Before the fantasy sports industry took India by storm, the way sports were consumed by the fans was restricted to watching it on TV or occasionally watching a match at a stadium. Today fantasy cricket games have changed the way fans enjoy their favorite sport. Those who were once just passive viewers have now become active participants, engaged in every match from the very beginning to the very end of the match.
In India every sports fan has an opinion on cricket and considers themselves a cricket expert. The fantasy sports industry has helped the regular fan to get closer to the real-time action in this sport. While it was expected that cricket, owing to its huge popularity, will emerge as the triumphant fantasy sport in India, other sports like football and kabaddi have also gained popularity.
Fantasy sports are skill-based online money games in which participants can select their own fantasy teams by selecting real players from real teams playing in upcoming real-world matches. Participants’ fantasy teams score points based on the real-life statistical performance of the players in the match. The participants whose teams are top scorers are declared winners.
The driving force for the Indian fantasy sports market is the growth of digital infrastructure in the country, the rapid increase in mobile internet subscribers and rising disposable income of Indians. Digital-savvy sports aficionados have caught the eye of investors and, in turn, they have increased their interest in fantasy sports. Moreover, some recent court decisions have established fantasy sports as a game of skill and ruled that playing fantasy sports for real money is not betting or gambling. These factors have set the industry for tremendous growth in the coming years.
The fantasy sports industry is still at a nascent stage in India but it is showing a lot of promise. As per a report by FIFS and KPMG, the gross revenue of fantasy sports apps in FY20 was ~Rs. 2400 crores. The industry is expected to be worth ~Rs. 2,70,000 crores by 2024. There has been a 700% increase in the number of fantasy cricket apps in the market and a 2500% increase in the number of fantasy sports players in India in the past decade.
While the major market share was captured by the early movers in this industry, new fantasy sports operators are emerging with their own set of USPs and advantages. One of the new entrants in this space is the fantasy cricket app Howzat. Operated by Junglee Games, Howzat has acquired over 8 million players in a short span of time and hosts over 100 different fantasy cricket leagues every day.
The Howzat fantasy cricket app is offering its players a chance to join fantasy leagues based on upcoming cricket, football and kabaddi matches. The app also offers a plethora of deposit offers and bonuses and has gained sports fans’ trust as one of the safest platforms to play fantasy cricket online. The credibility of Howzat is endorsed by cricket legends like Yuvraj Singh, Irfan Pathan, Kumar Sangakkara and Kieron Pollard. These legends were announced as the app’s official brand ambassadors in the last few months.
The collaboration between Howzat and the cricket legends does not end there. The players playing on the Howzat app also have the unique opportunity to play fantasy sports with the legends in Howzat’s “Beat the Legend” contests. The cricket legends select their fantasy teams for upcoming matches and the fantasy cricket players can challenge them in classic head-to-head fantasy cricket games.
The new feature was introduced around last year’s IPL and has proven to be a big hit. The Howzat app has shown a lot of potential and is all set to be a contender for a top-3 market share spot in the near future.
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