The IPL 2023 season witnessed an unprecedented surge in fantasy gaming revenue, reaching an impressive Rs 2,800 crore, according to Redseer's analysis. Compared to the previous year's revenue of Rs 2,250 crore, this marks a substantial 24% increase.
The overwhelming participation of 61 million users further emphasizes the growing popularity of fantasy gaming. With a remarkable compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30% since IPL 2019, the industry's upward trajectory shows no signs of slowing down.
"IPL 2023 witnessed revenue of Rs 2,800 crore with about 61 million users participating on Fantasy Gaming Platforms," the report said.
Skill or Luck? The Perpetual Debate Surrounding Fantasy Gaming
The surging popularity of fantasy gaming has reignited the long-standing debate about its classification as a game of skill or chance. Advocates argue that fantasy sports require expertise, knowledge, and strategic thinking to analyze and develop winning strategies, aligning them with the legal provisions outlined in Article 19(1)(g) of the Indian Constitution. They firmly believe that success in fantasy gaming relies on skill and decision-making abilities.
However, critics perceive it as a form of betting, prohibited in India, and raise concerns about the potential risks associated with gambling-like behaviour. The ongoing discussions surrounding the legal status of fantasy sports add complexity to the industry's regulatory framework.
The Future of Fantasy Gaming in India
The rapid growth of fantasy gaming platforms presents promising prospects for the industry. Analysts project a further 30-35% increase in gross gaming revenue during IPL tournaments, potentially reaching INR 2,900 to INR 3,100 crore in 2023. Moreover, the average revenue per user is expected to rise, indicating increased user engagement and monetization opportunities.
"BCCI, Franchise, and Broadcasters earned 65% of the total spend as direct revenue. The remaining 35% of indirect revenue was earned as ad revenue by social media platforms, traditional media, and other internet platforms," the report said.
While the industry holds great promise, it also faces challenges. Concerns have been raised about a potential increase in the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which could negatively impact smaller players and discourage new entrants. This could stifle innovation and impede industry growth. Additionally, there is a need for clear regulatory frameworks and policies to ensure fair and responsible gaming practices, addressing the concerns raised by critics and establishing a secure environment for users.
The rising revenue generated by fantasy gaming apps during IPL 2023 highlights the growing interest and participation in this virtual sports engagement. As the debate rages on regarding skill versus chance, the industry looks toward a bright future. The government's role in formulating clear regulations and GST policies will shape the path ahead for fantasy gaming in India.