Poker players in India will be happy to know that Amaya Inc, the parent company of PokerStars has plans to launch an online poker website in India before the end of the year. Pokerstars is the biggest online poker website in the world and dominates almost every market that it enters.
Amaya To Be Known As The Stars Group
The announcement was made by CEO Rafi Ashkenazi during an annual meeting with shareholders where a number of important decisions and strategies were discussed. One of the decisions that the shareholders approved was to change the company’s name from Amaya Inc into the Stars Group. The change is expected to be rolled out before the end of August 2017.
Amaya Inc is looking to distance itself from the scandal that has gone on for the last 18 months and go through a complete makeover. The company’s founder and former CEO David Baazov along with former key executives were accused of insider trading. Baazov stepped down from his roles in Amaya Inc but continued to be associated with the company because he is a major shareholder and also because he launched a bid to purchase the company and take it private.
Amaya Relocates Headquarters
That bid fell through and Baazov has done his best to keep a distance from Amaya Inc which was what the shareholders wanted. The makeover is another step to distance the company from the Baazov-past. The company has also decided to relocate its office from Montreal to Toronto – a decision that was also approved by the shareholders. Amaya will continue to maintain a small office in Montreal for the time being.
Amaya To Launch In India
Amaya Inc had announced in the past that it was keeping a close watch on the growing poker market in India. Poker is still considered a game of chance in many states in India but that image is slowing changing as poker lobbyists look to push poker as a game of skill and not chance. Gaming laws in India permit online games of skill but require the company that provides these online gaming services to be registered in India and have their servers based in India.
This requirement means that PokerStars is looking to partner with an Indian company and will most likely form a partnership with an established online poker website. is currently the biggest online poker site in India and is reported to have more than 1 million users. There is no indication as of now if PokerStars will partner with Adda52 but the company’s chief operating officer is visiting India to select a potential partner and work out an agreement.
In a statement, CEO Rafi Ashkenazi said “India is quite an exciting market. It’s a booming country and we want to be there and we want to be there in time and make sure that we are as usual the market leader when it comes to poker.”
Indian Poker Scene
The popularity of poker is growing rapidly in India as two poker leagues in a similar vein as the Global Poker League launched mini-tournaments earlier this year to promote poker as sport and educate legislators about poker strategy.
There are also a number of Indians who are now leaving their full time jobs to pursue a career in poker. The guarantees for poker tournaments in India have continued to grow significantly during the last 24 months which has made it possible for young Indians to pursue their passion and make a comfortable living from both offline and online poker tournaments.
However as the momentum to spread the game of poker grows in India, there is bound to opposition from a number of religious and secular parties who view poker as a form of gambling.
Indian Poker Market
India has the fastest growing smart-phone market in the world and this has contributed to the growth of online poker as just about every online poker website has a mobile poker app. KPMG data has shown that India will add nearly 190 million gamers by 2021 and revenue will double to nearly $1 billion. The current poker market in India is estimated to be around $200 million.

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