All India Gaming Federation (AIGF), the apex industry body for Policy Advocacy & Regulation for online gaming in India launched the second edition of ‘Pro Series’ on 19th Nov, 2019 in Mumbai.
With this event, AIGF aims to bring recognition and create awareness about online Skill Gaming in India.
The second edition was kick-started by AIGF hosting a knowledge session with international poker operator – Pokerstars in Mumbai and highlighting topics like developments in the poker industry, the legal landscape of Poker in India, the importance of self-regulation, responsible gaming and the growth of poker in the Indian & international market.
AIGF CEO Mr. Roland Landers said that ‘PRO SERIES’ is aimed towards spreading awareness as there is a lack of understanding among Indian people with regards to online skill gaming.
“Though the industry is witnessing robust growth for the business and in terms of player adoption there still exists a lack of understanding around online skill gaming in India hence it is important to create awareness amongst relevant stakeholders. ‘PRO SERIES’ aims to achieve that objective wherein top professional players and other domain experts will share key insights about Poker being a mind sport and on the dependence of various skills required for playing it,”.
“I am glad that AIGF’s association with Pokerstars will enable spreading awareness about the game and focus on our self – regulation mechanism,” he added.
The online poker industry is growing at a rapid pace in India and it is estimated to account for 15 percent of the entire online skill gaming industry in India. Talking about the rise of online poker in India, Mr. Ankur Dewani, CEO, PokerStars India stated, “We are happy to see India taking up online poker & other games of skill that are not just another entertainment option but can also provide a platform to those looking to learn new skills. Our endeavour is to help boost this growth by investing in ATL marketing campaigns like the one we launched as India’s first Poker TV ad campaign in March this year,’ Dewani said.
“We at PokerStars.in ensure utmost safety and security for all our players who use our platform and have strict policies in place to ensure player safety and experience,” he added.
Highlighting the legal landscape of Poker in India, Co-Head: Media, Gaming & Entertainment Practice Group, Nishith Desai Associates, Ms. Ranjana Adhikari stated, “The current legal framework is a state-wise regime, contemplating mainly brick and mortar based gaming. But with most entertainment platforms going digital, a state-wise law doesn’t address the needs of a thriving internet based business. Contrasting judicial approach and legislative changes of the states, threaten the stability and sustainability of online gaming businesses. A central law regulating the same is perhaps the need of the hour, to give the industry stability in legislative policy and clarity for decision making.”
“Following the successful self-regulation model of the broadcasting industry, AIGF’s initiative to self-regulate games like online poker is in the right spirit and direction. Skill gaming is in fact protected by the Constitution of India and the online poker industry embracing self-regulation as an interim framework to govern themselves, reflects the bonafide intent to remain above law.” she added
Sharing a player’s perspective, Pro Player, Pokerstars & Responsible Gaming Ambassador – AIGF, Ms. Muskan Sethi, said “What could’ve been better than turning my passion into profession? Though, initially, I started playing poker for points with my friends and acquaintances, the urge to be the leader always pushed me to get the best out of my game. As I read and practiced the game avidly, for me it was a game of skill that required one to have knowledge of mathematics, psychology, game strategy and probability.”
AIGF has been at the forefront of advocating for a regulated Online Gaming marketplace in India and ‘PRO SERIES’ is another one of our initiative that aims at sensitizing & educating the community about the online poker industry with the help of events, knowledge sessions, round tables, conferences and many other initiatives. This year, the second edition of PRO SERIES will consist of a multicity knowledge session involving India’s best poker pros, key operators and other stakeholders in various cities.