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Fantasy sport grows in real time, 71% play cricket: report

Gaming insights: The report was unveiled at the IFSG’s GamePlan 2019 on Monday.

Gaming insights: The report was unveiled at the IFSG’s GamePlan 2019 on Monday.  

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Online gaming revenues to grow 22%, says KPMG survey

Fantasy sport seems to be a hit in the country, with 71% playing fantasy cricket and 54%, fantasy football, according to a report, ‘The Evolving Landscape of Sports Gaming in India’, by the Indian Federation of Sports Gaming (IFSG), a self-regulatory body for the sports gaming sector, and KPMG India. The report was unveiled on Monday at the IFSG’s second flagship event, GamePlan 2019.

Fantasy sport is a type of online game where participants assemble imaginary or virtual teams of real players of a professional sport. At least 20% of the respondents reported playing fantasy sports more than five times a week, while the opportunity to win money was a motivator for around 30%.

The report was based on a dipstick survey conducted by KPMG, taking into account 336 consumers who have played fantasy sports in the past 12 months. Online gaming, it said, is on the rise in India, with revenues expected to grow at 22% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) from financial year 2018 to financial year 2023.

“Apart from cricketing apps, boxing, badminton and football are picking up in Play Store. During the Indian Premier League, search queries go up by 85%,” said Vikas Agnihotri, country director of sales, Google India.

Harsh Jain, chief executive officer (CEO) and Co-Founder, Dream11, a fantasy sport, said the number of people playing fantasy cricket has come down to 80% from 95%. “People are getting access to sports they had never heard of. We are assuming that over next two to three years, engagement with cricket will go down by 65%,” he said.

Mr. Agnihotri emphasised the emergence of other sports. “Today people want to understand rules of kabbadi more than any other sport,” he said.

Similarly, Ricky Thussu, global head of sales, International Hockey Federation, said once people see their country doing well, they back up, regardless of sport.

Akhil Suhag, founder and CEO, Fanfight, a fantasy cricket and football site, spoke about fuelling sports fan engagement. “Indian football fans are ready to support international football but they are not really subscribing to Indian Super league. Football is doing much better than before in India, though,” he said.

Ipshita Dasgupta, president, Group Strategy, Pro-Kabbadi League (PKL) talked about challenges in making kabbadi mainstream. “Millenials have a shorter attention span and a sport which has big action every 30 seconds helps. We have also started persuading principals to start kabbadi in schools across the nation.”

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 12:47:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/fantasy-sport-grows-in-real-time-71-play-cricket-report/article26433221.ece

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