The Indian Premier League is one of the wealthiest sports competitions in the world – in part thanks to its phenomenal marketing strategy. For the first time in its history, sponsorships are migrating from the Smartphone sector to fantasy sports apps.
The move by IPL franchises to embrace fantasy sports as a revenue stream speaks to the sector’s growing popularity and social acceptance. There are hopes that the increasing tolerance for fantasy sports will lead to comprehensive regulatory standards for the industry and the sports betting sector further down the line.
What Is Fantasy Sports And Why Is It So Popular?
Fantasy Sports revolves around the premise of players constructing virtual teams to get the most points based on in-game statistics. It classifies as a game of skill, meaning many strict local regions deem it an acceptable pastime.
The popularity of Fantasy Sports can be explained by the social interaction it affords players within the community, a chance to compete in large leagues for big money, and a challenge to the player’s innate understanding of their sport. Above all, there’s no better feeling than your peers’ collective acknowledgement and respect of your cricket predictions – only those who finish top of the league will know how that feels.
Experts predict Fantasy Sports will go from strength to strength in India – and the boom in sponsorships is evidence of that.
Why is the Development of Fantasy Sports Exciting for Proponents of Gambling Legalisation?
Real money gaming app WinZO is emblazoned on the Kolkata Knight Riders’ kit for the IPL 22 season – the latest evidence to suggest Fantasy Sports is amid a stratospheric rise. Previously.
Indeed, a report from Mint suggests last year’s IPL franchises spent Rs 200 crore on TV and digital ad campaigns. According to a Statista report, the value of the fantasy sports market is expected to more than double by 2025 – it currently sits at a whopping 24 billion INR. It is forecast to reach 54 billion INR by 2025.
Sports marketing consultant Abhishek Ponia believes the current trend is eye-watering: “For one standalone category to go all out like this, it’s unprecedented. A lot of the money has flown in from traditional to new-age brands.”
The level of investment and exposure to real money fantasy gaming apps in the IPL could be just the fillip the casino and betting industry needs in India.
Why Should India Legalise Gambling?
Mounting evidence suggests that a nationwide, uniform approach to legalising gambling in India has wide-ranging benefits.
A paper from the industry body ENV Media titled Off-Shore Gambling Licenses and Regulated Markets believes a national body will provide the basis of a symbiotic relationship that works for the customer and the industry.
“Case studies suggest that it is in the interest of gaming operators to maintain high standards of product performance and consumer protection as convincing proof of the efficiency and effectiveness of locally regulated gambling licenses. The industry is at an inflection point and needs to capitalise on the advantages licensed online gaming has delivered for operators, players, and the public sector.”
The paper lists the following as tangible benefits of full licensing conditions:
- The public interest has much to gain from taxes, consumer protection, and job creation.
- Sector transparency will stimulate stable investor interest.
- The ability to eliminate undesirable effects is enhanced.
One of the most prescient arguments of many pro-license gambling proponents is how proper licensing can remove black market firms’ power over the most vulnerable in society.
The ENV Media study further solidifies those claims, stating:
“The goal of growing yet unregulated markets should be to achieve high consumer and public interest protection levels through modern legislation. Local jurisdiction licensing and legal channelling has proven as the most efficient means of achieving such ambitious long-term benefits.”