The Economic Impact of Sports on India

Effects of Sports on Indian Economy

India is one of the most populous and diverse countries globally, and sports have always been a significant part of the country’s culture and history. Despite the growth and popularity of modern sports and games in recent years, India remains one of the few countries that have retained the adoption of their indigenous games. Ancient sports like kabaddi, kho kho, etc., still remain a significant part of the Indian sporting world today. Moreover, India also has a significant part in modern sports, with cricket being the country’s number one fixation. 

Cricket’s popularity in India remains unrivalled by any other sport in terms of TV viewership and active participation in several stadiums, schools and streets across India. Many people often refer to the sport as a religion because of the massive attention and adoption it receives in the country. However, it is essential to note that other sports like football, badminton, hockey, and basketball are also fast gaining prominence on the country’s sports scene alongside cricket.

The global sports sector has gone way beyond mere competition and entertainment. The industry has witnessed rapid development in recent decades, representing a medium for investment with huge potential returns from a financial point of view. Therefore, sports today have a significant impact on the economic development of a country. 

In recent years, the Indian sports sector has attracted significant investments in different segments that include the acquisition of sports teams, league partnership, media agreements and other areas of the sports industry, such as manufacturing, advertisement, TV rights, fitness equipment, online betting app and technologies from within and outside the country. Overall, the sports sector is an entire economy capable of contributing up to 5% of the country’s GDP. 

The Indian sports sector had been lagging slightly in growth and development until recently. However, industrialization and digitalization have benefited the industry to a large extent, spurring acceleration in the sports economy in the last few years. Today, the sports sector has undoubtedly affected India’s economy. Here are some of these effects:

Providing employment opportunities

Substantial evidence has demonstrated the role of sports in boosting a country’s economic prosperity is the creation of job opportunities. A prominent example is the Indian Premier League (IPL) – the biggest cricket league globally – which has played a significant role in generating jobs for people on an enormous scale. Other major sports such as football, hockey, tennis, basketball, and kabaddi, alongside their notable leagues, have also generated various employment opportunities.

In reality, the Indian sports business offers a diverse range of work opportunities in several fields, including sales, transportation, marketing, media, and finances. Players and coaches are not the only beneficiaries of the industry; instead, there is a wide range of occupational prospects. Hence, the sports industry efficiently contributes to India’s economic growth by reducing unemployment.

Boosts tourism

India has always been a prominent centre for tourist attraction because of its extreme diversity. However, in recent years, India’s sport has significantly influenced the country’s tourism – delivering thrills and excitement for visitors from both within and beyond the country.

Sports tourism involves travelling to watch a sports event; it is a multibillion-dollar industry worldwide. An excellent example of this is the IPL which attracts more than 350 million viewers every year – many of which travel to India from other nations. Due to recent improvements in infrastructure, transportation, and so on, sports tourism in India is steadily rising, with a growth rate of over 12%. Overall, sports have shown to be a substantial investment in the tourism business, producing significant revenue, thereby boosting economic growth.

Increase in tax contributions 

A successful sports competition will always result in broader benefits for India, including tax contributions to the country’s treasury. Payment of taxes by top-rated sports bodies, teams and players in the country generally result in increased revenue for the government, which can be channelled into other areas of the country’s economy.

However, certain sports bodies are identified as charitable and non-profit organisations and therefore tax exempted according to the income tax Act of 1961. Meanwhile, athletes and professional leagues, such as the IPL and some other recently emerging leagues, are not tax-exempt because they’re run to make profits. Therefore, they pay significant amounts in taxes.

Community development

Besides individual development, sport can also play a significant role in communal development, which fosters economic growth. Overall, the increased exposure and visibility, revenue, and job possibilities that sports provide contribute to stimulating community development. Also, sport is often seen as a means of bringing individuals of various backgrounds together to engage and integrate via participation which helps diverse communities become stronger in unity.


The sporting industry has developed over the years, and it is no longer limited to competition, entertainment, or enthusiasm. Today, sports play a vital role in a country’s economic development and progress. Don’t forget to visit Parimatch for a fantastic betting experience.


  • As per the Public Gambling Act of 1867, all Indian states, except Goa, Daman and Sikkim, prohibit gambling
  • Land-based casinos are legalized, with certain guidelines, in Goa and Daman, as per the Goa, Daman and Diu Public Gambling Act 1976  
  • Land-based casinos, Online gambling and E-gaming (games of chance) are legalized in Sikkim under the Sikkim Online Gaming (Regulation) Rules 2009
  • Only some Indian states have legalized online/regular lotteries as per and subject to the conditions laid down by state laws. Kindly refer to the same here
  • Horse racing and betting on horse racing, including online betting, is permitted only in a licensed premise in select states. Kindly refer to the 1996 Judgement by the Supreme Court Of India here and for more information
  • This article does not endorse or express the views of Qrius and/or any of its staff.
EconomicImpact Of Covid-19IndiaSports