GROWTH OF POKER INDUSTRY :
The poker industry, part of real money gaming, is becoming one of the popular gaming sectors in India by providing both entertainment and reeling in money. Poker is not new to India so when Covid struck, the users started to grow and it became one of the fastest-growing sectors in the real money gaming industry. As of February 2020, there are more than 3 million active poker players in India and the industry is worth Rs 400 crores, playing as a major source of commerce and revenue in India.
|POKER SITES||SIGN UP OFFERS||VARIANTS OF POKER OFFERED||WITHDRAW AL POLICY||RAKES|
|MPL Poker||The joining offer is getting up to Rs. 50 for free||NL Hold’em Poker, PL Omaha, PL Omaha 5, Seven Card Stud, Omaha Hi, Razz.||The minimum and maximum amount for a single withdrawal request depend upon the person’s minimum and maximum withdrawal limit.||Rake charged by the operator at cash games is on the high side, fixed at 5% across all stakes.|
|Adda52||Instant Bonus of Rs. 100||Texas Hold’em and Omaha.||Withdrawals are processed on all days (including weekends.)||In the case of Ring Games, the rake is equal to a percentage of the winning amount. They do not collect rake in case a pot splits between two or more players. Except in RIT and Omaha Hi/Lo when there is a low hand.|
|PokerBaazi||100% Deposit Bonus. Maximum is up to Rs.2500||No-Limit Hold’em, Pot-Limit Omaha, Pineapple OFC Poker||The minimum amount of withdrawal is Rs. 100. It is professed in one business day, but anywhere from 24 – 72 hours.||The rake at PokerBaazi is 5%. The rakes are inclusive of GST.|
|9Stacks||Rs.100 on completing the KYC||Texas Hold’em, Pot-Limit Omaha (PLO), 5 card PLO, P se Poker||User balance is freely withdrawable at any time. Rs. 10 is the minimum amount and the maximum is as much as the Banking IMPS limit allows one to.||For tournaments,They charge a flat, one-time, 10% rake, whereas only 4% rake (with no cap) is charged on private tables. For cash tables, the rake charged is up to 5%.|
|Khelo365||Rs. 100 cashback on Deposit||Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Pineapple (OFC), Texas 6+, Boost and Reverse Hold’em||The minimum amount that can be redeemed is Rs 200. A deposit is mandatory to be eligible for withdrawal.||The rake in Khelo365 is collected with a standard amount of 3-5% with a 300 rupees cap – being this one of the lowest among the Indian rooms.|
|SpartanPo ker||100% Welcome Bonus. The maximum amount of instant bonus is Rs.3000.||Texas Hold’em, Pot-Limit Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo, 5 card Omaha, 6 card Omaha, Texas 6 Plus Hold’em||The minimum cashout amount is INR 500. There is no restriction on the maximum amount and number of cashouts.||The rake varies for different types of games. It goes up to 5%|
|Pokerstars||Bonus up to Rs. 2500||Texas Hold’em Omaha|
Stud Poker Video Poker
|Withdrawals are processed within 24 hours except on weekends.||The rake is approximately 3% to 13% in micro and low-stakes and up to nearly 40% in high-stakes games.|
WBOC, virtual channel 16 situated in Maryland claims, “The India online poker and rummy market has the potential to grow with USD 2.22 billion with historical CAGR in the forecast period from 2020-2027.”
A KPMG(financial audit, tax, and advisory company) report estimates that the online gaming industry in India is at Rs 4,380 crore in the financial year 2018 and estimates it will grow at a CAGR(Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 22.1 percent and will touch Rs. 11,880 crore by the financial year 2023.
OVERVIEW OF SOME MAJOR ONLINE POKER SITES
|APPS||USERS||REVENUE||POSITIVE REVIEWS||NEGATIVE REVIEWS|
|MPL||over 60 million||$1.5- $2 billion||Safe and secure||Oen bans/blocks accounts, poor|
|Adda52||over 2.3 million||$32.1 M||Provides all poker variants, good customer support||Users say the game is rigged|
|PokerBaazi||over 2 million||$14.1 M||Transferring of money is easily done||Users claim it is fraud|
|9stacks||over 32 million||GMV of the industry is more than $10M every month.||The interface is user friendly, quick cash out||Some users claim it cheated off their money.|
KEY GROWTH FACTORS
- Increase usage of smartphones and the internet. One of the main factors of the increase in this industry is the increased usage of internet users. India has over 560 million internet users currently and it has been estimated that the number would reach up to 650 million by 2023. This increase directly results from affordable mobile data packs, 5G networks being offered by multiple telecom operators.
- Wider market range. Because of the rise in the number of smartphone users, the market range for poker also increased as the users are constantly looking for new forms of entertainment. The aging population, in particular, started to take more interest in the online real money gaming sector. As online poker games attract global customers, it is easily accessible for people who are not particularly interested in live poker games.
- Rising usage of E-wallets. The increase in usage of digital payments also plays a major role in driving growth in the poker industry. As these payments are entirely safe, it increases the interest in real money gaming sectors.
- Improved technology for better gaming interface. The developers of online poker are developing innovative formats to increase gaming satisfaction. The new additions transform the gaming formats from monotonous into exciting real-world opportunities that drive in more money.
The poker industry is growing at a percentage of 35-40% year-on-year. Sai Srinivas(co-founder of MPL) said, “We’re[MPL] at about a $1.5- $2 billion annual revenue run rate. We believe that the Indian market will grow at least another 40-50% for us over the course of the next 12-18 months.” This rapid increase is bringing international support in the form of investment.
Mobile Premier League, which recently became a unicorn club, has raised $90 million in 2020 from Susquehanna International Group(SIG Global) and early-stage tech investor RTP Global, along with MDI Ventures and Pegasus Tech Ventures. If the industry continues to be carefully regulated by the government, it will open more doors to foreign investors.
- September 2021, the Karnataka government announced a ban on online gambling and betting.
- In August 2021, Tamil Nadu partially lied the ban on online gambling.
- In August 2021, EvenBet Gaming company entered into the Indian real money gaming market with the new poker game called ‘Call Break.’
- August 2021, Nazara Technologies Ltd. announced a 100% stake acquisition in Hyderabad-based skill gaming company, OpenPlay Technologies for ₹186.4 crores.
- March 2021, Flutter Entertainment, owner of PokerStars acquired a 50.1% stake in an Indian online rummy operator Junglee Rummy for USD 66.2 Million. FUTURE TRENDS
- Live dealer poker games’ population is expected to increase.
- Competition between the industry dominators will increase.
- Increase in demand for mobile poker
- The emergence of poker live streams
- Attention towards responsible gaming will increase
There is a question that will the online poker industry survive the post-covid world that keeps rising and seeing the current growth and estimated growth this particular real money gaming industry will succeed. It is also noted that the market is yet to show signs of peaking. This shows that the poker industry will not slow down rather only flourish in the near years.