports industry foreseeable development
India is quickly establishing itself as a fantasy sports hotspot, owing to the country's high internet penetration and widespread smartphone use, both of which are considered as adding to the country's sports growth.
Cricket remains to be the most popular sport, although the younger generation is becoming increasingly interested in other sports such as hockey, kabaddi, football, basketball, volleyball, and baseball. According to a white paper published by Indiatech, this increased interest in other sports can be due in part to fantasy sports, which have brought together many huge businesses and celebrities.
The Indian fantasy sports business has developed rapidly in recent years. According to the FIFS-KPMG 2020 study, gross revenues of online fantasy sports operators reached 2,400 crore in FY20, up nearly thrice from 920 crore the previous year.
As per Indiatech's whitepaper, Indian online fantasy sports platforms have gained significant international funding. According to the FIFS report, foreign direct investment inflows totaled Rs 1,500 crore between 2018 and 2019.
However, as per industry estimates, internet fantasy sports platforms and operators spent a total of 166 crore in goods and services tax (GST) in FY19 and 445 crore in FY20.
Numerous existing businesses, including online sports scoring platforms, content aggregators, sports merchandise and e-commerce, online sports streaming, and digital payments, have benefited from the online fantasy sports industry. Several major corporations are considering using internet fantasy sports to sell their goods.
The Indian online gaming market is presently worth $43.8 billion, as per KPMG, and is expected to reach $118.8 billion by FY23, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.1 percent. The Indian fantasy sports sector, on the other hand, is developing at a 32 percent CAGR and is predicted to be worth $3.7 billion by 2024.
The Indian Premier League (IPL) is still the most popular league, with platforms like Dream11, Mobile Premier League, and MyTeam11 capitalising on it.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and NITI Aayog have launched the AatmaNirbhar Bharat Innovate Challenge, which is expected to bring more complex gaming apps to the market. This move is likely to help the future growth of the Indian mobile gaming business and increase India's sports revenue, which is expected to be the country's most important revenue earner.
The tremendous opportunity for Indian gaming developers and publishers to capitalise on this potential and fill the supply gap is expected to arise.