PlayUp, which acquired daily fantasy sports (DFS) platform Draftstars from CrownBet this past April, is taking the platform to India. According to a press release by the company, PlayUp has launched DraftStars.in, which offers real-money fantasy games to residents in the country.
After the site launched last week, there have already been more than 2,300 new users registering for the platform. DraftStars is expected to operate under the control of Fantasy Studio (India) Pvt. Ltd., a company based in Delhi.
According to the press release, “PlayUp Ltd, the parent company to Draftstars, has long held a strong Indian audience, where it was the 4th ranked sport-related website in October 2018. India is renowned for its enthusiastic sporting population, something that has reflected the rapid growth of fantasy sports in the country.
“A recent report commissioned by the Indian Federation of Sports Gaming (IFSG) demonstrated the exploding popularity of skill-based betting in the country. India currently has more than 20 million fantasy sports users, a number expected to grow to 100 million users by 2020. The report also showed that a staggering 89 percent of users play fantasy sports at least once a month.”
Currently, the site offers domestic and international cricket challenges, as well as some soccer offerings. By the end of the year, it hopes to add basketball and kabaddi.
DraftStars anticipates integrating the PlayChip cryptocurrency, PlayUp’s own digital currency, on both the Australian and Indian platforms. That integration could come early next year, giving users an alternative to cash bets, as well as for allowing instant withdrawals, higher transparency and provably fair betting. The digital asset is expected to also be listed on two crypto exchanges, HitBTC and LATOKEN.
According to DraftStars India’s Operations Manager, Venkatesh Iyengar, “The Indian market is the fastest-growing fantasy sports market in the world. Given PlayUp’s strong reputation and brand in the country it was a natural decision to introduce another of our most popular pay-to-play fantasy sport platforms, Draftstars.”
India already has a number of DFS operators in the country, which will make DraftStars’ entry a challenge. Currently, Leagueadda, Fanfight, BalleBaazi, Starpick and Dream11 offer fantasy sports platforms.