“The online fantasy sector operator’s gross revenues stood at over Rs 2,400 crore for the FY20 from Rs 920 crore in FY19, which is an increase of almost 3X over a period of 12 months,” said an IndiaTech whitepaper citing data from a Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS) and KPMG 2020 report.
Incepted in 2017, FIFS is a self-regulatory body which represents the online fantasy sports sector. The whitepaper highlights that the sector has attracted foreign investment to the tune of around Rs 1,500 crore between the years 2018 and 2019.
In the current calendar year, the leading players in online fantasy gaming — Dream11 and MPL — are also set to raise huge sums from existing and new investors. While Dream11 is eyeing a $235 million round in a mix of primary and secondary, MPL is in the last legs to scoop up around $50 million from SIG.
Entrackr had exclusively reported on MPL’s upcoming funding round.
Besides the heavy investment, fantasy sports platforms have also contributed to the growth in digital transactions through RuPay and UPI. The whitepaper indicates that the platforms and operators in the sector cumulatively paid GST of around Rs 445 crore in FY20, a 2.6X increase as compared to Rs 166 crore in FY19.
TDS or Tax Deducted at Source, which operators deduct on winnings before disbursing the amount to the winners, also surged by over 2 times to Rs 250 crore in the latest fiscal year. Previously, the TDS stood at Rs 93 crore in FY19, said the whitepaper.
The fantasy sports platforms have also disbursed Rs 81 crore worth salary to about 3,400 workers in FY20. It’s almost 2X growth as compared to Rs 43 crore disbursed to employees working on the payroll of such platforms.
The sector has flourished in the last fiscal, however, the Covid-19 pandemic which led to a complete halt in all sports activities including matches globally has impacted the revenues of online fantasy sports operators. With no real-time sports, the number of active users on these platforms fell rather sharply. However, as IPL is set to kick off this month, the industry is likely to bounce back.