If the Amaya Gaming Group CEO David Baazov’s last week’s conference call on the gambling software company as well as current owners of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker is any indication then the answer is yes. In a discussion which primarily started with the Gaming Groups 2014 Quarter 2 Financial Results also went to talk about expansion plans in Asia and Latin America and venturing into Sports Betting.
In fact, the CEO went on to mention India as one of the geographies that Amaya will look to target through their online poker site PokerStars. In a question asked by David McFatchen of Carl Marks Securities, this is what Baazvo answered-
“David McFatchen: Hi. I have a couple of questions. Just on PokerStars, you talk about new verticals, you know what they are, online casino and sportsbook. Then you talk about additional geographies. Outside of the U.S., what additional geographies do you see as potential to expand the business?
Baazov: That’s a good question, and David, I’d answer it from two perspectives. I think that the verticals that you mention and we talk about are gaming-specific.
When we look at this company, we look at it as having 86 million consumers, not just gamblers. We look to expand into other verticals that are potentially non-gaming as well; but in terms of geographies outside of the U.S., I’d say that there are geographies that we look at in terms of India as well as some other Latin American countries where we feel there’s going to be significant growth.”
—————————————————————————————————————————————————————–Add to this fact that a Supreme Court Ruling is soon expected on whether rummy and other card games with stakes are legal or no. Come September 16(when that ruling is expected on rummy) and it could set the precedence for poker to follow the long impending battle to be considered as a game of skill. This could set the perfect path for PokerStars to enter the Indian market which is currently unregulated. PokerStars continues to function in India currently and in fact even has specialised Indian offers for Indian poker players. But we hope a favorable ruling and regulation will bring legal deposits and redemption.
Will we soon have a pokerstars.in? Only time will tell! But India is definetely on the poker map of Amaya and we can only hope for online poker in India to look up from here.