PokerStars will launch special Indian Poker Site on April 17
There are not so many markets that are uncovered by poker giant PokerStars. The room is widely considered to be the #1 room around the globe with special reservations in Italy, Portugal and many countries in EU. Now PokerStars is ready to enter absolutely new market for international rooms — India.
It is officially confirmed that The Stars Group will launch adapted Indian version of their online poker site on April 17. The company has partnered with Sugal&Damani, Indian gaming company owned by Sachiko Gaming Private Limited, and has to block the access to their “dotcom” site for India and operate in conditions of reservation. Sugal&Damani also owns the domain of Indian PokerStars. April 16 will be the last day when players could use international PokerStars website.
All features of the main website will be included in its Indian version, including Sunday Million and the World Championship of Online Poker, with only change that it will be held inside India. Only people which are connecting from India will have an opportunity to take part in these special events.
Let’s talk about outcomes of setting reservations inside the countries by analyzing the experience of European community.
In the mid-2000s many european countries has ruled that online poker should become country-based or leave the market. This should have been implemented by basing a part of the company in reservation country, as well as servers and necessary operation staff. The purpose of this rule was getting material benefits from not only players but also from companies that open their operations in their country in the form of taxes.
Partly, this plan worked. France, Spain, Italy and Portugal have managed to convert it in the new source of revenues. Germany, Denmark and Sweden also introduced such laws, but they didn’t oblige companies to open offices in their countries, so they didn’t get much from this act.
The international economic collapse of 2008 had influenced badly the system. Tax revenues of countries reduced dramatically. “The Black Friday” of 2011 destroyed online poker in the USA and had huge effect on international poker with players losing money because of closures of Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet in 2011 and Full Tilt Poker in 2012.
Reservation policies also affected players. International operators acquire players from all over the world, and reservations were restricted by age (often 18) only in these countries. Another effect was the loss of those players who once have lost in the game, they didn’t return.
Recently, reservations in Europe have come to the understanding that this way of operating doesn’t work, so they decided to establish European reservation. This was implemented in the end of 2017 and changed the whole structure and system of operating to the good.
It is a big question whether Indian PokerStars will achieve success. Entering this market, PokerStars will confront competition from local companies (a popular local room Adda52, for example) and illegality of poker in some Indian states.