The industry of Fantasy Sports is growing at a fast pace around the world. The most engaging fantasy sports league game, football, has the highest revenue potential to grow to USD 1 billion by 2025 (source: Globe News Wire).
India is one of the significant contributors to steeply growing revenue and is expected to reach $20 million by FY25 (source: financial express). That is a whopping 20% of the expectations. It makes sense because India has massive support from the Supreme Court. However, it is not the same in other countries worldwide.
Legality Scenario Around Fantasy Sports
Four legal scenarios exist for fantasy sports for countries to categorize these kinds of applications or gaming platforms.
No regulations or consideration of gambling
Many countries around the world consider fantasy sports as a game of skill. These countries do not classify fantasy sports under gambling, allowing the fantasy sports companies to be almost entirely free. However, these countries still consider it a high-risk industry with higher returns.
Require gambling license
On the other hand, many countries only allow these games to work under specific regulations set up by the country’s government. These countries generally categorize it as online gambling or casino. Therefore, there is a need for a gambling license to operate the application in these countries.
Need a special national license
Countries with this kind of regulation where there is a need for a special national license impose stricter rules. Some countries prohibit the use of real money in these games, while others put a limit on the bet amount. Thus, companies who want to operate in those regions need to follow the proper compliances and regulations.
Lastly, some countries strictly deny these applications and have banned their usage in their country. The authorities consider these online fantasy leagues as gambling or sports betting; thus, they refuse its regulations and stop their operations in their countries.
In-Depth Look at a few Countries of Each Type.
The categorization of the countries is pretty straightforward in terms of different types of regulations surrounding the applications for fantasy leagues. However, understanding why they consider those particular rules is also necessary. Thus, this section will help you get a clearer understanding of the legality and regulation issues.
India – Unregulated
India is a country that has no regulation on fantasy games or no consideration of gambling by the Supreme Court. However, it is essential to note that a few states are selective about these applications, while a handful has wholly banned them (Assam, Sikkim, Nagaland, Odisha, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh). According to the laws of India, betting and gambling of any form, online or offline, is illegal. Nonetheless, fantasy games are allowed. Funnily, many fantasy sports app development happens in India.
It is so because Fantasy Sports Games are not gambling or betting. It is instead a game of skills and specific observation. Therefore, a player can win the game by drawing out statistics, understanding the previous championships, and well-thought movements. Thus, the companies are not regulated, allowing millions of players to play daily.
USA (43 States) – Regulated with Gambling Licenses
The USA, on the other hand, is particular about fantasy sports leagues. A few laws and bills have been passed in the assembly to specify the rules and regulations surrounding it. Unlike fantasy sports in India, the developers must have a license under the Interactive Fantasy Sports Bill of 2014 to operate in New York.
Different states of the country have different legal and restrictive approaches. Some require licenses, and some need to have stricter regulations, while others might oppose these online gaming leagues completely. It is so because there is a state government involved in these matters as well.
Italy- Need Special Licenses
Italy is one such country that strictly adheres to its regulations for fantasy games. They have high taxes, licensing, and stricter rules for advertisements. The developers need to develop a skill-based game; else, it might fall under betting or gambling that requires different licensing. Italy is a country that is trying to keep gambling, betting, and online money-based gaming at bay for the sake of its citizens.
However, it is undeniable that these fantasy sports app development bring massive revenue to the country through taxes. Therefore, the government is trying to significantly monitor the data, statistics, and operations to allow their usage while ensuring that nothing happens out of bounds.
Handful Countries – Illegal
A few countries strictly prohibit fantasy gaming. Some of these countries are bounded by religious rites, while others have laws surrounding them. The concern to these countries is the idea of betting that comes into play. Most authorities still consider online fantasy sports leagues as a form of gambling, restricting their operations.
However, developers of these games are often seen trying to change the rules and regulations. They are putting forward some crucial arguments, explanations, and examples to prove that the regulations need to be thought about again. Maybe the developers will see a change in the rules pretty soon. But, for now, it is not being accepted in these countries.
It is safe to say that most countries worldwide have openly accepted fantasy gaming. Some of these don’t even regulate the operations of these applications. On the other hand, some countries are skeptical about the applications or categorization. Therefore, they only allow it with strict surveillance, rightful regulations, and high taxes.
Though this industry is booming like crazy around the world, creating certain boundaries and regulations is also essential. In the internet world, where data is cheap, there must be certain limits to the available information. Restrictions sometimes create a safer ground for the country’s citizens, while acceptance might also mean a door to better opportunities. Whatever it is, taking a well-thought step should be the basis of every country’s government.
Bonita has been working as an SEO expert in Appinop Technologies in digital marketing. She has done b.com with designing skills. With her creative skills, she also handles social media for Appinop Technologies. She loves to learn new things at her job.