The Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS) has said that Niti Aayog’s draught guiding principles will give the online fantasy sports business in India the needed fuel for “responsible expansion.” According to the organisation, it will also provide fair possibilities for all operators while protecting consumer interests and preventing any potential malpractices.
Niti Aayog stated in a draught report titled “Guiding Principles for the Uniform National-Level Regulation of Online Fantasy Sports Platforms in India” that there is public interest in the fantasy sports industry gaining official recognition and having its own identity.
It has advocated for the establishment of a single self-regulatory organisation for the online fantasy sports sector, which would be overseen by an independent oversight board, as well as the restriction of online fantasy games to those aged 18 and over.
“The draught guiding principles for online fantasy sports released by the NITI Aayog are welcomed by FIFS, as they would provide the necessary impetus for the responsible growth of the online fantasy sports market in India… These standards ensure that all operators have equal opportunity, protect consumers’ interests, and prevent any potential malpractice in the industry,” FIFS Chairman Bimal Julka stated.
For member operators and fantasy sports consumers, FIFS, a self-regulatory industry association for fantasy sports, has set standards of best practise and a consumer grievance redressal process, he noted.
According to the Niti Aayog’s draught guidelines, the current legal ambiguity and disparate treatment of fantasy sports games across Indian states must be resolved by establishing a standard national-level safe-harbor for fantasy sports activities.
This, it claims, will allow for the establishment of a unified national fantasy sports legislation, providing clarity to regulators, operators, and customers alike.
According to a recent analysis by KPMG, the number of users participating in online fantasy sports in India has increased at a CAGR of 212 percent, from 2 million users in June 2016 to 90 million users in December 2019.
The fantasy sports business is expected to draw more than Rs 10,000 crore in foreign direct investment over the next few years, as well as 1.5 billion online transactions by 2023, according to the report.
In the next 2-3 years, according to a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers India, the fantasy sports business has the potential to produce an extra 5,000 direct and 7,000 indirect jobs.
Several high courts, including the Rajasthan, Punjab, and Haryana High Courts, have evaluated the game’s legality and upheld it as a game of basic skill, according to Bhavin Pandya, co-founder and CEO of Games24x7 (makers of My11Circle).
Countries all around the world have recognised fantasy sports’ critical role in fostering a healthy sports ecosystem, he continued.