Gambling India Info is one of the first news portals that broke the news that PokerStars is all set to start their operations in India, to the Indian audience. And today, we are exploring all those aspects that may or may not be affected with the arrival of this Canadian based company. There are plenty of speculations with PokerStars launch in India within the world of poker but what does it mean for the online gaming industry in India?
Indians are mostly found hovering in 888poker, PokerStars, The Spartan Poker, TigerGaming.com, William Hill, Black Chip Poker, Zynga Poker, Teen Patti Gold, etc. In a survey conducted by Reliance games it was found that the future of Mobile gaming industry and Online card games are to reach USD 3 billion by 2019. This only determines that the total number of Indians is increasing exponentially every year and this would bring a smile on the face of the PokerStars developers as to a report published by FICCI KPMG in 2016, that the gaming industry which is worth around INR 26.5 billion as of now will reach INR 50.7 billion by the year 2020. Surprisingly, 40% of the worth is contributed by free online rummy and poker games in India. So PokerStars couldn’t have found any better time to invade the Indian gaming market because it is already on the verge of blooming and when it does, PokerStars would try to be involved everywhere in my opinion.
It is difficult to predict as of now, what would be the future of PokerStars in India but it is safe to assume that they have seen the potential in the Indian market because it is believed that in less than a decade, India will have produced more than 190 million Indian gamers. In a country that has a population of 1.3 billion; 190 million is nothing but a meager figure. According to the demographics of Indian gamers, provided by Play Games 24×7, state those players under the age of 25 years are most active on the gaming platform but 95% of the total revenue generated is from gamers who are above 25 years of age. This is simple because on an average Indians who are 25 years of age or less don’t have much money to spend on gaming but once they have a good job, they have the basic pay they invest their time and money in online gaming. PokerStars would try to capitalize on this situation and would like to establish their roots farther down in the Indian gaming market so that there would be no future competition.
The award winning PokerStars support and features will clearly make them a top contender when it will come to online card games in India as soon as it launched. The treats and tricks of the Canadian based company will also be a learning step for Indian game developers. For example, Teen Patti Gold has branched out to many card games and is no longer limited to Teen Patti games but also involved in poker games and other card games. This would really push the other gaming platforms to raise their game and come up with unique offers for their users. Like PokerStars have announced to give away INR 3, 000, 000 as early bird free-rolls to its users, this would drive the other gaming platforms to come up with similar strategies and schemes to lure in more users to their domain. Moreover, PokerStars have just tied up with Sachiko Gaming Private Limited to deal in India and maybe they may choose to tie up with other companies for other online gaming domains. It is hopeful that when the competition in the market increases it also brings more quality within the particular products. This would be a very good thing, if happened.
If this aspect is seen through the eyes of the users, PokerStars is definitely their most favourite choice because it offers an array of games and most importantly, they bring in more profits to the users than the other games. Users have also claimed PokerStars to be safer and transparent in terms of money and the easy transaction it provides allow many users to withdraw or deposit money every 1-2 days without going through much hassle. One of the unique factors that set it apart from its competitors is the variety of games it provides to choose from. Better is a relative word, but yes according to gaming forums and discussions among users, they have claimed it to be the best. Here are a couple of users reaction on the internet while discussing PokerStars:
Indian Poker websites will try to strengthen their base before PokerStars arrive but they wouldn’t be much affected because PokerStars is already entertaining through their universal domain and to create a separate domain wouldn’t affect much because from the user’s perspective, all the money they have already won and the achievements they have unlocked would be hard to leave behind. Gamers may try PokerStars but in the initial phases, the other Indian websites will not much be affected.
Most of the online gaming platforms failed to set up a proper system that would deduct the taxes on the winnings of their users so they don’t need to get into all the official procedure to pay the taxes. It would be interesting to see how PokerStars deal with this aspect.
If we go by The Public Gaming Act of 1867, gambling is prohibited in India and even in some states across India, that don’t allow citizens participating in a poker game but online, there’s really no such law that bars player from playing online as long as they would pay the respective taxes on their winnings.