Indian State Issues First Official iPoker LicensesDecember 20, 2016 12:07 pm
Having legalized online poker in April of this year, the Indian state of Nagaland has now issued its first official iPoker licenses. Under the northeastern district’s new licensing regime, Khelo365.com and ClubEmpire.in are able to legally offer their poker games online, as well as advertise their products to the general public.
Unlike other gambling games, Indian’s have a fondness for skilled-based card games, such as Rummy, which is considered somewhat of a national pastime in the country of 1.25 billion people. In 2015, the Supreme Court subsequently ruled in a landmark case that playing rummy for stakes, either online or offline, did not amount to a gambling offence, thus paving the way forward for Nagaland to move ahead with the licensing of the game.
In addition to now regulating rummy and online poker, Nagaland’s licensing regime has also included a number of other skilled-based games in its framework, including chess, Sudoku, virtual sports, soccer and fantasy sports. Following the issuing of its first two licenses, Vinod Manoharan, Managing Director for K365, commented:
“We are proud to be the first company to have procured the license and to have submitted all our documents to a regulatory authority. The license issued by the Nagaland government will end the debate on the legality of online poker once and for all and will enable this industry to boom.”
Needless to say, it won’t be long before some of the world’s biggest online poker operators begin applying for licenses, and although Nagaland is a small state of just 2.27 million people, laying the foundations of their business in India will ultimately allow them to be well-placed should other Indian states subsequently follow suit. One such company is Amaya, which has already signalled its intention to license its brand PokerStars in Nagaland sometime in the first quarter of 2017. It has been suggested, however, that a fully fledged poker boom on the subcontinent, if it ever happens, could be more than five years away.