The online gaming industry to touch Rs 11,900 crore by 2023: KPMG

The Indian Federation of Sports Gaming (IFSG), the self-regulatory industry body for the sports gaming sector, and KPMG India launched a report on ‘The Evolving Landscape of Sports Gaming in India’ at its second flagship event – Game Plan 2019. The report provides an overview of the online gaming industry with a focus on fantasy sports and esports. Highlights the findings of a survey conducted by KPMG on fantasy sports users to understand their preferences and playing patterns; Aims to create awareness about the growth drivers of the fantasy sports market in India and the stark differences between fantasy sports, esports and sports betting; 72 per cent of respondents, the primary motivation for playing fantasy sports are fun and excitement. Further, 69 per cent of respondents say that there are no overlaps between fantasy sports and sports betting and amongst these, 81 per cent say that playing fantasy sports requires profound skill and knowledge Based on the overall theme of the economy of sports gaming, the GamePlan 2019 event hosted three separate panel discussions: Future of Online Sports Entertainment in India, Growth of Sports Gaming Ecosystem and Fuelling Sports Fan Engagement. Panellists included the likes of Facebook director global marketing  solutions Melinda Petrunoff; Google  country director sales Vikas Agnihotri ; AWS head business development Navdeep Manaktala,; Hotstar EVP and head product Varun Narang; Pro Kabaddi League president new strategy Ipsita Dasgupta,; FIH  global head and sales Ricky Thussu; KPMG partner Girish Menon,; Dream11 founder and CEO Harsh Jain; Wavemaker CEO SEA Karthik Sharma, Sportz Interactive CEO Arvind Iyengar, FanFight  founder and CEO Akhil Suhag, Fantain and sports  co-founder CPO  Arvind Ramachandran,  industry experts like Amrit Mathur, Gaurav Kapoor and Joy Bhattacharjya, PVL. Commenting on the occasion IFSG president  John Loffhagen, said, “With the rapidly growing digital infrastructure and emergence of new sports leagues, the Indian online sports gaming industry is witnessing a boom which shows no sign of slowing down. Exponential growth provides users with easy access to a vast variety of sports gaming apps, formats and genres. This could lead to potential confusion and misjudgement among players in choosing the right platform to engage with their favourite sport. As India’s only self- regulated industry body for sports gaming, we are dedicated to creating awareness about fantasy sports, encouraging operators to adopt ethical and best business practices and allowing sports fans to enjoy their favourite sports in a fun, exciting and safe manner.” KPMG in India partner and head – media and entertainment Girish Menon said, “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.” Key highlights from the KPMG Report:
  • 74 per cent of users play fantasy sports one to three times a week, with the majority playing once a week
  • 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
  • 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 5th most important factor for engagement
  • 54 per cent  of users play fantasy sports for free
  • 46 per cent of the respondents have played paid contests at least once in the last 12 months
  • Important to note that only 25-30 per cent of the spends on fantasy sports platforms come from the users’ pocket. 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
  • Majority of users from the top seven to eight cities of the country were found to be playing less frequently than some of the smaller cities in the country. Nearly 85 per cent of the respondents from the major cities play fantasy sports one to three times a week as compared to nearly 70 per cent of respondents from smaller cities who play more than four times a week on such platforms
  • 71 per cent of the respondents played fantasy cricket followed by 54 per cent playing football. The non-cricket sports leagues in India are also witnessing increasing traction.
  • 69 per cent of the respondents say that there are no overlaps between fantasy sports & sports betting. 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 safe & 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.
A survey was further conducted by KPMG taking into account 336 consumers who have played fantasy sports in the last 12 months. KPMG further expressed that the rapid growth in digital infrastructure has led to the growth of online gaming in the country, with the revenue is expected to touch Rs 11,900 crore by financial year 23. The online gaming industry that was pegged at Rs 2,000 crore in financial year 14 grew 2x to reach Rs 4,400 crore in financial year18. The revenue expected to clip at 22 per cent CAGR from 2018 to 2023 to touch Rs 11,900 crore, according to KPMG.
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