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Alibaba & India Gaming Market

|About: Alibaba Group Holding Limited (BABA), AGTEF, TCEHY

Online poker tournaments get big in India as interest in digital gaming grows

The online poker industry is growing in India which according to reports stands at an estimated Rs 700 crore at present.

It was a big day for Prashant Sekar who won Rs 33 lakh playing one of India's biggest poker tournaments held by PokerBaazi.

Sekar, a business management graduate from IIM (Tiruchirappalli) had a good job with Amazon India but quit to pursue his passion for the game. He is currently working as a product manager in an online gaming firm and plays poker to earn a substantial income.

The Game Changer tournament that took place between February 20 and 24 saw as many as 3,777 entries. Talking to Moneycontrol, Navkiran Singh, founder, and CEO of PokerBaazi said that they expected around 2,000 entries. However, they received an overwhelming response and expects "to see bigger numbers going forward since this was the first ever Rs 2 crore GTD (guaranteed amount) tournament".

The poker website also organizes a Rs 1 crore guaranteed amount tournament called Moneymaker which is held once every three months.

Such tournaments only validate the fact that the online poker industry is growing in India, which according to reports stands at an estimated Rs 700 crore.

Along with PokerBaazi, platforms like Spartan Poker and Adda52 are major firms looking to join the space. Last year, founder of Viaan Industries Raj Kundra ventured into the poker world with PokerRaj.

According to experts, new players in the online poker industry will see growth, as the digital gaming market is booming in India. Giants like Alibaba-backed Paytm, Tencent and Nazara are betting big on the industry.

While Tencent has plans to invest in the Indian gaming industry, Chinese gaming and entertainment company AGTech Holdings, a subsidiary of Alibaba in a joint venture with Paytm launched "Gamepind"  one of India's biggest online game platform company in January last year...

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Disclosure: I am/we are long BABA. 8279 HK (AGTEF).