With the commencement of IPL season 16, gaming platforms are monetising their audience in order to boost the “IPL Economy.” The gross gaming revenue of fantasy sports during IPL (Indian Premier League) 2023 is expected to grow by 30% to 35% to reach ₹2,900 to ₹3,100 crore in CY2023, according to the latest report by Redseer Strategy Consultants. In the IPL 2022, the fantasy sports revenue stood at ₹2,260 crore, whereas in CY21 the fantasy sports revenue stood at ₹1,460 crore. The revenue of fantasy sports in CY2019 stood at ₹990 crore.

Fantasy cricket/sport is an online game where fans can create virtual IPL teams of real cricketers playing in the season. The fantasy game requires users to play strategically, know each player's records, and make their own estimations. Points are earned based on the performance of their players in actual matches, with the platforms offering lucrative prize money to the users.

The report estimates that the IPL market size is expected to have grown because of several factors, including increased awareness of fantasy gaming and new platforms increasing their marketing efforts.

"Steep growth in fantasy sports gaming will come from tier 2 cities driven by increasing adoption of fantasy platforms and cross-migration of users from other games. Increased internet accessibility will give a push to the IPL economy. Our estimates suggest that the average revenue per user is expected to grow from ₹410 in IPL 2022 to $440 per user in IPL 2023," says Ujjwal Chaudhary, Partner, Redseer Strategy Consultants.

Since its inception in 2008, IPL has predominantly been a televised sporting event with an audience of around 100 million viewers. Over the years, its viewership peaked at 460 million in IPL2012-2019 During the two years of covid-19, IPL viewership on TV dropped by 10% as the lack of live sporting events caused many sports viewers to migrate to OTT platforms. With its proliferation into the digital space and increasing internet accessibility, the report says that 80% of fantasy game users come from tier-2 cities and beyond. The report says that transacting users during IPL season is expected to grow by 25-30% in 2023, with nearly 60-65% of users coming from Tier-2 cities and beyond.

As per the report, most fantasy sports platforms have increased their marketing efforts before the IPL season in order to acquire and convert more and more users on the platforms. Real Money Gaming users have received a positive push owing to the formalisation of rules and regulations regarding GST on such platforms. Google allowing fantasy platforms on the Google Play Store will further increase transacting users during IPL 2023.

“There has been an increase in efforts to make platforms more secure and reliable for the users. Measures like RNG certification, secure payment gateways, and fraud security, increase user trust in the platforms, and subsequently build confidence in the users to spend higher amounts on gaming,”  adds Saurav Kumar Chachan, Director, Redseer Strategy Consultants.

Follow us on Facebook, X, YouTube, Instagram and WhatsApp to never miss an update from Fortune India. To buy a copy, visit Amazon.