PokerStars Sets Sights on India and USAJune 23, 2017 9:20 am
PokerStars has set its sights on India, with the CEO of its parent company, Amaya, currently on the sub-continent finalizing a deal that would allow the brand to partner with an already existing licensee and begin operating later this year.
In addition to being one of the world most populous countries with more than 1.3 billion people, India has a fast growing smartphone market which currently registers around 1.2 billion users. According to a KPMG estimates, India’s internet gambling industry is also expected to at least double within the next four years to $1 billion, with online poker commanding around a $150 million share of the market. Commenting on the country’s prospects going forward, Amaya Chief Executive Officer Rafi Ashkenazi explains:
“It’s a booming country. We want to be there in time and we want to make sure that we are, as usual, the market leader when it comes to poker.”
Making further inroads into both India and the United States presents the poker room with a good opportunity to offset its losses following its impending exit from the lucrative Australian market after the country finally implements its ban on offshore gambling operators. In the US, for instance, the poker market is worth around $2 billion, with online casino games worth a further $20 billion or so for the industry.
However, an expansion of online poker regulation across the US is first needed before the country can start reaching its true potential, especially with the game legal in just three states, namely Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey. Next possible candidates to eventually pass online gambling legislation includes California, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Illinois. Nevertheless, PokerStars has already been labelled a “bad actor” by some politicians in these states for flaunting the UIGEA (2006), and it remains to be seen whether the Canadian operator would actually be in a position to reap the rewards from any such positive move concerning online gambling stateside.