Indian Federation of Sports Gaming (IFSG) has announced the appointment of John Loffhagen as its president. Loffhagen will drive IFSG’s agenda of creating a thriving ecosystem for sports, gaming users and operators in a number of ways including laying down guidelines for a common set of industry practices, dissemination of know-how to members and assisting with potential arrangements with rights holders for the benefit of members.
An international legal expert, Loffhagen trained and qualified as a lawyer in the city of London where he spent eight years practicing corporate and commercial law. In 1998, he joined IMG in London, becoming the head of legal for EMEA in 2000. John spent his early years at IMG working on acquisitions and joint ventures in several sectors including football and entertainment. His stint with IMG is soon coming to an end, but he retains an ongoing interest and much enthusiasm for business in India with his deep understanding of the industry landscape in the country.
John has played an instrumental role in establishing the IPL T20 cricket and ISL football tournaments. He was actively involved in framing the rules, regulations and the governance structure of these events. He is also associated with a UK law firm, Onside Law as a consultant.
Commenting on his new role, Loffhagen said, “In recent years, India has witnessed an exponential growth in the number of fantasy sports users, making it a popular trend amongst sports fans in the country. An increasing number of operators are now entering the market to provide sports fans with even more immersive experiences. This rising phenomenon presents immense opportunities for investors, upcoming operators, and key policymakers to work together towards building this rapidly-growing industry. I am delighted to be a part of IFSG and I look forward to strengthening the buzzing fantasy sports ecosystem in the country.”
Currently, IFSG has 11 members that are working together to create standardised best practices and drive self-regulation. Some of the members include Baadshah Gaming, Vinfotech, Fantain, etc. StarPick, who recently launched its India operations during the T20 season, is the latest to come on board.
Commenting on John’s appointment, IFSG chairman Harsh Jain said, “John’s association with IFSG is an important development for the industry at large because his rich experience will aid IFSG as a Self Regulatory Organisation to frame industry benchmarks with strong governance. Today, Indian sports fans enjoy a truly immersive and engaging viewing experience with fantasy sports, thanks to the convergence of sports and technology. It is at this nascent stage that having a standardised framework for operations and best practices in the industry becomes imperative. Under John’s guidance, IFSG will liaise with key industry stakeholders to create a common set of practices and drive self-regulation, thereby protecting the user and operator interests.”