The Stars Group is one of the leading companies in the online gambling world, providing millions of people with the opportunity to give their luck a try on a daily basis. With the constant exploration of new markets, the company is striving to make sure it is present in the largest markets, India being one of them. With the help of a recently announced partnership with an Indian lottery group, PokerStars is going to enter the field.
Canada-cased Stars Group confirmed its collaboration with lottery and gaming entity Sugal & Damani Group, which is going to make the plans of exploring the new market a reality with the help of an India-facing online poker website. For the time being an official launch date for the new online location has not been appointed, but it has been confirmed that it will have the domain extension .in. The domain name of the new website is a property of Kolkata-listed Sachiko Gaming Private Limited. As it has been confirmed, this is a spin-off company of the Mumbai-based Sachar Gaming Private Limited.
The later is known for its operation of a rummy site, which goes by the name of khelplayrummy as well as for its former management of an online poker site called khelplay. As of this moment, the said online poker domain has been shut down, in order to make way for the new PokerStars web page which will welcome its first players in the foreseeable future. It could be recalled that The Stars Group has announced its intentions to make its way to the Indian market several times in the past, but it seems like now these plans are well on their way to become reality.
Timeline of the Exploration Plans
The talk about an Indian domain started back in June 2017, when the Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto-based company, Rafi Ashkenazi, expressed his desire to enter India in time, as this is an evolving market and being one of the first entities to operate in the online gambling field could be beneficial for the company. It should be noted that the Indian poker market amounts to some US$150 million on an annual basis and the forecasts are for a steady growth.
The same month saw the official passing of a new law by the state of Nagaland which made it possible for online poker operators to operate within the borders of the state. This became possible after India’s Supreme Court had given green light for legalizing online games of skill back in December 2016, providing the needed space for operation to many international online gambling entities.
However, there was the condition that only a person or entity incorporated in India could operate an online poker site. This is the main reason why The Stars Group is now opting for the collaboration with an already licensed operator such as Sugal & Damani. Exploring the new market will be beneficial for the company, as there is the possibility of exiting the Russian one, due to the crackdown on online gambling.