There is a massive demand for online gambling in India. The industry is estimated to be worth around $5 billion annually. However, this does not necessarily mean that the landscape is easy for gambling startups.
You only need to look at the site JustGamblers to see that many operators that offer online gambling in India are licensed outside of the country. The experts from the site confirmed that this is the case, due to the lack of regulatory certainty over gambling in India.
However, the professionals at JustGamblers also recognize that the situation is different when it comes to games of skill, such as poker. They have more legal recognition in India and are the subject of some of the most respected startups in the country.
Let’s take a closer look at three of these startups.
Nitesh Salvi founded this Bengaluru-based online poker startup in 2018 because he felt there was a gap in the market for a trustworthy poker site.
The brand has built its reputation on being cryptographically secure and has grown in popularity. Pocket52 recently welcomed some very good news as it secured $1.75 million of funding from game publisher Gameskraft. The company intends to use the funding to enhance the technology it uses and scale-up its enterprises.
Adda52 is a Delhi-based startup which was created by IIT Delhi graduates Mohit Agarwal and Anuj Gupta, in 2011. By 2012, it became the first Indian based company to enable Indians to play poker online for real money.
The foundation of the startup followed 10 years of planning a venture in this area and it has led to good things for Agarwal and Gupta. In 2017, Adda52 merged with India’s largest casino, Delta Corp and the merged brand has become a major force both online and offline.
The team behind Spartan Poker comprises Sameer Rottansey and Peter Abraham who founded the Indian Poker Championship, poker player, and founder of Aces Unlimited Rajeev Kanjani and poker room operator and director of the Indian Poker Championship Amin Rozani.
The team members already had a lot of experience in the world of poker and believed that there was a lack of places for poker enthusiasts to play online.
The aim of creating the Spartan Poker brand was to create an India focussed version of PokerStars. Since its creation in Mumbai, in 2014, Spartan Poker has been just that. The Spartan Poker site plays host to tournaments each day and there are huge cash prizes available. This has made the tournaments very popular with poker players in the country.
The continued growth of interest in Poker in India
Due to the current legal framework in India, poker startups are more prevalent than those that are gambling focussed. Successful startups like the three examined in this article are helping to shape the industry with their dedication to the use of advanced technology and security measures.
Given the continued growth of interest in Poker in India, it seems likely that many more startups will enter the industry. It will be interesting to see which of them helps to transform the industry in the future.