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FICCI & ICE organise successful India Gaming Seminar in London; all speakers urge government to open up the gaming industry



After its successful Sports Law & Sports Betting Conference in October 2013, India’s top trade body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) and ICE, the world’s leading gaming exhibition organiser collaborated to have a special “India Gaming Seminar” at the ICE Totally Gaming Exhibition in Excel London on 4th February 2014.

The free-to-attend seminar saw participation of more than one hundred delegates including representatives of top gaming companies such as Ladbrokes, Microgaming, Paddypower, Sugal & Damani, Future Gaming etc. The one day event was divided into five panel discussions and three keynote addresses.

Hon’ble Justice (retired) Mukul Mudgal, former Chief Justice of the Punjab & Haryana High Court, member of various government committees and an articulate advocate of legalising gambling apprised the audience of the legal position on gambling and betting and pointed out the paradox in India where lottery which is a pure game of chance is allowed in various states but other card games and some mixed games of skill and chance are prohibited.  He urged the government to consider regulating gambling in a structured manner and suggested that it is best that the Central government regulate online gaming under the inter-state trade and commerce clause of the Constitution.

Rajpal Singh, Director of FICCI Sports Division discussed the business environment and opportunities in India and also spoke about how revenues from gaming can be used to improve sports infrastructure in India. Kamlesh Vijay, Group CEO of top Indian lottery company Sugal & Damani spoke about the estimates and opportunities in the lottery industry and estimated the legal lottery market in India to be worth  US $ 4 billion. He reckoned that the number could rise up to US $ 16 billion if all states across India regulated lotteries.

The first panel on the Indian gaming industry also witnessed a lively discussion amongst some of the most experienced persons in the gaming industry. Tim Shepherd, Kamlesh Vijay, Rakesh Wadhwa, Rajpal Singh, Kapil Khanna and Mickey Kalifa discussed the current available opportunities in the gaming industry and hoped that a comprehensive framework to allow gambling would be formulated by the government soon, possibly after the 2014 General Elections.  The panel also discussed most other issues relating to the gaming industry such as the need to have a just and reasonable taxation regime and the need to lift Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and FEMA restrictions on gaming.

India Gaming Seminar Panel I: Indian Gaming in Context

India Gaming Seminar Panel I: Indian Gaming in Context founder Jay Sayta apprised the audience of the legal position on  games of skill in India and the ongoing cases on poker and rummy in the Delhi High Court and Supreme Court respectively. He was optimistic about the outcome of these decisions and added that depending on these decisions India could see a possible rise in the number of poker, rummy and fantasy sport operators in the near future. He added that until such time that there is a comprehensive legislation on gaming, running online and offline games of skill  would be the possible route to commence operations in India for both Indian and foreign gaming operators.

Patrick Nally, President of the International Federation of Poker (IFP) was confident of poker being held to be a game of skill as per Indian law and gave examples of France and other jurisdictions where courts were convinced of the substantial degree of skill involved in poker. He also told the audience about the efforts of IFP in developing poker as a mind sport not necessarily involving monetary incentives.

Ankush Gera, founder of Junglee Games and Anuj Gupta, founder of spoke about the opportunities and growth of the skill games market, specially poker and rummy as well as social games apart from legal and taxation issues involved in operating out of India.

Commenting on the success of ICE India Gaming Seminar, Albert Climent, gaming consultant and chief organiser of the event said, “The first ever India gaming summit in ICE has been a success. Thanks to everyone involved for their support. Hopefully, the next one will be bigger and better, and we can have all Indian gaming community and interests represented to continue a healthy and necessary discussion.”

Note: For more details about the India Gaming Seminar, read founder Jay Sayta and CEO Anuj Gupta’s interview to Pokerguru here. Full details of all the panels at the seminar can be accessed here.

Jay has researched extensively on gaming laws and has been cited by various media houses and journals as an expert. He has helped leading newspapers in their stories on gaming laws. Jay completed his B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) degree from NUJS, Kolkata in 2015 and is currently based out of Mumbai.



  1. suraj

    February 18, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    superb news….i will definitely benefit from this as am a Texas holdem poker pro 🙂

  2. Ajay

    February 23, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    Mr Jay Satya,
    Hello and warm regards,
    I am a big fan of your site, and I am following the articles published in your site from a year. I know you might be busy and cant reply to each and every persons query. I would really appreciate you, if you clear my doubts on this regard. My doubts are regarding the legalities with respect to gaming/gambling laws in India. I am from Karnataka. My query is as follows:

    Gaming sites like, have been opened up to play Poker, Texas Holdem, rummy etc. These sites offer members to play with real money also. They are also affiliated with major banks to facilitate the required bank transactions for there members. What I wanted to ask you is, can anyone play with real cash on these sites without any legal problems as far as winnings are concerned? I mean are there any legal hurdles if anyone wins money through these sites. I just wanted you to throw some insights on this area.

    Kindly respond and provide knowledge to me as well as others on this point
    Thank you Jay! Have good times ahead.

  3. sunny

    February 27, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    ajay on behalf of jay sir i would suggest u signup on this website and wait n watch as m 100% sure india will change its G laws within this year as there are crores of indian who like texas poker which is skill game. + banks are associated with these website shows that its almost legal. earlier banks would not allow but now they do. india gaming industry is a hero hidden in baby face right now…soon hero will come out..just wait n watch

    • Ajay

      March 5, 2014 at 7:05 pm

      Hey Sunny Thanks for your reply….. will just verify with these banks first….And well said.


      • amit sharma

        March 11, 2014 at 3:13 pm

        very soon,a uk company starts its function in india,u can bet only cricket/football in know more can mail [email protected]

        • vikas

          May 10, 2014 at 3:02 am

          which uk company and how moch time we have to wait
          what are the legal aspects

  4. amit

    April 20, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    there are tons of ppl in across the country who wants to play poker for real money. govt shud consider the game as a game of skill because it is > and approve this on major state like maharashtra , punjab , bihar , gujarat , and everywhere.

    i even want to play poker, > plz jay sir make a big community group in india and prove the indian govt that its a game of skill and one true person should open a website of poker without being poker rigged playing f**in BOTS Like pokerstars.

    the idea is to make game a small game not one day quick rich game like >

    deposit RS 100

    Table – 1 to 10rs
    Table2- 20 to 40rs
    Table3 – 50 to 100rs





  5. Phani surya

    December 15, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    Hi Jay sayta.. I am following you on Internet. I would like to know if I can bet on bet365 and pay tax to government.

    • Jay Sayta

      December 16, 2015 at 10:26 am

      pls see the posts about fema implications of betting on offshore online websites.

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