Apple’s policy allows for fantasy sports market to grow

Daily fantasy sports (DFS) and fantasy sports betting are seeing intense growth recently. The vast popularity of fantasy sports has led major tech developers like Apple to take a more lenient policy toward fantasy sports betting. This, in turn, has encouraged investors, venture capitalists, and developers to get more engaged in developing fantasy sports apps.

Fantasy sports are usually associated with UK and US national sports like football/soccer, cricket, basketball, and hockey. However, the industry gains new ground every day, with fantasy sports apps available on the App Store in various regions worldwide.

India is one central market where the practice is gaining momentum. Gia Janashvili, the co-founder of VeliServices – a London-based company that provides B2B2C (business-to-business and business-to-customer) solutions to iGaming companies, concurs with the statement mentioned earlier. Gia Janashvili is looking to put the potential for fantasy sports in India to the test with an investment in a new fantasy sports app: Fan2Play.

Overview: Daily fantasy sports (India)

The global fantasy sports market size is expected to reach over $46 billion by 2027. This rough estimation factors in the industry’s potential growth in vast markets outside the U.S., such as India. The fantasy sports market in the country was estimated to be worth over 24 billion Rupees in 2021, which is just over $300 million. The market’s size is expected to more than double by 2025 and exceed 50 billion Rupees (over $680 million).

With its investment in Fan2Play, Gia Janashvili aims to close in and consolidate a portion of the vast but scattered DFS market.

How does Apple encourage expansion of fantasy sports

Apple has strict policies regarding the use of gambling applications. In 2019, the tech giant announced that its App Store would only show applications native to its iOS system.

But when it comes to fantasy sports, the company has taken a more tolerant stance.

Except for a few table games that require player aptitude, most casino games are considered games of chance. Traditional sports betting involves a combination of luck and analytics-based skill.

Meanwhile, fantasy sports betting, while also requiring some luck, is predominantly skill-based. Whether or not fantasy sports is more a game of chance or skill is an ongoing debate. However, Apple considers it a game of skill and has opened the doors of its App Store to developers looking to promote their fantasy betting apps.

The thing is, major fantasy sports providers like FanDuel and DraftKings only allow a limited selection of fantasy sports catering mainly to the US market.

Cricket is India’s unofficial national sport, drawing tens of millions of spectators, yet has no market for fantasy gaming. Fan2Play is looking to fill in the gap, providing fantasy cricket to millions of fans in India through its iOS app available on the App Store.

The App Store has been one of the biggest mobile application stores that promote fantasy betting apps, and it has been doing so since 2014 when the first DFS app appeared on the App Store.

Features and policies

Apple is arguably the world’s most recognizable smartphone brand. The iPhone, Apple’s signature product, is hugely popular among youth worldwide.

Meanwhile, fantasy sports market expansion is driven chiefly by the younger generation of players. A 2020 poll found the majority of fantasy sports players are individuals aged between 18 and 34. This is the same demographic that heavily relies on the use of mobile apps for traditional and daily fantasy sports betting.

The Apple App Store policy allows the promotion and advertisement of DFS applications so long as they are native iOS apps and come from a regulated provider.

Recent reports indicated that Apple planned to introduce new financial technology – fintech features with the upcoming iOS 16. It has also been reported that Apple was looking to invest in live sports programming through its Apple TV+ streaming service.

Fantasy sports laws (India)

DFS players in India can use fantasy sports apps via apps from licensed operators like Fan2Play.

Thanks to Apple’s easy-going rules on fantasy sports betting, players in India can find and download various iOS-native fantasy sports apps for cricket, hockey, basketball, and kabaddi, provided their device supports the app.

India does not allow the use of gambling apps for games of chance. But the law allows the use of apps for games of skill, and DFS, in India, constitutes a skill-based practice.

Fantasy sports is an industry in perpetual growth all over the world. In India it is gaining popularity and there is huge potential. You have a growing population of sports fans who are already comfortable with the idea of betting on games and playing fantasy sports. And as more people in India learn about DFS, we can expect even greater growth in this exciting industry.

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