Fantasy sports in India may not be as widespread as it is in North America but the sector is certainly turning a lot of heads within the subcontinent. India is a country that loves sports and cricket is as popular as a sport can get in a nation. With so many hard-core sports fans who all have their own opinions and strategies, it is no wonder that fantasy gaming is growing so rapidly across India.

If you’re looking for a quick overview of fantasy gaming apps in India, then you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to shed some light on what is fantasy sports, how India has responded to the introduction of fantasy sports, whether fantasy sports is legal in India and we also go over some of the most popular fantasy gaming apps that are currently operating in the country.

If you think you know your sport, be it cricket, football, or kabaddi, it is time to put your money where your mouth is by playing fantasy sports.

India’s Most Popular Fantasy Sports

Here are some of the most popular fantasy sports games in India:

Fantasy Cricket

Like in the actual sport itself, a fantasy cricket team is comprised of 11 players. The manager of the fantasy team needs to pick at least 1 wicketkeeper, 3 batsmen, 3 bowlers, and an all-rounder. Among them, at least 4 players participating in the real-world match must be included.

The scoring system for fantasy cricket is contingent upon whether it is a test match, a conventional one-day match, or a T20 match. IPL fantasy sports contests can be found on platforms like Dream11, My11Circle, and others.

Fantasy Football

In fantasy football, users are given a sum at the start of the game which they can use to buy players and make their squad. Basically, 15 players including substitutes need to be purchased and so managers cannot simply buy the best players in the world, they are forced to spend their money strategically and build a good team.

Each position (forward, midfield, defender, and a goalkeeper) has its own scoring system in fantasy football. A keeper can earn 5 points for saving a penalty, 4 points for keeping a clean sheet, midfielders can earn 3 points for an assist, and a striker can earn 4 points for a goal, and so on.

Fantasy Kabaddi

Thanks to the Vivo Pro Kabaddi League, the country has become interested once again in this sport that originated some 4000 years ago in Tamil Nadu. If you are interested in playing fantasy kabaddi, you only need to pick two players which are a captain and a vice-captain.

For every point your captain scores in the real-world game, you receive two fantasy points and for every point your vice-captain scores in the real-world game, you receive 1.5 fantasy points.

Dream11: India’s Most Popular Fantasy Gaming App

India fantasy sports enthusiasts now have a myriad of fantasy apps to choose from. This includes Dream 11, Paytm First Games, My11Circle, Ballebaazi, and several others. Dream11 is India’s oldest and most popular fantasy gaming app.

On this platform, members can compete in fantasy cricket, fantasy football, fantasy basketball, fantasy kabaddi, fantasy volleyball, and fantasy basketball at this time. The app is currently offering a sign-up bonus of INR 100 for new players and also a referral bonus of INR 200.

Signing up is easy and only takes a couple of minutes. You may even sign up by linking an existing Google or Facebook account. Payments can be made via UPI, credit card, debit card, e-wallets, and net banking.

You can withdraw your winnings or existing money and it usually takes around 3 days for the withdrawal to be processed. You cannot withdraw lesser than INR 100 in a transaction.

Future Of Fantasy Sports In India 

With the introduction of fantasy sports apps like Dream11 and others, the prevalence of fantasy games in India has soared. The Indian fantasy sports sector is anticipated to be worth $2.5 billion in 2022, as per an analysis conducted by the Fixed Income Clearance Corporation – Entertainment & Media.

By 2024, the market is predicted to be valued at $3.7 billion, with a compound annual growth rate of 32 percent. Research indicates that the fantasy sports sector is presently producing profits that were previously inconceivable, thanks to a user base of over 90 million strong (a stat from 2019).

The fantasy gaming mania isn’t going away anytime soon. The future for fantasy sports in India looks promising as more sports are starting to be onboarded and it is not only cricket that takes the spotlight anymore.

It is estimated that the total number of users will surpass 150 million in 2022. When we take into account the sheer population of India and the fact that India is a sports-loving country where the tech industry is thriving, it seems a no-brainer that the sub-continent is perfectly positioned for some serious growth in the fantasy sports sector. Esports betting getting hugely popular in the last few years is a great indicator of things to come.

A report from the National Institution for Transforming India highlights that the fantasy sports segment in India has the capacity to rope in Foreign Direct Investment of over INR 10,000 crores in the near future.

Is It Legal To Play Fantasy Sports In India?

The legality of fantasy sports in India varies per state. In the majority of states, playing fantasy sports is perfectly legal and it is regulated by the Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports. This federation has been established in order to safeguard the interests of consumers and set certain standards and best practices.

In a few states, such as Assam, Odisha, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Nagaland, and Odisha, fantasy sports are banned.

According to ‘The Public Gaming Act of 1876’ (a central law), public gambling houses are banned but as provisioned in the constitution, states have the authority to make their own laws regarding betting and gambling. However, fantasy sports are seen as a game of skill and are hence categorized separately from the confines of gambling.

Precedence for the legality of fantasy sports in India was set in the case of Varun Gumber v. UT of Chandigarh & Ors. In this case, the court stated, Playing of fantasy game by any participant user involved forming of a virtual team by him which certainly required considerable skill, judgment, and discretion. The participant had to assess the relative worth of each athlete/sportsperson as against all athlete/sportspersons available for selection. He was further required to study the rules and regulations of the strength of athlete or player and weakness also.

Essentially, the court unequivocally said that fantasy sports is completely a game of skill and cannot be considered gambling.

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