INDIA'S NAGALAND PROVINCE ISSUES FIRST ONLINE POKER LICENSE
K365 Web Assets Pvt. Ltd., secures licence to operate khelo365.com.
The online poker market in India, already attracting interest through the high profile activities of Adda52 and the opening of licensing in the Sikkim province two years ago, took another tentative step forward this week when the Nagaland province issued its first online poker license to K365 Web Assets Pvt. Ltd., which operates the locally-targeted online poker website khelo365.com, offering NLHE, Pot Limit Omaha and Indian 13 card rummy.
Khelo365 software operates 24/7 in both multi-player cash game and tournament formats via all desktop and mobile channels.
A website notice declares: “The games which our site offers license have explicitly been declared to be legal by Statutes governing gaming laws and by various judgments passed by the Honorable Supreme Court and/or various High Courts in India.”
Announcing the award of the license to his company, K365 Web Assets m.d. Vinod Manoharan emphasized the skill-gaming element in poker and commented:
"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.”
The khelo365.com license is issued under the authority of Nagaland's Prohibition of Gambling and Promotion and Regulation of Online Games of Skill Act, 2016, and does not specifically restrict operations to within Nagaland borders, instead authorizing activity in “states or union territories where games of skill are permitted.”
Companies like Amaya's Pokerstars may find the Nagaland development interesting; certainly the company has its eyes on the potential of the Indian market, with Amaya CEO Rafi Ashkenazi commenting during a results conference call last month that Pokerstars is keen on finding a local partner in India through which it could expand its business in the region.
“I don’t have a specific update at this time in terms of timing, but we believe that we would be able to operate in India hopefully soon, and maybe as soon as Q1 or Q2 next year,” Ashkenazi said, suggesting that revenues could be substantial and as high as $150 million annually.
Major Indian online poker operator Adda52 and World Poker Tour have partnered in the region where strong economic activity continues to take place and the national population tops 1.3 billion people.
Adda52 chief executive Anuj Gupta claimed earlier this year that online poker is booming in India.