The Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS), India’s only industry body for Fantasy Sports (FS), in collaboration with professional services firm Deloitte India, today unveiled the co-branded report titled ‘Fantasy Sports: A catalyst for the sports economy’ bringing the spotlight to the booming future of FS industry in the country.
The report studies the current landscape of the Indian fantasy sports industry and its impact on the Indian economy outlining key growth trends, its influence on the allied industries and finally its role in promoting India’s sports economy.
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It is noteworthy that the Indian FS industry, in line with the Atmanirbhar Bharat vision of the Government of India, is made in India, by Indians, for Indians, — with few examples in emerging digital industries, such as OTT and e-commerce. It has also rapidly become a hotbed for innovation, championing advanced AI/ML algorithms, white-labelling software for global companies, and breaking into the web3 space. In this manner, FS also exemplifies the Digital India philosophy.
With over 300 fantasy sports platforms (FSPs) and 18 crore users, India is the fastest-growing FS market in the world. The industry grew by 31% to INR 6,800 crore in FY22.
It is expected to touch INR 25,240 crore by FY27. The industry is currently valued at INR 75,000 Crores and 60% of user transactions on the FS platforms have come in through tier 2 and tier 3 cities.
The Industry’s Contribution to India’s Economy
FS have attracted INR 15,000 crore in FDI till FY 22 which is expected to touch INR 25,000 crore by FY27. It also contributed INR 4,500 crore by the way of taxes. This is expected to reach INR 26,000 crore in the next 5 years.
The GST contributions from the fantasy sports industry is expected to increase by 5x in the next 5 years, from Rs. 2,800 crores in FY18-FY22 to Rs. 14,700 crores between FY23-FY27.
The industry also created high-skill jobs for 12,800 people across the economy, creating a far greater impact on the society and larger ecosystem.
FS platforms indirectly employed 7,500 professionals in FY22, and are expected to generate 10,500 indirect job opportunities by FY27.
The driver of India’s Sports Economy
8% of FS users watch new sports and learn about new players and leagues. FS players invested INR 3,100 crore towards the development of the sports ecosystem by way of sponsorships and partnerships with various sports leagues in FY22. This number is expected to reach INR 6,500 crore in FY27.
FS is playing a key role in promoting non-cricket sports in India. 69.8% of users strongly agreed that they started to watch new sports and learn about new players and leagues as a result of their interest in playing fantasy sports. With increasing participation and viewership of women in sports, participation of women in FS is growing, comprising an estimated 30% of the user base at present.
Launching the report, FIFS Director General, Joy Bhattacharjya said, “We are thrilled to see the outstanding growth of India’s Fantasy Sports industry and its positive impact on the sports economy as well as the overall economic health of our country. Even with these heartening trends, we believe we are just getting started. We are thankful to MeitY and believe that under their regulation, our industry will accelerate growth, spur innovation and contribute even more significantly towards nation-building. We look forward to achieving the honourable PM’s vision for making India a global gaming superpower.”
Speaking at the launch event, Prashanth Rao, Partner, Consulting, Deloitte India said, “Our analysis suggests that fantasy sports hold tremendous potential to help build a resilient sports ecosystem in India and significantly contribute to the nation’s digital economy. The increased allocation for sports in the 2023 Union Budget, new innovations, investor confidence and growing consumer demand will help generate fresh prospects for entrepreneurs and stimulate the advancement of this sector in India.”
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The report also outlines the growth opportunities for FS such as increased investor confidence with a favourable regulatory framework and nodal agency that will spur FDI, and a growing interest in and viewership of sports other than cricket.
It also touched upon the inception of new leagues such as the Women’s Premier League and Women’s T20 World Cup and the overall spotlight on the AVGC sector.
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