Online fantasy sports platforms are gaining a huge popularity as these platforms are offering a virtual gaming platform to numerous users that gives them a feel of professional sports. Also, the availability of a huge number of sports fans across the world makes these sports games highly famous among youths. While many people who are crazy to play these gaming sports, there are other people too who have zero clue about it.
Before get dig deeper into this topic, let’s have a quick glance at Online Fantasy Sports:
Online fantasy sports platforms are websites or mobile apps where users can make their virtual teams that are composed of several dummy players from a professional sport. Users can participate in these sports and if their skills are in their place, they have a chance of securing numerous rewards such as real cash prizes or in app bous. Such things make these games as a way of online making money.
The legality of fantasy games has always been an issue as once the gaming sports in India were interpreted by the judiciary in order to judge whether these fantasy sports are a game of skills or a game of chance. However, the regulations pertaining to OFSPs are under the domain of the test legislature and therefore many states in India such as Tamil Nadu, Assam, Odisha, Telangana, Andra Pradesh have to put a complete ban on these online money making games.
Reasons behind the increase of sudden popularity of OFSPs
If we talk at a global level, North America is the most dominant amongst all due to the strong IT sector and huge popularity of multiple sports apart from cricket like, football, baseball, basketball etc. The craziness of such sports is one of the main reasons behind these games. India competes with China for the spot of prime dominance in the market of fantasy sports, however this completive nature is the key cause behind the drastic growth of online fantasy sports in Asia Pacific region.
In India, people within the age group of 18 to 40 years old are the main target audience of these sport games that provide a huge pool of audience. The pace with which Internet access and related infrastructure has made these platforms quite easier to access.
The growth of OFSPs can also be associated directly & indirectly with India’s love for cricket and also the fact that India hosts the largest cricket league in the world, IPL. However, most OFSPs do feature other sports as well but cricket draws the majority of users. In the recent years, with the wave of Made in India, indigenous OFSPs have gained encouragement from many directions and NITI Ayog will soon be issuing legal guidelines to keep a check on this booming industry.
It is estimated that more than 75 million people will participate in fantasy sports every year and the numbers are going to increase in the future as well. While fantasy sports are a great way of timepass, there are also several issues associated with this popular activity.
Today, we will uncover all your doubts about fantasy sports and the several risks associated with it.
How Fantasy Sports Work
Fantasy sports are a growing industry in the United States, Canada and now in India with over 70 million players. Playing fantasy sports is now a social norm, most males 12 years old and above play some form of fantasy sports. This growing hobby is great for people who love playing the game but are fantasy sports hurting professional sports?
The way fantasy sports work is pretty basic. You draft a team with the goal of getting the most points, and whoever gets the most points wins the league. The way you get points is by accumulating statistics. So let’s say you play fantasy football. The team that gets the most touchdowns and yards wins the match up against the opponent. Everything is based off of individual statistics, and the players who produce the best stats are the best players to have. Like professional sports, there are a regular season and playoffs. In the end, the winner of the league gets bragging rights for the year and maybe a trophy, but not much else. Fantasy sports seem as if they wouldn’t affect professional sports, but they do in some ways.
Before fantasy sports, watching a sport was all about rooting for your favorite team and watching them every time they played on television. But when you play fantasy sports, you only watch the players that you have on your team. Instead of rooting for the 49ers, you root for Tom Brady to throw three touchdowns against them but you still want the 49ers to win.
The fact that Tom Brady dissected your favorite team’s defense is upsetting but as long as you won your fantasy match-up you are happy. It’s difficult to root for a professional team and a fantasy team. Sometimes rooting for your fantasy team becomes more important than rooting for your favorite team. Someone I know recently bought season tickets to the San Francisco 49ers to prove that he still loves the team more than his fantasy team.
Instead of watching his fantasy players on Sunday, he’s going to watch the team that he has watched since a child. One way that fantasy sports hurts professional sports is that it makes you choose between your fantasy team and favorite team and sadly a lot of people chose their fantasy team.
Since fantasy sports are all about individual statistics, this takes away the team aspect of sports. Great teams win championships, not great players but because of fantasy sports’ popularity, the performances of individuals matter more. As great as Michael Jordan was, he would have never won those six championships without Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Steve Kerr and the rest of his teammates. But in fantasy sports, Michael Jordan’s teammates would not matter as long as Michael Jordan continued to dominate. The team game is less appreciated. All sports are team games and it is impossible to win in a sport unless you have a great team. An individual player cannot win a championship, only a team can.
For many, fantasy sports are a hobby that teaches me about players I would never know about. So fantasy sports have some positives to them for the sports world. They make people more aware of little-known players, because to be good at fantasy sports you have to know about good players who are not superstars. Fantasy sports gross billions of dollars a year for many media companies. Numerous websites and magazines are devoted solely to fantasy sports coverage. This industry is a financial gold mine and it continues to grow in popularity.
Fantasy Sports Is a New Form of Betting or Gaming
No surprise, people mostly youngsters are keen towards these fancy games as they find a new way to get connected with their friends while others find it a great way of earning money without putting any effort.
The truth is these gaming sports are not trustworthy. Fantasy games sports are gambling sites that can be very addictive if you are not aware of it. We can see a huge rush of people running behind these apps thinking that they are using their skills and earning money from it. However, this is not what you think. These sports look quite fascinating which makes youth get addicted to them.
If someone gets addicted to it, there are huge chances that one may lose money. Let’s accept the fact that these sports are nothing but a gambling. These sports make you believe that they are using your skills, but these sports are just a game of chance.
Now, youths think that they are investing their money if they put their money in online games. However, this is not so true. Investing is a different word and gambling is a different word.
Now, try to understand the gambler’s mind and an investor’s mind: A gambler always wants to win the amount, he is not afraid of taking risk and puts all the money into it. As a result, many times, he loses money and goes empty-handed. Investors do well research about a product they are interested in, then only they put money into it.
Secondly, gamling is an uncertain event that completely depends on emotions and there is always some uncertainty while investing requires knowledge, skills and some research. For example, you will get returns, if you invest money in stocks, mutual funds and other investment options, on the other hand, if you put money into gambling sites such as fantasy sports, you may lose all of your money.
In betting, the result depends on the luck of a person and there are small chances of winning the game. While investing, you may experience some loss but all your money doesn’t go into vain.
Another point to consider is that gambling is a short term while investment can be done for the long term. Investment can be done for 3 or more than 3 years. While betting can be done for days. It can be stretched for some weeks or months but not for a year.
Thirdly, investment gives you the ownership of an asset, gambling doesn’t. Investing in share, bonds and other assets, gives investors an ownership while in gambling there is no such word called ownership. This means, there is no ownership assigned to the participants at the end of gambling transactions.
Investment is well researched, well planned, betting isn’t.
Investment can happen with a specific goal such as retirement planning, education fee, vehicle planning or any other goals. While betting involves no such goals. Betting is done in pleasure of earning more money. Also the risks associated with betting are too high as compared to investment.
Investment isn’t addictive, betting is. There are numerous organizations saying betting is addictive and can lead to several mental problems. However, there are no issues associated with the investment. Instead, investment is a financial practice that is done for a stress free, healthy economic life.
Keeping these in mind, several state governments banned online sports gaming sites. Recently, state governments of Assam, Telangana, tamil Nadu, Andra Pradesh, Nagaland and Sikkim announced a ban on fantasy sports games.
Top reasons why Fantasy Sports Sites Banned in 7 States:
- Anyone who wins a huge amount from these sites, is required to pay a 31% of tax to the central government.
- Due to non adequate knowledge and bad influencers, many people lose a huge amount of money, which makes them depressed, some even committed suicide.
- Children who are easily influenced by sports celebrities use their parent’s information to verify such accounts which may be the reason for banning such apps.
Take a Look at the Legal Situation of Fantasy Sports in India
The legitimacy of a Fantasy Sports app in India ultimately comes down to whether the game can qualify as a ‘game of skill’ or ‘game of chance’. Games that require a significant amount of mathematical ability (more than 50 percent) are considered a “game of skill” and are legal in India by state gambling rules.
As a result, Fantasy sports apps come under game of chance more than game of skills. As games of chance fall under the category of ‘Gambling’, it is restricted by gambling laws subject to different states.
Upon inspection by court, one such Fantasy Sports app called Dream 11 was considered to harbor the configuration of ‘game of chance more than game of skills and therefore, two famous court cases of Varun Gumber v. Union Territory of Chandigarh and Gurdeep Singh Sachar v. Union of India challenged before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, and later before the Bombay High Court, established that Dream11 and the fantasy sports services it provided fall under the definition of a “game of skill.”
With the notable exception of Assam, Sikkim, Nagaland, Andra Pradesh, Odisha, and Telangana, Fantasy Sports is permitted all over India as per Indian Law. Recently, new laws were passed in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, which bans the residents of the state from indulging in any pay-to-play contests on any online gaming sites/applications. Sikkim and Orissa have outlawed all forms of gaming, and as for Nagaland and Sikkim, companies have to obtain licenses from the respective state governments.
There is still a lot of confusion surrounding this glaring distinction between the two categories, one legal while the other being deemed illegal. To bring some clarity to this extremely lucrative business sector, the government think-tank Nit Aayog went ahead and published a paper discussing the rules and principles that need to guide Fantasy Sports in India.
The following are the two crucial observations made by Niti Aayog with regards to the current landscape of fantasy sports in India:
1 – The report also addresses the lack of clarity surrounding the categorization of gaming platforms as ‘game of skill’ or ‘game of chance’. It proposes the need for objective tests to define what category a gaming app may fall in. It also brings attention to concerns that many OFSP’s have with regards to engaging with state governments and understanding laws specific to that state.
2 – Ultimately, the report acknowledges the need for a standard law and uniform guidelines to eliminate any uncertainty and confusion surrounding the prospect of running an OFSP. Principal policy implementation will help the industry grow, generate new employment opportunities, and invite foreign investment into the country.
The Bottom Line
Although fantasy sports platforms are gaining popularity worldwide due to its attractive user friendly platform and games activities, we must not forget that these sites afterall is a gaming site where everyone is in a rush to earn more and more money.
Everyone has a dream of becoming rich or earning millions of dollars, live a luxurious life. To achieve such dreams, you need to have a lot of patience and hard work.
Becoming rich overnight is not possible in any case. You are required to do a lot of hard work, consistency, perseverance, and a lot of patience, only then you will become rich. If you look at any successful leader whether in sports or business, you find one thing common in them. They became rich due to their hard work and not by playing any fantasy sport games.
Successful people like Warren Buffet, once told that there is no shortcut to become rich. For becoming a wealthy person, consistent hard work, skills, knowledge and faith are the most important things.