Fantasy sports has seen drastic uptake in tier 2, 3 cities: Dream Sports CEO Harsh Jain

On January 11, Dream11 co-founder Harsh Jain said that over 80 percent of the users on the Fantasy Sports platform have not played cash contests.

At India Digital Summit, he had shared that there are 120 million people playing fantasy sports on Dream11, out of which, 100 million have never taken to money-based gaming.

“They only play for free. So this isn’t a game about winning or losing money. These people play because it helps them engage with the sport that they love,” he added.

According to Jain, fantasy sports allow users to be active participants in a sport, by engaging and competing with their friends and family.

“With fantasy sports, we’ve seen a drastic increase in the number of Indians participating in tier two and three cricket (tournaments) and sports outside of cricket, like Kabaddi, basketball, hockey, football, handball, and volleyball,” he added.

Fantasy sports as a segment is banned in many states and faces various legal troubles. Jain shared that the Supreme Court has for once and for all, said that the format offered by Dream11 and approved by the Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports, a self-regulatory industry body for fantasy sports, is approved and this case has reached finality, it is no longer res Integra.

He posits that fantasy sports is not just gaming, but a game of skill.

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New-Age Business Models

Given the success of Axie Infinity, an NFT-based game developed by Vietnamese studio Sky Mavis, play-to-earn is rising up as a new business model that is increasingly becoming popular in the sector.

Jain shared that this interesting model is what he has been working on as well. “What we’ve been doing all this time is play-to-win but now there’s an entirely new model being built around play-to-earn, which I think is phenomenally interesting since you don’t have to stake something that you can lose. You can only lose an opportunity to gain something” he said.

Jain rules that blockchain and tokenization are here to stay and their implementations will multiple industries over the course of time. “IoT (Internet of Things), augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will also play a big part going forward in the sports sector, as there is an increased focus on providing consumers an immersive experience,” he added.

Dream Sports Products

With a user base of over 140 million users across its ecosystem of products, Dream11 employs close to 1,000 people.

Under the Dream Sports rubric, it houses brands such as sports content and commerce platform FanCode, its corporate venture and M&A arm Dream Capital, sports experiences platform DreamSetGo, game publisher Dream Game Studios, and payment solutions provider DreamPay, apart from the flagship fantasy platform.