The growth of Fantasy Sports (FS) in India have transformed the behaviour of sports consumers in the country over the past decade.

Earlier, the fans were passive consumers of the sport, watching a match from the stands, or on their television sets, or listening to the commentary on the radio sets.

But now FS is growing as a safe credible way for fans of engaging with sports as active participants, widely approved by the High Courts and even the Supreme Court of India.

Being based entirely on one’s knowledge and awareness of sports, Fantasy Sports have become a highly engaging way of experiencing sports for the fans, explaining their steep rise over the years.

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Rather than just hearing about the weather forecast or pitch conditions before a match from the TV presenters, or learning about a player’s injury an hour before the match, sports consumers are actively doing their research before every game via news, chat shows, websites, etc., to increase their chances of success on FS platforms.

FS users with insights and awareness regarding the statistics, teams' strengths and weaknesses, playing conditions, and various other real-life sports-related factors have a stronger chance of building a more competent team, and hence, a higher probability of winning a contest.

Whether an FS user is participating as means to gain bragging rights among a group of peers, or to earn financial benefit, he/she has skin in the game. Hence, automatically, a consumer’s interest rate in a particular sporting event goes up.

Once a consumer makes his/her team, they are anxious to see how it is performing. Getting their predictions right gives a consumer an adrenaline rush as it is validating their judgements.

This is why sports fans continue to engage on FS platforms, and, in turn, continue to engage with actual sports on a larger scale than ever before.

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A study by Millward - Brown indicates that 60 percent of sports fans follow or watch more sports when engaged in FS.

With FS operators bringing in more fans’ viewership and a larger engagement to the product, it makes sense for sports leagues to make FS as their allies.

Hence, league tournaments such as the Indian Premier League (IPL), National Basketball Association (NBA) and Premier Kabbaddi League (PKL) - are also now partnering with FS operators for deepening engagement, viewership and building a closer connection with their fan base.

The increase in sports viewership correlates directly to more money and resources flowing into the development of sports, increased investments by brands, higher value media rights, and increased media attention.

These resources can bring upon a deeper focus on the grassroots development of sports, and improved sporting infrastructure in the nation, thereby completing a value chain that begins with increased and sustained development of sports in the country.

To continue this development in sports for years to come, it is essential for the Government of India to bring clarity to the rules and regulations governing Online Games of Skill, and determine Central legislation on the industry, so that laws can be imposed uniformly across the country.