Is there any stopping the Indian online card gaming market?

  • Indian onnline rummy portal stake sells for for $7.3 million
  • Indian mobile gaming industry expected to be worth $3 billion by 2019

While many Indian start-ups are struggling to make it big, the success of an online gambling portal has shown one route to financial success.

Matrix Partners India recently sold its stake in online rummy portal Ace2Three to the Clairvest Group for around $7.3 million, representing a 2,000% return.

Ace2Three’s video advertisement has already hit more than 16 million views on YouTube.

Ace2Three is part of the booming mobile gaming industry in India that has taken off in the last 10 years as gaming moved from real world casinos to the internet. According to research carried out by Reliance games, the value of the Indian mobile casino and gambling industry could hit $3 billion by 2019, while online card gaming has been growing by 100% every quarter.

And Ace2Three is not the first online portal to attract significant investment. Rummy and Poker platform Adda52 was sold to Delta last September for around $2.4 million.

Legal Grey Area

There is a cloud on the horizon, however, for India’s online gaming companies. Although these portals are booming, their legality remains uncertain.

Gambling in an online platform is illegal in India and is regulated by the Information Technology Act of 2000, along with the Intermediary Guidelines (Rules) 2011.

But both the Central Gambling Act and the various State Gaming Acts permit exemptions for games of skill, and since the Indian Supreme Court has declared rummy to be a game of skill, online rummy gaming appears legal.

The same cannot be said of poker, as its status as a game of skill has not been tested in the Indian courts, and those portals operating both poker and rummy games are operating in a legal grey area.

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