While real money and daily fantasy gaming companies had grown at a rapid clip in FY21 due to the pandemic, their profits (except Gameskraft’s) shrank in the fiscal year ending March 2022. Data compiled by Fintrackr shows that Dream11 and Gameberry saw a decline in their profits while Games24X7 slipped into losses in FY22.
On similar lines, real money online rummy platform A23 witnessed a dip in scale and profits during FY22, according to its consolidated financial statements with the Registrar of Companies (RoC).
Commission earned on the pool prize on successful completion of the game was the only source of collection for the firm which decreased by 11.8% to Rs 722 crore in FY22 from Rs 819 crore in FY21.
The company claims to have over 5 crore players on its platform and operates 5 games including rummy, fantasy, poker, carrom and pool.
A23’s income from interest on deposits increased 26% to Rs 19.1 crore.
On the cost side, miscellaneous expenses accounted for around 81% of the total cost which decreased 2% to Rs 574 crore in FY22. While the firm hasn’t given any details about this expense, it’s likely to consist of rewards given to users, marketing, and payment gateway charges.
Employee benefit expenses grew 6.3% to Rs 67 crore in FY22 whereas the cost of security expenses shrank 10.8% to Rs 33 crore.
As the scale slid, A23’s overall cost dwindled by 2.4% to Rs 701 crore in FY22 from Rs 718 crore in FY21. That couldn’t stop its profit dwindling 15.2% to Rs 17.8 crore in the last fiscal year.
Moving on to the ratios, the firm’s ROCE and EBITDA margin worsened to 2.20% and 3.35% during FY22. On a unit level, A23 spent Re 0.97 to earn a single unit of operating revenue.
Real money gaming and fantasy firms stand out in the startup crowd for their relatively lower share of employee expenses. They also tend to be far more tied in to their founders approach, as one would expect. That’s just as well, like it or not, high profits at these firms are only likely to attract more regulatory attention or worse. The industry has done well to establish a strong base, and demonstrated the high interest and propensity for gaming in India. What it could really do with is consistent and clear policies to enable a clear pathway to growth, rather than the conditional approvals in place right now.