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Stars Group CEO says PokerStars India website in ‘soft launch’ stage; marketing activities to start by year end



Canada-based The Stars Group, the parent company of the PokerStars brand, said that its India product is still in its nascent stage and that the company has not yet started full fledged marketing and promoting activities. The company added that it would start proper marketing campaigns by the fourth quarter of this calendar year.

Responding to a query regarding the progress made on the PokerStars India website, The Stars Group CEO Rafi Ashkenazi said on an investor call, “It’s very early days for India. To an extent I can say that the product is not really ready for the market. There are few elements that we still need to — few gaps that we still need to close before we start our marketing campaign, probably in Q4, more towards Q4 of this year. So, if you can refer India currently as a soft launch with increased focus on this market probably starting in Q4.”

The Stars Group has partnered with lottery conglomerate Sugal & Damani Group to start a ring-fenced India-facing poker website, that officially started operations on 17th April, 2018.

The Stars Group has licensed its trademark and intellectual property rights to an Indian company, Sachiko Gaming Pvt. Ltd. The company is owned and promoted by the Sugal & Damani Group, which is in charge of handling the day-to-day operations of the Indian website.

The Stars Group has not released revenue or profit details of its India venture, although the overall (global) second quarter revenues of the company from online poker have been pegged at US$217 million.

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.