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5 Reasons to Invest in the Online Poker Gaming Industry Rising smartphone users created a stable marketplace for the mobile gaming sector, as users are constantly on the lookout for new forms of entertainment

By Navkiran Singh

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With the Internet and augmented reality in social networks on the rise, we are most likely to deal almost everything online and the game of poker is no exception. Poker, like entrepreneurship, is a game of skill. Keep an eye on the competition and develop a winning strategy. Similarly, entrepreneurship is a high stakes game where you're battling against the odds. Given the similarities between poker and starting your own company, it should come as no surprise that poker pros are drawn to the entrepreneurial lifestyle.

In a study released in May 2018, it stated that the online gaming industry is worth a staggering $116 Billion, whereas Television is worth $105 Billion. Furthermore, we cannot forget that the gaming industry has gone up over 10per cent, while the Television industry's growth has gone down by 8per cent.

In the last couple of years, Poker has seen increased acceptance and popularity in the US, the UK, China and other European nations and now the card game online has also begun to gain immense traction in India. The ever-growing number of online poker players is a testament to the incredible popularity this sport has gained over the years. People in India have begun to recognise poker as a game of skill rather than gambling. This is one of the major reasons why a large number of players are opting for poker in comparison to other available options.

Statistics published by KPMG shows that the online gaming industry in India is estimated to be INR 4,380 crore (FY18) which is projected to grow at a CAGR of 22.1per cent to touch INR 11,880 crore by FY2023. Within this, online card games are growing at 50-100per cent year-on-year. It is believed that there are more than two lakh active poker players in India. Metros such as Bangalore, Kolkata and Ahmedabad have started to embrace online poker to an extent that the opening of new poker clubs is expected every month from here on.

As E-Sports as a category is gaining traction in India, investors are cashing in on this rapidly growing segment that holds promise for a multitude of monetization opportunities. Investing in poker online offer benefits over traditional land games because:

Device Fragmentation: Over the past two decades, online gaming has grown into a worldwide phenomenon. The ever-growing number of online players among children and adults alike is a testament to the incredible popularity this e-sport has gained over the years. The online gaming industry witnessed a boom when affordable and smartphone scene made it big in the Indian market. Games as simple as Candy Crush and Subway Surfers played casually on smartphones to Dota 2 and Counter-Strike duked out by hardcore players brought a new wave of mobile gaming in India. In terms of revenue, sub-genre games such as Poker dominated the grossing charts and grew the revenue of app developing companies. This will likely continue in 2019 with Poker games sub-genre becoming stronger and bigger.

Ageing Customers: Rising smartphone users created a stable marketplace for the mobile gaming sector, as users are constantly on the lookout for new forms of entertainment. The ageing population in particular, who grew up playing Super Mario, Pacman now have spending power and increased accessibility to online games. They are more willing to access gaming content at the tap of a screen.

Low Infrastructural Cost: It is relatively a lengthy process for obtaining licenses for casino business in India and the time and costs involved in setting up the requisite infrastructure is high. Online poker game cuts off the cost of buying a casino which could be 10 times higher than spending at online poker website.

Larger Target Audience: Online poker game attracts global customers and is easily accessible for the players and sports enthusiasts who do not want to visit a live casino or dislike visiting it to play a poker game. This contributes to esports' allure and its generation of a globally engaged fan base.

Scalability: Traditional sports have physical/spacial limitations, e-sports is more fast-paced and scalable because of its reliance on digital platforms.

Mobile gamification has certainly brought a new trend and this is the ideal time to capitalize. In business, as in the world of gaming, all you need is the willingness to take risks, hustle to get gain traction and trust in your skills if you want your company to hit the jackpot.

Navkiran Singh

Founder & CEO, Baazi Games( Parent Group of PokerBaazi)

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