India’s online gaming industry is likely witness a growth rate of 22 per cent from 2018 to 2023 and expected to generate Rs 11,900 crore by 2023, a research report by KPMG and Indian Federation of Sports Gaming said. The report says it expects the user base for to cross 100 million by 2020 on fantasy sports platforms.
“Online gaming in India is seeing increased traction due to the growth of digital infrastructure, with fantasy sports emerging as an important segment in this space. With the number of fantasy sports operators growing rapidly and the number of users on fantasy sports platforms expected to cross 100 million by 2020, this segment has the potential to spawn a whole ecosystem around it, and could help deepen user engagement with their favourite sports,” Girish Menon, Partner and Head – Media and Entertainment at KPMG said.
Around 74 per cent of respondents play fantasy sports one to three times a week, with the majority playing once a week, while around 20 per cent of the respondents reported playing more than five times a week, which indicates the growing traction of the genre in the country, as per the report.
Across all age and income groups, ‘fun and excitement’ is the primary motivator for playing fantasy sports. For around 50 per cent of the respondents, the ‘ability to manage teams virtually’, ‘remain connected with the sport’ and ‘utilisation of sports knowledge’ were other important motivators for engagement.
The ‘opportunity to win money’ was seen as one of the motivators for around 30 per cent of respondents, however, this was only the fifth most important factor for engagement. Around 54 per cent of users play fantasy sports for free, while 46 per cent of the respondents have played paid contests at least once in the last 12 months, the report said.
It is important to note that only 25-30 per cent of the spends on fantasy sports platforms come from the users’ pocket. Nearly 70-75 per cent of the spends are re-investments coming from previous winnings, cash bonus or periodical promotional offers given by these platforms to their users.
Another interesting detail shared in the report is that majority of users for these games are from some of the smaller cities in the country, compared to those in the top seven-eight cities. According to the report, nearly 85 per cent of the respondents from the major cities play fantasy sports one to three times a week, and in comparison 70 per cent of respondents from smaller cities play more than four times a week on such platforms.
When it comes to genre of games, nearly 71 per cent of the respondents played fantasy cricket, which is not surprising considering the popularity of the actual sport in India. This was followed by 54 per cent respondents preferring football.
The non-cricket sports leagues in India are also witnessing increasing traction. Nearly 69 per cent of the respondents say that there are no overlaps between fantasy sports and sports betting. Over 81 per cent of these respondents believe that there is a significant amount of ‘Skill and Knowledge’ that goes into the selection of their fantasy sports teams.
Fairness, legality and secure nature of transactions are other aspects that draw users to play on fantasy sports platforms. Nearly 55 per cent of the respondents had an incorrect understanding of eSports, associating it exclusively with sports based games. A further 22 per cent of respondents were completely unaware of what eSports constitutes.