88% Survey of Users say Online Fantasy Sports increased their interest in Sports

  • Due to the unique format of Online Fantasy Sports, users spend less screen time – making OFS platforms not addictive
  • Users perceive Online Fantasy Sports as a financially safe, skill-based activity which augments their interest and engagement with sports including traditional sports like kabaddi and hockey
  • Any Government regulations for Online Fantasy Sports should focus on protecting user rights and safeguarding industry interests for the industry to grow responsibly

 

New Delhi, 7th June  2021 : Consumer VOICE, a prominent consumer protection group, has published a user survey report, titled De-mystifying Common Myths Surrounding Online Fantasy Sports’ .The report explores the impact of Online Fantasy Sports (OFS) on sports engagement and addresses some common myths surrounding OFS platforms. The survey received close to 10,000 responses from users of various OFS platforms.The report examines whether the actual user perceptions of Online Fantasy Sports are in consonance with myths centered around OFS platforms being addictive, potentially resulting in negative societal impacts and making users fearful of incurring financial losses. The objective of the report is to ensure that a representative voice of consumers becomes an integral part in the development of OFS as a product, its adoption, and any forthcoming regulation.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • 88% of the users reported that their interest in sports increased after participating in Online Fantasy Sports contests.
  • 81% of the users agreed that by virtue of using Online Fantasy Sports platforms, they have become more aware of non-cricket sports like Kabaddi, Hockey, and Handball.     
  • 85% of the users agreed that the option of participating in free contests allowed them to participate without fear of incurring any financial loss.
  • Close to 90% of the users said that the terms of use for paid contests were easy to find and understand.
  • More than 73% of users spend over 30 minutes researching statistics and other information to make their Online Fantasy Sports teams before a match.

The uniqueness of OFS platforms makes users more engaged with a variety of sports and promotes their analytical abilities. This becomes a major reason to distinguish it from gambling / betting since the OFS platform format focuses on skill and not luck. With the terms and conditions made easily accessible, users perceive Online Fantasy Sports as a financially safe, skill-based activity which augments their interest and engagement with sports.

Ashim Sanyal, Chief Operating Officer of Consumer VOICE, said “Online Fantasy Sports industry has immense potential for contributing to India’s sports economy, however, the various myths surrounding it need to be dispelled first. This will provide for a collaborative environment in which regulations can adequately safeguard consumer interests while also allowing the industry to drive economic growth in a transparent and accountable manner.” 

This report highlights the dissonance between how users of OFS platforms perceive fantasy sports vis-à-vis the common myths surrounding it. Therefore, to ensure the continued and responsible growth of the OFS industry and protection of end consumer interests, it is recommended that NITI Aayog’s draft guidelines on regulating Online Fantasy Sports be formalized. This will enable State’s to draft uniform legislations’ to protect the interests of consumers and promote responsible growth of the industry along the same lines as NITI’s guidelines. Additionally, awareness building of the terms of use of OFS platforms should be continued among key stakeholders, including government actors, civil society organizations, academicians, consumer rights groups, and the public.

About Voluntary Organisation in Interest of Consumer Education (Consumer VOICE)

Consumer VOICE is one of the Leading Consumer Organisation in the India. Working under “Jago Grahak Jago” program of Ministry of Consumer Affairs besides other Ministries, Regulatory bodies, standards organizations, world bodies and Standing Committees of Parliaments, our work of Comparative Testing for product testing and services evaluations are for the masses. We are doing advocacy for all the consumers to various authorities and consumers across India are getting benefited from our work. Our magazines and website, besides educational workshops on various subjects are the tools of consumer education and empowerment across the nation and all consumers get benefited from our work.

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