While Asia has been a hotbed of poker activity, especially in places, such as China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Japan, India has not normally been a place people would call active in poker. India has traditionally been thought of as a country that did not approve of gaming because it takes the focus away from duty and other religious pursuits. However, poker has gained a foothold and is experiencing rapid growth in the country. This was evidenced by the recognition of the Asian Poker Tour (APT), which said it needs to add more Indians to its tour if it wants to attract more Indians to poker. To that end, the tour has signed an agreement with an Indian gaming company that offers online games to find more competitors in the Indian market.
The partnership between the poker tour and the Indian gaming company, Baadshah Gaming, is the first of its kind in Asia. The agreement allows Baadshah Gaming to host poker tour events in different locations across India. In addition, the gaming site can use the APT logo on its website to help promote the tour, especially since the company offers a variety of poker games on its website. The partnership is expected to be beneficial for both the APT and Baadshah Gaming because both companies will be able to take advantage of the growth of poker in India.
In the last five years, poker in India has experienced a staggering amount of growth. India, with its thriving technology sector, is looking for new partnerships with companies outside India to play poker, as well as promote online poker. This new partnership between the gaming company and the APT will give players on Baadshah’s website a chance to participate in qualifiers in order to enter APT events beginning this year.
The Asian Poker Tour
The Asian Poker Tour hosts more than 80 poker tournaments throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The event, which began promoting poker tournaments in 2008, can be found in several large gaming countries, such as the Philippines, Macau, and South Korea. While the APT is not as large as some of the poker tournaments in the United States, it has experienced rapid growth in recent years.
India and Gaming
India is still debating whether to legalize online poker in the country. While online casinos in the northeastern state of Nagaland have been issued poker licenses, Gujarat in the west has refused to grant a license to online gamers. There, it isn’t considered a game of skill, and, so, it is not legal. Although the future is not definite for players playing in India, the partnership of Baadshah and the APT gives Indian players a place to play poker outside the country if necessary.
In addition, both the APT and Baadshah are hoping the poker recognition and better money for poker tournaments will help them bring more Indian players to the game. Local or national champions of poker usually lead to an influx of poker players from that country. For example, many Indians know Vivek Rajkumar, who was born in India and spends his time traveling between India and the United States for matches. He has earned nearly $5 million in winnings in the last 10 years, which makes him a player to be reckoned with on the world stage. If India can produce another winner of that caliber, both the APT and Baadshah stand to profit from the publicity. In addition, if the skill of poker can be demonstrated in India, then the country’s courts may grant more licenses. And, that means that there will be even more players to compete at tournaments in the future.
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