PokerStars the leading online poker website in the world has promised to launch operations in India for the last couple of years. The online poker giant recently signed a partnership with a domestic firm and has now confirmed that it will launch PokerStars India on April 17.
There are a number of poker players in India who have created accounts with the main PokerStars website and play online poker. However, Indian PokerStars players will be unable to use their international PokerStars account from April 16. This is because PokerStars will require all Indian players to work with the Indian facing PokerStars website and will be required to create a new account.
Indian poker pros will be able to make their wagers in their local currency which is the Indian rupee and will be segregated from the international PokerStars player pool.
In a statement, Rafi Ashkenazi, Stars Group CEO, said
In India, we have entered into an arrangement with a well-established domestic licensed lottery and gaming operator, which will give our brand access to this highly populated market and ability to build awareness for both our PokerStars brand and the game itself.
PokerStars Will Be Patient With Indian Market
PokerStars is jumping into a competitive market, with other online poker sites having already set-up shop. This includes local names like Spartan Poker, Adda52.com, PokerBaazi, Khelo365 and PokaBunga. PokerStars knows that it will take a few years before the business will become profitable and it will time for it to build its player database in India.
The PokerStars.in site will be operated by Sachiko Gaming Private Limited. It is an offshoot of Sachar Gaming, which is further connected to the Indian lottery giant, Sugal and Damani Group. PokerStars will rely on its reputation to bring in new poker pros and quickly overtake the competition.
GameIntel, the online gambling monitoring site estimates that most of the popular Indian poker sites will have around 800 cash games seats filled at any time. This is more than twice the size of the current poker markets of Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey.
PokerStars has been in the industry leading for over a decade and is known for running some of the most popular online poker tournaments and promotions in the history of the game. It will be interesting to see the new promotions and tournaments that PokerStars will present to its Indian players in its first year of operation.