The concept of fantasy sports came into existence in 1980 when sportswriter, Daniel Okrent along with some of his friends created the first ever fantasy baseball league.
The idea soon gained popularity and spiraled through all the way to the nineties and USA Today launched a weekly column on the subject.
Fantasy sport is a game where participants assemble team according to their choice using real players of a different professional sports team. Points are rewarded after each win, which can be redeemed in form of prizes or cash.
In India, the Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS) was launched in 2017 with 13 Indian Fantasy Sports Operators.
FIFS, a self-regulatory body formed for protecting the interests of all Indian users by creating rules and regulations for fantasy sports aims to promote fantasy sports as a game of skill.
Taking a cue from the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s approval over the fantasy sports format where users would use their knowledge and skills to pick players and create their team that the actual team will pick for a real-life match.
FIFS has also created a Charter that lays down the legal principles and framework of operating a Fantasy Sports business in India.
The charter is currently available on FIFS official website.
In 2016, State of Nagaland passed “The Nagaland Prohibition of Gambling and Promotion and Regulation of Online Games of Skills Act,” which legalizes issuing of licenses for online gaming, including fantasy sports. The Act also allows the licensee to offer ‘game of skill’ in the other Indian States, where these games adhere to the Act and local laws.
The concept of fantasy sports is still new to India but the fantasy sports domain has already attracted over 7 million players and the sector promises to grow stronger. The growing industry of fantasy sports in India provides scope for new entrants to try their expertise in the sport and win.