The fantasy sports industry has boomed over the past few years. Sports in India is undergoing rapid change, and given India’s massive fan base and economic muscle, the future holds enormous potential for sports-related activities. Realising the prospect of the market Indian Federation of Sports Gaming (IFSG) was India’s first and only Fantasy Sports self-regulatory industry body was established in 2017 to protect consumer interest and create standardised best practices in the Fantasy Sports industry. Over time the development and market have peaked and recently IFSG has renamed it as Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS) before the launch of Game Plan 2020 scheduled on 5 March.
The main purpose of FIFS is to self-regulate the sports gaming industry comprising of all online sports-based Games of Skill (which may include e-sports, fantasy sports and casual sports games). FIFS will also continue to focus its attention on the growth of the fantasy sports industry that is proven to increase real-life sports consumption. Not only that FIFS is now eager to pay attention only towards the later, but with the federation also believing that fantasy has a huge market in India currently.
Commenting on this development, FIFS Chairman John Loffhagen said, “In the last two years, we have seen exponential growth in the Fantasy Sports industry. From five million users and 25 operators in 2017, the fantasy sports industry has now grown to 140+ operators with 80 million+ users. This rapid growth is a testament to the potential of fantasy sports in India. The name change from IFSG to FIFS is a result of our recognition of this disruptive and emerging sector and its need for self-regulation to sustain growth. We look forward to working with the operators and stakeholders in creating and maintaining high industry standards.”
FIFS has successfully created guidelines and regulation for establishing and maintaining high industry standards for fantasy sports while also creating awareness about the sector & its potential by:
- Launching the fantasy sports industry’s first-ever Charter in 2019
- FIFS has successfully conducted two seasons of its flagship event – GamePlan, India’s only Fantasy Sports conference
- In 2018, the body launched ‘Stars of Tomorrow’, an athlete support program, in collaboration with Dream11 Foundation and GoSports Foundation
- Launched reports on legality, landscape, growth potential and impact of fantasy sports on sports in India
FIFS currently has 33 members, one Ombudsman Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri ( Retd.), and four strategic advisors include Professor Ratnakar Shetty (former BCCI chief administrative officer), Amrit Mathur (former secretary sports authority of India), Dilip Dixit (former additional commissioner of sales Tax) and AN Roy (retired director general police).
Game Plan is an annual conference organised by Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS) aiming to provide a common platform to stakeholders across multiple related industries in order to support & strengthen the rapidly growing industry of Fantasy Sports. The platform provides with an excellent opportunity to have dialogues with Industry pioneers and stalwarts. The first edition was launched in 2018 and the variety of participants and range of discussions have excelled. This year adding to the series the Game Plan conference will have representatives from various ministries and government departments to address various crucial policy level contributions. With chief guest as Niti Ayog CEO Amitabh Kant this year’s speakers are lined as Dream11 CEO and co-founder Harsh Jain, AWS WorldWide technical leader gaming Nari Gopala, FIFS strategic advisor Amrit Mathur, Digital Native Business head Navdeep Manaktala, Delhi Capitals CEO Dhiraj Malhotra, FanCode cofounder Prasana Krishnan, KPMG partner Girish Menon.