India on its Way to Become Poker Hub – PokerStars Likely to Leave Australian Market by July
The excitement surrounding poker in India is not just confined to PSL, it has gone up extra mile especially after the World Poker Tour expanded its partnership with Adda52.com, India’s largest online poker website, by announcing the first-ever WPTDeepStacks India and a WPT India Player of the Year award.
The $1,000 buy-in DeepStacks India Main Event will take place November 7-13 at the Deltin Royale Goa and it will be one of the three final qualifying events for WPT India Player of the Year. The other two events, which will qualify players for WPT India POY race include $540 buy-in Deltin Poker Tour Main Event Goa (July 20-24) and $540 buy-in Deltin Poker Tour Main Event Goa (September 6-11).
Giving insight on India’s poker scene, the WPT’s Angelica Hael, Vice President of the global tour management said, “With a burgeoning poker community in a country with a population of more than 1.3 billion, India is one of the most important territories in the global poker landscape,”
The last few years have seen an amazing increase in the number of poker players and companies in India. Certainly, the country has the population required for a poker boom and the entities like the WPT, Adda52.com, and many other major players are of course making their best efforts to take this boom to next level.
PokerStars Likely to Leave Australia Market by July 2017
The World’s largest poker site is likely to exit the Australian market, as an anti-poker legislation may be enacted in coming weeks. For now, the poker site is allowing the Aussie players to play poker for real money, but in July things will possibly change and players will no longer be enjoying the same.
“If the current proposed legislation is enacted in Australia, we intend to block players in that market,” said the company’s CFO Daniel Sebag. “We currently estimate that the proposed legislation could be considered in late May, and we would block players in that market approximately 30 days thereafter.”
Back in 2015, a study of online poker taking place in the country recommended closing the “loopholes” that allowed Aussie players to play online poker for real money. A law dating back to 2001 sought to prohibit the online poker games, leading to a grey market situation in Australia.
Until now, Australian authorities overlooked web poker, but this is set to change with some new rules after which the online poker companies won’t be able to offer games to Australians unless licensed.
Amaya, the parent company of PokerStars, was offering poker to Australian customers under its Isle of Man global gaming license till now, but things are going to change in a few weeks from now. Given the unfavorable laws for online poker in Australia, 888Poker, one of PokerStars’ main competitors, has already left the market in January and now it is perhaps the turn of PokerStarts to leave it.
Australians spend more on poker than people anywhere else in the world, but there is not enough room left for PokerStars in the Australian market. In the Q1 of 2017, Amaya’s revenue from poker has grown up, but what would be the impact of losing Australia on Amaya’s poker revenue is still unclear?
Not just online poker, the Australian authorities are also planning to prohibit the online betting firms from offering credit to gamblers and also requiring them to offer self-exclusion programs.