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World's Largest Poker Site Eyeing Indian Market

PokerStars Could Gain From Massive Mobile Phone Market For Games

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PokerStars, the world’s largest poker site in terms of market share, plans to launch in India by the end of the year, according to a report from Bloomberg.

The move could offset an exit from the Australian market after lawmakers there have seemed committed to enacting a ban on offshore online gaming companies. The launch would come less than two years after the World Poker Tour partnered with India’s largest web poker platform.

PokerStars’ plans for India would also come through a local partnership.

India’s online poker market is estimated at more than $200 million. According to the report, PokerStars would be available in the majority of Indian states. The country currently has a patchwork of laws on internet poker.

“It’s a booming country,” CEO Rafi Ashkenazi said. “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.”

India has some 1.2 billion mobile users, making it an extremely attractive market for online gaming companies. Poker could represent only a small piece of the possible $1 billion internet gaming market within the next five years, according to a KPMG estimate.

PokerStars has leveraged its database of more than 100 million registered poker players to grow its sports book and house-banked casino games divisions.

Poker made up 69 percent of total online gaming revenue of $317.3 million in the first quarter of this year, down from 75 percent the year prior.