Fantasy gaming refers to online games where participants form imaginary sports teams and then participate in leagues and tournaments that replicate the game’s actual surroundings. The bulk of fantasy games involves building imaginary virtual teams out of a pool of real people who participate in the games based only on their knowledge, experience, and perception of the players and the teams.
Users who create virtual teams must adhere to a predetermined set of ideals when building their teams and pay a fee to compete. Then, the users are ranked according to how well the imaginary teams perform, ultimately deciding how much money they will make.
Fantasy Gaming Companies
- Dream11: Dream11 alone controls more than 90% of the fantasy sports industry and encourages more company owners and startups to view fantasy gaming as a quantifiable economic opportunity.
- Zapak: Zapak is an online gaming platform that provides gamers worldwide with browser games. It was launched in 2006 and is now being promoted by one of Reliance Big Entertainment’s top divisions.
- Mobile Premier League (MPL): It is an e-sports platform that enables users to participate in various skill-based mobile gaming competitions. As per reports, more than 90 million people use the app, with more than 70 games available. With a sizable user base in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, it is present in more than 5,200 cities and towns in India.
Fantasy Gaming and Gambling
People have differing opinions regarding fantasy gaming and gambling. While some believe it to be a form of gambling, others disagree.
Some people think Fantasy sports are technically digital sports interaction platforms based on authentic, sanctioned athletic events that are live-streamed by the rules of the relevant governing organizations.
Internet gambling has an entirely different framework where one plays and bets and is completely dependent on luck. In fantasy gaming, success is determined by a player’s intellect, analytical skills about the actual world, and knowledge of the sport rather than by random chance that might result in success or failure.
Whether fantasy sports qualify as games of ‘skill’ or ‘chance’ impacts the legal status of fantasy games as a subset of the larger online gaming business. To eliminate any misunderstandings, it can be said with certainty that platforms for fantasy sports are also recognized by the Supreme Court of India, which sustained decisions from three different High Courts that invalidated rules banning the activity under the pretext of gambling or betting. Accordingly, the protection of fantasy games as a legitimate business activity is provided under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution.
Although fantasy games have overcome many challenges, they are nevertheless subject to regulatory scrutiny in many places because they are incorrectly associated with illegal activities like gambling and betting and are considered a symptom of addiction.
According to some, fantasy games are seeking to capitalize on the popularity of sporting events by putting players in a controlled reality and providing easy access to gambling or betting on their favorite teams. Considering this, the companies operating these fantasy sports platforms are promoting online sports betting, which is the biggest threat to the long-term integrity of organized sports.
So in the most basic sense, Fantasy game platforms may be like sports betting or gambling in the virtual reality world. Although the strategy has evolved, the objective or the end results have not – exploiting people by giving them the potential to profit quickly by placing bets on the outcome of some ambiguous event.
Future of Fantasy Gaming
Over the past ten years, the fantasy sports gaming business has grown by an incredible 700%. As per reports, Over 90 million people participated in fantasy sports in 2019, and it is anticipated that this number will reach 150 million by the end of 2022. As a result, the fantasy sports industry is expected to generate around $3.7 billion by 2024.
This growth spurt is primarily due to the advent of user-friendly fantasy gaming platforms and rising internet penetration across the country. In addition, the launch of several more fantasy sports applications are also projected to rely heavily on digitization. This speedy rise can be attributed to the fact that many tech-savvy individuals, most of whom are young, now have access to the internet.