Why Entrepreneurs Are Placing Their Bets on Poker Since 2017, the online poker industry in India has seen a phenomenal boom with the mushrooming of plenty of operators and players

By Sanchita Dash

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Cards on the table and bets are placed. One calls the other's bluff, while another raises the bet. You have a good hand but you are unsure, so you fold.

We are of course talking about the thrill of playing poker with your friends. Winter nights or summer mornings, cards have been a household game in the Indian homes. But when you talk about poker, it has millennial written all over it. Friends get together to play poker as they manage to raise some money by the side.

But now, regardless of them being in the same city, poker has managed to keep friends united over a deck of cards. With people turning to online games, more and more poker start-ups are finding their way into the Indian market.

Entrepreneurs too are turning their love for poker into a business. We spoke to founders about how the poker mania has hit India and why it's a great business opportunity.


Over the past few years, more and more people have become hooked to playing poker. Amit Kanodia, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, MadOverPoker, said that since 2017, the online poker industry in India has seen a phenomenal boom with the mushrooming of plenty of operators and players. Kanodia shared that there are publications in the media that have a space dedicated to coverage of the game, stable houses that back players to play on online games for a percentage of their profits, coaching content providers who provide learning content that help aspirational players improve their game for a subscription fee and affiliates that serve to refer new players and aid in player pool expansion for a fee.

"This boom has resulted in the rise of many "facilitator' business models that contribute to the growth of poker industry and have created a poker ecosystem in itself," he said. He added that this poker ecosystem offers plenty of opportunities for every aspiring entrepreneur that are not just limited to being a player or an operator.

Dealing with Fun

One of the biggest reasons behind the popularity of the app is that it is an addictive game that you can play with friends, but also make profits out of it. Amin Rozani , MD & co-founder, The Spartan Poker believes that India's young population is looking to enjoy newer forms of entertainment which not only challenges their mind but also affords them an alternate source of revenue.

"This is where games of skill like poker come in and Indian entrepreneurs are looking to capitalize on this growing trend. The online platform is especially useful in offering games like poker, rummy, fantasy sports and more because of the sheer convenience of game play," he said.

The convenience of the game is definitely another major reason why it attracts so many players. Rozani points out that whether an individual is playing on a computer in the comfort of his/her home or using a mobile phone to play on the move, it's extremely easy to do so now. "The focus is on giving players the most convenient and user friendly experience possible. The goal of the entrepreneur is to popularize the sport of poker, provide means for players to improve their knowledge and skills along with the best possible online platforms which couple with great customer service will facilitate a satisfying gaming experience for the user," he said.

Sanchita Dash

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India

In the business of news for 5 years now. Making my way across India thanks to my career. A media graduate from Symbiosis, Pune, I have earlier worked with Deccan Chronicle (South India's leading English daily), T-Hub (India's largest incubator) and Anthill Ventures (a speed-scaling platform). 

Stories, movies and PJs are my thing. 

If you hear 'The Office' opening score randomly, don't worry it's just my phone ringing. 


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