The global fantasy sports market is expected to grow from USD 22.5 million in 2021 to USD 66.4 billion by 2030, at a CAGR of 14.5% from 2022 to 2030. Fantasy sports are online gaming platforms where participants manage and draft virtual teams of real professional sports players. Participants compete against the fantasy teams of each other people over an entire sports league or season. The user that scores maximum points wins money based on the performance of the real professional sports players.
Players operating in the fantasy sports market offer complete transparency to customers regarding their monetary transactions. All financial transactions on sports fantasy platforms are secured with verified payment gateways, thus building greater confidence among users. Also, the platforms allow greater transparency by allowing users to view teams created by their competitors, disclosing the amount of money at the start of the game, and revealing the money to be won by different rank holders in a contest. This results in transparent competition between users. High transparency, fair playing policies, regulations, and secure payment gateways result in higher consumer confidence amongst the users of fantasy sports platforms.
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Fantasy sports are often confused with illegal sports betting, though fantasy sports are predominantly skill-based. However, fantasy sports always remain in legal scrutiny of various gambling laws across the countries. The legality of fantasy sports is often based on existing gaming laws and skill game laws. Though fantasy sports are legal; however, states in the U.S. such as Hawaii, Alabama, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Louisiana, Iowa, Nevada, and Washington State have banned one or more fantasy sports platforms such as Yahoo, FanDuel, Fantasy Draft, DraftKings, and others. Furthermore, laws related to sports fantasy platforms are highly ambiguous in countries like Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Pakistan, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Vietnam. The absence of regulatory bodies and ambiguous laws remains a major challenge for the engaged stakeholders in the sports fantasy industry. Moreover, with the sports activities and leagues such as IPL and more sports leagues likely to take place in the upcoming months, the sports fantasy market is likely to bounce back in the upcoming months of the last quarter.
COVID–19 Impact on the Global Fantasy Sports Market
The global fantasy sports market is being impacted profoundly amidst coronavirus outbreaks. The outbreak in China has resulted in the lockdown and ceasing of sports activities worldwide. Furthermore, closures of sports complexes, stringent social distancing norms, and public fear for contraction of coronavirus have negatively impacted sports activities. The absence of major sports leagues has resulted in huge turmoil for the engaged stakeholders; however, the disruption is expected to remain short.
Global Fantasy Sports Market Dynamics
Drivers: Digital Infrastructure in the Developing Region
India’s number of internet subscribers is estimated to reach 639 million by the end of December 2020 from 560 million in September 2018. Also, average data usage per subscriber has increased significantly due to affordable smartphones’ availability coupled with rapidly falling data prices across the country. This growth in digital infrastructure and the availability of high-speed internet at affordable prices helps in driving the growth of the fantasy sports market in the region.
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Restraints: Lack of Awareness About Fantasy Sports Platforms
The lack of awareness around the larger context and definition of e-sports amongst the wider online gaming populace remains a concern for fantasy sports. While attempting to uncover this understanding from our dipstick survey of 336 fantasy sports users, it was found that nearly 55% of the respondents had an incorrect understanding of e-sports, associating it exclusively with sports-based games. A further 22% of respondents were completely unaware of what e-sports constitutes. Fostering a clearer understanding of the e-sports segment would be crucial for the industry to harness the segment’s true potential.
Opportunities: Rising Popularity of Sports Leagues
The emergence of various sports leagues such as the Indian Premier League (IPL) and National Football League (NFL) increases the demand for innovative technological engagements. This is invigorating the market for fantasy sports as it is a crucial tool of active fan engagement, and it is increasingly deployed in various sports. Furthermore, improving internet connectivity and increasing smartphone ownerships are anticipated to surge the number of users and positively impact the industry growth.
Scope of the Fantasy Sports
The study categorizes the fantasy sports market based on sports type, platform, age group, usage type, and gaming mode at the regional and global levels.
By Sports Type Outlook (Sales, USD Million, 2017–2030)
- Basket Ball
By Platform Outlook (Sales, USD Million, 2017–2030)
- Mobile Application
By Age Group (Sales, USD Million, 2017–2030)
- Under 25 Years
- 25 to 40 Years
- Above 40 Years
By Usage Type Outlook (Sales, USD Million, 2017–2030)
By Gaming Mode Outlook (Sales, USD Million, 2017–2030)
- Solo Game Play
- Squad Game Play
By Region Outlook (Sales, USD Million, 2017–2030)
- North America (US, Canada, Mexico)
- South America (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Rest of Latin America)
- Europe (Germany, Italy, France, UK, Spain, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Rest of Europe)
- Asia Pacific (China, Japan, India, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, the Philippines, Singapore, Australia & New Zealand, Rest of Asia Pacific)
- The Middle East & Africa (Saudi Arabia, UAE, South Africa, Northern Africa, Rest of MEA)
The mobile application segment is accounted for the largest market share
The global fantasy sports market is segmented as website and mobile applications based on the platform. In 2021, the mobile segment accounted for the largest market share. And it is estimated to gain more market share in the upcoming years during the forecast period.
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Asia Pacific accounts for the highest CAGR during the forecast period
Based on the regions, the global fantasy sports market has been segmented across North America, Asia–Pacific, Europe, South America, and the Middle East & Africa. Worldwide, Asia Pacific is estimated to hold the highest CAGR in the global fantasy sports market during the forecast period. The region includes the countries such as China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, Southeast Asia, and the Rest of Asia–Pacific. The region’s growth is primarily due to strong economic growth in the domestic emerging countries such as China, Indonesia, India, and Malaysia.
Key Market Players
The fantasy sports market is mildly concentrated, with few global players operating in the market such as Dream Sports, Fantacalcio, Fanduel (Flutter Entertainment), Rotoworld FantasyPros, DraftKings Inc., Rotowire, Fantrax, NFL Fantasy, and Sportech Inc. Every company follows its business strategy to attain the maximum market share.
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