Fantasy Sports Market in India is Booming

The COVID pandemic has caused a myriad of undesirable side-effects across consumer behavior, financial markets, geopolitics and now the betting industry in India has had its taste of what the new reality will look like. En masse consumers are turning to fantasy betting platforms in India as a means to pass the time and have some entertainment during these difficult times. In this article, we explore the new landscape of fantasy betting in India.

Football being struck.

Fantasy football betting has seen a marked rise in popularity across India. Investors both domestic and foreign are ploughing money into the new frontier as they seek to capitalize on the excitement. ©Comfreak/Pixabay

Many sports that are traditionally played in front of large crowds such as football and cricket have ground to a halt, the financial implications of this halt have been catastrophic for many club franchises up and down the country. Whilst this chaos ensued, the fantasy sports section of the Indian gambling market began thriving. New user numbers are through the roof, and month-on-month revenue figures are following a consistent upward trend.

In the wake of the pandemic, fantasy sports platforms appear to have taken the mantle upon themselves to open up a vast chasm of new markets. And that is exactly what they’ve done, at scale, under the fantasy sports networks that have been in development for the past few years. All of these initiatives have helped boost engagement within a subset of a new audience, providing much-needed publicity and revenue for club franchises and leagues during these difficult times.

Fantasy Sports in India is Now a Billion Dollar Industry

The growth in the Indian fantasy sports betting sector is an enormous positive in a year stacked full of negatives. Retail investors and larger funding groups alike have seen the value in the industry, and are prepared to pump enormous resources into the sector in 2021. As things stand the physical world of sports betting is in a vulnerable position, both in a regulatory sense and due to strains on the basic infrastructure.

At the SBC Digital India Conference, various industry leaders have spoken at length about the potential of this new market. Some important metrics and key performance indicators have already been identified. Given the huge digitalized population of India which is expected to double in strength to over 150 million users in 2021, it is no surprise that products and services that are well-equipped to service the demand are now receiving this extra attention.

A major source of growth for the Indian fantasy sports betting sector is the interest accrued from foreign investors. There are massive amounts of people around the world fueling this hype, and one example of foreign commercialization of sport is the UK’s Premier League. 90% of the brand partnerships are from gaming companies, and we’re beginning to witness a similar trend take hold in traditional Indian sports such as cricket.

But in order for the business to continue to grow at its current trajectory, more effort is needed to bring about fantasy sports offering for other traditional sports outside of cricket and football. Basketball and handball are already two of the newest examples of sports that can be easily brought into the market, all of which cast a wider net and brings in new users.

Taking things to another level of abstraction, we can see that the eSports calendar is awash with new entrants into the fantasy sports ecosystem. Since the COVID crisis, the eSports sector and platforms geared to offering fantasy betting options on these markets have seen tremendous growth, due to the physical restrictions imposed by the pandemic, virtual gaming and betting upon these games has become incredibly popular across India.

Viewership of eSports Surging in Pandemic

One thing is for sure, the COVID pandemic may have completely altered the social paradigm that people all over the world had previously become conditioned to. But not just this, their consumer behavior has been drastically altered, with high-value online industry’s experiencing decades worth of growth in a little over 6 months.

The world of eSports is offering a completely new experience for viewers of traditional sports. Allowing them to choose their favorite players, study the performance, analyze the important data from matches, and subsequently participate themselves if they feel so inclined.

But the main purpose and excitement on this drive of new interest is the impact on eSports fantasy betting in India. Similar to cricket, football, and the other classic sports outlined in this article, eSports betting is on the rise. The pandemic has provided a new platform for players in India, and all that stands in the way is outdated legacy regulations which will undoubtedly be reviewed and re-defined.

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