The daily fantasy sports (DFS) industry in India is booming. There have been several new companies to step into the market recently, including media company giant the India Today Group, which teamed up with news channel AajTak a little more than a week ago for a new fantasy sports platform. Another operator has emerged, an effort promoted by former cricket star, Kapil Dev.
Dev announced the new DFS portal during a ceremony at New Delhi’s The Lalit Hotel earlier this week. The platform, Apne11, features Dev as a brand ambassador and will operate similarly to other DFS platforms. It will also include its own “Kapil League,” which will reward the highest scorer on the site’s leaderboard with possibly as much as 25 lakhs (about $35,913). The top five finishers will also be able to meet the former cricket captain.
Dev said of the new platform, “I am thrilled to be associated with Apne11 as it will present an open opportunity for millions to compete against one another and have the chance to connect with sports on an even deeper level than before.”
Apne11 was founded by Ratul Sethi, who also attended the ceremony this week. He explained of the DFS industry in the country, “The gaming industry is undergoing a revolution and with one of the world’s largest youth population, India is poised to become one of the world’s leading markets in the gaming sector. Taking forward the same vision we want to make daily fantasy sports game experience simpler and reach tier 2 and tier 3 cities. Our endeavor is to unite India in coming together to celebrate sports in the country.”
Also present was Apne11 CEO Akshay Jaggi, who added, “The aim of Apne11 is to be the number one platform with the best experience ever. We are a customer-oriented company and for us was a natural decision to launch our innovative site in this market. Our team is doing our best to become the first choice in the hearts of the fantasy players.”
The expansion of DFS in India comes when the subject of gambling is still a hot-button issue. The activity received a slight boost a few weeks ago when the Delhi High Court rejected a plea by Avnish Mehrota, an activist with way too much free time on his hands, to shut down gaming sites in the country.