After achieving success in the US, UK, China and other European nations, the poker has received widespread acceptance as a game of skill in India. In this digital era, more and more players are becoming part of the Poker bandwagon game online. According to an Economic Times report, the current online poker industry is estimated to be at around $120 million, and it is gradually picking up. Apart from this, the emergence of various new online gaming portals also indicates the growing demand for poker among the Indian masses. Acknowledging the growing craze for the game in the country, the experts of this industry believe that India will be the next big market for poker games online.
The Origin Of Poker In India
India has a huge history in many different non-virtual card games, taken from both Eastern and Western cultures. Several classic British card games still continue to remain very popular in India, such as gin and bridge. There’s another, a completely different category of native-to-India card games that enjoy a following of their own.
Way back in 2006, for instance, Teenpatti, an Indian poker variant, not too dissimilar from the British game three-card brag or the US home-game favorite, started to garner interest from players in India. Being one of the most popular card games of all times, it wasn’t long before it captured the strong attention of Indian masses. Furthermore, with the advent of digitalization, many India-based digital companies also wanted to tap the popularity that poker had begun to enjoy among the masses. Thereby, many Indian gaming companies, in the recent past, began to develop online platforms for playing the card game.
The current poker scenario in India
According to statistics published by MECN (Media Entertainment Consulting Network), Asia and primarily India is easily the largest and fastest growing online gambling market in the world. The issue of accepting poker as a game of skill is currently like a snowball — the more it rolls, the larger it gets. In India, both players and operators have already shot the starting gun and are ready to go. With nothing holding them back in the coming years, the card game is soon expected to grab a significant share of the Indian online gaming industry.
Over the years, the poker industry has tried to focus on changing the perception that people have had about the game. The industry is continually working towards creating awareness about the high degree of skill that the game involves. Estimates say that close to a million players in India currently play real-money poker on a regular basis. In the coming years, a boost with potential competitors entering the poker scene in India is on the cards. But overall, governments are waking up to the fact that huge revenues are generated through the game, as witnessed by the recent decision of the Karnataka government to consider floating casinos. In addition, the government’s support will definitely have a positive impact on the online version of poker.
India is growing from strength to strength with internet and smartphones becoming easily available for the masses. This has, in turn, created a large market and given impetus to the online poker industry to keep moving ahead. Pegged at $110 – $120 million in 2016, the industry is expected to achieve record-breaking revenue and growth in the coming years.