Sports have always been an integral part of the Indian society, with cricket, rugby, and football all at the top of the list, with millions of fans country-wide. For many years, fans have looked for ways to become more engaged with their favorite sports, and fantasy sports have been a way for them to do just that.
For several years, the Indian fantasy sports market has been exploding. Back in 2016, only around 2 million Indians were playing fantasy sports. Just a few years down the road, and that number has skyrocketed to over 100 million, and continues to grow by the day.
The fast-growing fantasy sports market in India has many things to thank, but the number one is certainly the incredible popularity of sports among the population. Namely, fantasy cricket has been able to draw in tens of millions of IPL fans, eager to capitalize on their years of knowledge about the sport.
Indian Fantasy Sports Today
2020 has been a strange year in many ways, with India going into a full lockdown over the Covid-19 pandemic for a time, and restrictions prohibiting sports fans from enjoying cricket and other games to the fullest.
While the fantasy sports industry was already booming, the pandemic only helped push it along, as it forced countless people to stay indoors and look for entertainment activities on the internet. Several dozen major Indian fantasy sports operators used this opportunity to grow their player bases with great success. At the same time, platforms like Starpick.in helped players learn more about fantasy sports and find the best apps to play on.
As of the end of 2020, some 100 Million Indians were involved with fantasy sports on some level. Fantasy sports generated USD 340 Million in revenues in 2020, a massive increase from the USD 131 Million recorded a year before. The number of players engaged in fantasy sports has gone up 25x in just a few years, and numerous new operators continue to emerge in the fledgling market.
Where Are We Headed?
If the fantasy sports numbers for 2020 seem high, you should have a look at the future projections. According to industry experts, fantasy sports may be worth as much as USD 3.7 Billion by 2024, which shows that the growth is likely to just keep going.
Some 100 Million users played fantasy sports in 2020, but hundreds of millions other potential players are out there, waiting to join the trend. What’s even more, of the 100 Million current users, most will likely come back in the years to come, and many are expected to increase their involvement by playing in more leagues and competing more frequently.
One of the biggest reasons why fantasy sports are destined for greatness in India is the fact that sports betting in the country is not legal. Other forms of gambling are also banned with local operators. Fantasy sports, on the other hand, are considered a game of skill and anyone is allowed to participate. This means that more operators will be looking to join the market and expand their offer, only making fantasy sports even more popular throughout India. This is the same reason why legally playing international lotteries in India is growing in popularity: as more people learn they can play, more opportunities for them to do so arise.