Categories
Legal & Regulatory Poker

Khelplay gets sixth Nagaland online skill games license

Exclusive Sachar Gaming Pvt. Ltd., which operates rummy website khelplayrummy.com and poker website khelplay.com has received the sixth license for operating online skill games.

Sachar Gaming is the first company to have taken the ‘bouquet of games license’ for multiple games such as poker, rummy, quizzes, auction, binary options, virtual team selection games and virtual sport fantasy league games. All other five companies have taken the license for only one game, i.e. poker. Baazi Networks Pvt. Ltd. had been the last company before Sachar to have been issued the Nagaland skill games license, a couple of weeks ago.

PK Jain, Head of Operations of Sachar Gaming Pvt. Ltd. confirmed the development and said, “We are pleased to have received the license for online skill games from the Nagaland government. The license will bring greater credibility to our brand and ensure that our players feel safe and secure while playing on our website.

The licensing regime will also enable us to aggressively expand, market and advertise our games. It will also allow us to add newer games and products, which we aim to launch soon. The license will also help us achieve our vision of being the leading skill games operator in the country.”

Categories
Legal & Regulatory Poker

Pokerbaazi receives fifth Nagaland online skill games license

Exclusive Baazi Networks Pvt. Ltd., the company which operates online poker website Pokerbaazi is the fifth company to receive a license to operate online poker games from the Nagaland government.

The license issued has been issued under the the Nagaland Prohibition of Gambling and Promotion and Regulation of Online Games of Skill Act, 2016 and the Nagaland Prohibition of Gambling and Promotion and Regulation of Online Games of Skill Rules, 2016. The Nagaland Act and Rules clarifies the legal position that online skill games can be played with stakes or real money across India, unless other states through legislative or executive order prescribe otherwise.

Khelo365, Pokabunga, Pokerhigh and Club Empire are the other four websites that have received a license from the Nagaland government to operate poker games. Navkiran Singh, Director of Baazi Networks and co-founder of Pokerbaazi confirmed that his company has obtained a license for only one game, i.e. poker.

Commenting on the development he stated, “We wanted to take every step necessary to safeguard the players and their interests and we take pride in being extremely transparent. PokerBaazi is India’s most trusted poker website. Our organisation already offers the best promotions, good customer support, proper TDS process and the smoothest withdrawal process; so after updating our software, this move is in keeping with our aim to give the best experience to players in every possible way.

PokerBaazi.com is now India’s most trusted legal website. The license will help ease fears among players who feel unsafe in depositing money on online poker platforms. The license officially allows us to operate Texas Hold’em & PLO poker games in states permitting skill based online games and players can play without any apprehensions of legality.”

Categories
Legal & Regulatory Poker

Spartan Poker legal battle reaches Calcutta HC; Rajat Agarwal gets interim relief

Exclusive As reported by us earlier, an intense legal battle is shaping up in the Calcutta High Court. The Rajat Agarwal-led Spartan Poker faction has filed a civil suit in the Calcutta High Court against Spartan Online Pvt. Ltd. (a new company floated by Amin Rozani and the Indian Poker Championship faction in December, 2016 which now operates ‘The Spartan Poker’ website) and several other parties, which it can be inferred, includes the Directors of the new company and the Indian Poker Championship faction of Spartan Poker.

The civil suit came up for hearing on at least two previous occasions, i.e. on 27th February, 2017 and again on 7th March, 2017.

On 27th February, Justice Soumen Sen in his order granted interim relief to Agarwal and directed Respondent Number 7 (presumably the earlier Spartan Poker company Quadrific Media Pvt. Ltd.) to not remove Agarwal from its board of directors or not give effect to such removal, if a decision was already taken in the Extraordinary General Meeting of the shareholders on 25th February.

This interim relief granted for ten days was further extended by Justice Sen in his order dated 7th March. The matter is again listed for hearing on 20th March. The order of not giving effect to Agarwal’s removal from the board has been extended till 20th March.

Senior Advocates Pratap Chatterjee and Ranjan Bachawat and five other counsels appeared for Agarwal.  On the other hand, Senior Advocate SN Kapur and five other advocates appeared for Spartan Online Pvt. Ltd. and the other respondents, indicating that both factions are fighting the legal battle with full vigour.

Agarwal declined to give any comments on the issue or details regarding the reliefs sought by him. However it is understood that Agarwal has asked for compensation from Spartan Online Pvt. Ltd. and others as well as directive to stop ‘The Spartan Poker’ operations.

Amin Rozani, Director of Spartan Online also declined to answer specific questions on the lawsuit and said that his lawyers in Kolkata are dealing with the matter. Rozani however stated that “business is continuing as usual and The Spartan Poker will continue to grow with better offers.”

Categories
Poker

Essel Group launches new poker network with Mojo Games [Updated]

Essel Group has started its second poker website, mercurypoker.com in collaboration with Mojo Games Inc., a Canada based B2B gaming software provider.

Mercurypoker will be a part of the India Poker Network (IPN), which will be a Joint Venture between Essel Group and Mojo Games as per the latter’s press release.  Public records indicate that Pranav Bathija is the promoter of Mercury Gaming Solutions Pvt. Ltd. and the owner of the mercurypoker.com domain name. It is understood that Bathija is a close business associate of Essel Group Chairman Subhash Chandra’s son Amit Goenka.

Bathija however strongly denied having any links with Essel Group. He said, “Mercury Poker is an entirely different business entity and has nothing to do with Essel Group. Yes, I know Amit Goenka personally, but my business is not related to Essel Group at all.”

IPN expects baadshahgaming.com, a soon-to-be launched online poker website of Goa-based casino operator Pride Group to join the India Poker Network, the Mojo Games press release added.

Madhav Gupta who owns the domain name baadshahgaming.com and operates the poker room in Casino Pride however firmly denied the news. “Pride Group does not own baadshahgaming.com and has nothing to do with this proposed venture. Further, I have not signed any agreement with Mojo Gaming” stated Gupta.

The press release further stated that Mojo Games is on target with its plan to launch its iGaming solution for VLeague and Alisports, a division of Alibaba in mid-March 2017 to help market Alisports’ first IPT land based poker tournament event to be held in late April 2017. Concurrently, Mojo Games plans to roll out its own direct to consumer site to join the India network.

Interestingly, Essel Group had launched pokernation.com, an online poker website in May 2016,  as part of the Microgaming-led poker network. It is still unclear whether Essel Group will continue to be associated with two-rival Indian poker networks or shut down operations of pokernation.com altogether and exit the Microgaming-led network.

Update: The article has been updated with comments from Madhav Gupta and Pranav Bathija.

Categories
Poker

Sportsden, a new gaming site for poker enthusiasts in India [Sponsored]

With the digital revolution growing in leaps and bounds, online skill gaming is one such vertical that has been growing in popularity. While the number of gaming enthusiasts is increasing rapidly, several online gaming sites have mushroomed. Online gaming has shown tremendous growth in the past 4-5 years and one of the skill-based games that have silently been a favourite for many is online poker.

Among the few names making their mark in this niche industry, Sportsden.in, an online gaming hub launched its first game, online poker, which can be downloaded on Desktop (windows/MAC), iOS (iPhones/iPads), Instant Play and Android.

A Hub for Poker Players

Moving with the mission to provide an ideal and safe platform for poker players in India, the site’s tagline ‘anytime is playtime’ clearly implies that online poker can easily be played anywhere, anytime on a smart device. Keeping in mind the security of the site, sportsden.in is I-Tech Labs certified that ensures unpredictable, non-repetitive cards shuffling results. The site has a smooth and fast user interface, making it easy for players to enjoy the game to the fullest. This enables a genuine game play in the site. Moreover, it provides several bonuses like sign-up bonus, first deposit, instant bonus, reload and referral bonus. Sportsden.in also does not encourage house players, which makes this site stand apart from others.

Poker- A Niche Industry

As per a report published on The Economic Times in November, 2017, India’s poker start-ups industry is worth $120 million, which is gradually becoming a profit-making model. Several Indian states and High Courts have stated that poker is a game of skill and therefore can be played legally.

An Ideal Platform for Poker Fanatics

Sportsden.in, besides being home for poker lovers, will soon launch all other skill-based games such as Rummy and Sports Fantasy League. It also plans to organize offline tournaments of the mentioned games in the near future in India. The online gaming site is a venture of Grandtrine Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, a software development company that has a pan-India presence in Kolkata, Pune and Delhi, (India).

Mohit Agarwal – The visionary behind SportsDen

Commenting on the launch, founder of sportsden.in Mohit Agarwal, said, “Online skill gaming is one of the most interesting sectors at present and Sportsden aims to provide a safe and secure gaming platform to players. Being a poker player myself, I would work towards providing the patrons the best gaming experience and top-class customer service.”

Agarwal himself has been a champion on the poker table. Poker, a game of sheer skills and luck was injected in him when he learnt playing Zinga Poker on Facebook back in 2007. He improved his game as he frequently played poker with college friends and participated in small tournaments with small buying. As he emerged as an expert, he opened his own poker room ‘High Roller’s Poker Room’ at Casino Mahjong, Gangtok, (Sikkim), where he was awarded as ‘Super High Roller Tournament Champion’. Gradually, Agarwal earned a name for himself by playing high-stakes games and organized poker tournaments in India.

His rich experience on the table finally drove him to found SportsDen in 2017 as he foresees a long-term future in skills games in India.  After the successful launch of the site, Agarwal plans to launch Rummy and Sports Fantasy League and operate tournaments and leader board challenge soon all under sportsden.in.

Disclaimer: This post is a sponsored post and does not reflect the views or opinions of the authors of this website. Readers may treat this as an advertorial. 

Categories
Poker

WIN A TRIP To Phuket, Thailand With Khelo365.com [Sponsored]

KHELO365 TAKES YOU TO PHUKET, THAILAND!

Buckle up and and start another journey with khelo365! If you thought the trip to Pattaya is the last chance for you to win a few days of perfection, you are wrong. www.khelo365.com launched a new promotion with even more amazing prizes! Check out this list here:

Amazing right? 4 cars, gold plated iPhones, all expenses paid trip to Phuket.

What is Phuket? Well it’s one of Thailand’s famous islands, it’s filled with gorgeous beaches, gorgeous women and yes, it’s better than you can imagine so join us in this trip and step inside heaven.

As the nature is amazing itself and the sights are looking like we took them out of our dreams, you may wonder what is left for us to do for you? As you know, our khelo365 team will put their soul and passion into making this the trip of your dreams. Luxurious cruise on yacht, yacht party, open beach party, night clubs, you name it. 

After all, we have the perfect guy for such extravagant activities, Mr. Ivan Alexandru – Head of VIP concierge who just recently was telling us how he spent Rs.200,000 in a single night of fun!! Crazy right? He is on a mission and his goal is to come up with the most crazy types of fun and activities for you that will blow your mind and why not, even reinvent FUN! (Wish I had that job!) 

Just grab a cocktail in your hand, put your feet in the sand and feel the sun on your skin, we will take care of the rest. It’s amazing how the simple pleasure of playing poker can also bring you this unbelievable prizes and opportunities and khelo365 is making all this possible and easy for you to win so i think you should log in now on www.khelo365.com and start racing! Make sure you will pack your bags carefully and don’t forget your party spirit, your enthusiasm and your bathing suit.

How to enter in our Quarterly VIP Race? 

First of all, you need to make a deposit of minimum Rs. 10.000 in one go and you will automatically get into the race. Make sure to constantly play so you can increase your points and go up in the top 10 list or maintain yourself in same position.

You can only increase your Loyalty points by playing CASH GAMES. The points will not increase if you play Tournaments or ‘Play Money’ games.

How to check the VIP Leader board

  • VIP Leader board will be updated every hour
  • Login to your account
  • Click on Instant Play to head to the Lobby
  • Click on News at the right, where the names of the players with leading VIP points would be displayed

How to Check your Loyalty Points

  • Login to account
  • Click on Instant Play to head to the Lobby
  • In the Lobby, click on Cashier and a pop window will show up; check the VIP points you have earned

Terms & Conditions

     • If you wish to travel with your family, you need to let us know so we can make arrangements.

     • Additional expenses for your family have to be supported by you.

     • In case the winner doesn’t wish to travel or doesn’t have a valid passport we will not refund the trip cost. The winner will receive all other prizes he won, except the trip.

  • You must have a valid passport for at least 6 months from April 1 that should have at least 3 pages free in it for the stamping.
  • Any player found trying to misuse this offer by creating multiple accounts etc. will have to forfeit the prize amount and will also be banned from playing on the site.
  • Khelo365 reserves the right to make changes in the trip schedule.
  • Company’s decision in respect of all matters associated with this offer will be final and no correspondence in this regard will be entertained in the future.
  • Khelo365 reserves the right to post images of the winner and prize amount in our Social Media profiles for marketing purposes.

*Standard Khelo365 Terms & conditions apply.

Disclaimer: This post is a sponsored post and does not reflect the views or opinions of the authors of this website. Readers may treat this as an advertorial. 

Categories
Poker

Amit Burman to start India's first poker league

Amit Burman, entrepreneur and vice chairman of Dabur group of companies has announced the launch of ‘Poker Sports League’ (PSL), India’s first poker league, where city-based poker teams (which will be given to franchisees by the league owner) will compete with one another online as well as offline to win cash prizes. According to the Economic Times, Burman, has created this league in his personal capacity and has partnered with Anuj Gupta, founder of poker portal Adda52. com (now acquired by Delta Corp) and Pranav Bagai, a well-known poker player and tournament organiser.

The inter-city competition format is similar to cricket, football, hockey and kabaddi leagues taking place in the country. PSL will have 12 city-based teams which will be sold to franchisees. Some of the country’s leading companies and industrialists like Freecharge, Kajaria Ceramics, Jaipuria Group, Anchor Electrical etc. have already purchased teams. Bengaluru, Goa, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Goa, Hyderabad already have franchise owners while the Chennai, Pune, Shimla, Gujarat, and Punjab teams have not yet been franchised.

According to Burman, there will not be any entry fee for participating in the tournament and money will not be staked. PSL and the franchisee owners will earn revenues through advertisements and sale of broadcasting rights of the poker league. PSL has announced that the total prize pool for the first year of the league will be Rs. 3.36 crores.

Each team is expected to have nine players each and will culminate with a mega-final in Goa. The league is expected to kickstart early next year and will be initially only be broadcast online, through Facebook and Youtube.

“The Poker Sports League is a unique opportunity for players of the game to hone their skills as well as popularise the game that is set to be recognised by the International Mind Sports association along with Chess, Bridge and Draughts”, Burman is quoted as saying.

PSL is definitely expected to boost the emerging poker industry and lead to the game being recognised as a sport, which need not be necessarily played with stakes or money.  If PSL receives a good response from sports lovers and manages to widen the base of poker players, the Indian gaming industry is set to grow exponentially in the next few years and certain to get legal recognition from more state governments.

Categories
Poker

Has Raj Kundra abandoned his online poker venture?

Exclusive Controversy’s favourite child, Ripu Sudan Kundra alias Raj Kundra, British businessman and husband of Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty Kundra does not seem to have any plans of proceeding with his poker venture. Kundra had started celebritypoker.in (and celebritygames.in) in September 2016 , an Indian online poker website where players could play with Bollwyood personalities and cricketers.

Celebritypoker had prominently mentioned that players would get a chance to play real money online poker with many celebrities like Shilpa Shetty Kundra, Rohan Gavaskar, Harman Baweja, Shane Warne and others. Warne had however tweeted that he was not involved with any Indian poker website and reportedly snubbed Kundra’s request to endorse his website.

It turns out that the website is no longer accessible online and Kundra does not seem to have any plans of launching it (although a Whois search reveals that Kundra is still the owner of the website). When Kundra was asked whether he had abandoned his poker venture, Kundra implicitly accepted the fact in his tweet, but blamed the media for questioning him and added that other extraneous factors could be the reason for the withdrawal.

In August, 2016, Kundra, through his listed company Viaan Industries Ltd.,  informed the stock exchanges that it had entered the mobile games business by launching survival block and other games. In September 2016, the company announced that it was planning to invest in a new venture (Celebrity Games) and the board approved the investment as per the company’s regulatory filing to the stock exchanges. However, there has been no further updated by Viaan Industries in the past three months on the proposed investment. Interestingly, Viaan Industries (earlier known as Hindusthan Safety Glass Ltd.) was acquired by Kundra and his wife last year.

The line of business of the company has changed rapidly from glass safety to manufacturing mobiles to trading in domestic appliances to social games. It is unclear whether such frequent changes in the company’s line of business are permitted in the objects clause of its Memorandum of Association (MoA) and whether such changes constitute oppression and mismanagement under company law. Notably, despite the changing lines of businesses, the company has never shown net profits beyond a few lakh rupees.

In the Viaan Industries Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on 14th September, 2016, many shareholders had raised concerns about the company’s manner of functioning. The company on its part claimed in the minutes that shareholders were demanding bribes and inducements from the board and the ruckus in its AGM was a result of the Board not doling out such gifts.

It may be noted that this is not the first time Kundra has started and shutdown his gaming ventures. In August 2016, Kundra launched a real-money stock market based game, stockrace.in through his company Satyug Gold Pvt. Ltd. However, due to media pressure, question marks about its legality and directives by SEBI disavowing stock-market based games, Kundra shut down the website in a few weeks. He has instead started globalstockrace.com, a website run by his Dubai-based company which offers a free-to-play currency and commodity market prediction game.

Kundra has earlier been implicated by the Supreme Court and Court-appointed committees in the IPL fixing and betting scandal, for indulging in cricket betting while being a co-owner of the Rajasthan Royals franchisee. Kundra has been banned for life from participating in any cricketing activities by the Supreme Court appointed Justice Lodha committee.

Categories
Legal & Regulatory Poker

Nagaland government issues first online skill games license to Khelo365 [Exclusive]

Exclusive The Nagaland government on Wednesday started the process of issuing online skill games license under the Nagaland Prohibition of Gambling and Promotion and Regulation of Online Games of Skill Act, 2016 and the Nagaland Prohibition of Gambling and Promotion and Regulation of Online Games of Skill Rules, 2016. The first license has been issued to M/s K365 Web Assets Pvt. Ltd., which operates the online poker website khelo365.com.

The company has taken the license only for one game, i.e poker, after completing the necessary formalities and paying the requisite annual license fees. It may be noted that the Nagaland is the first state to pass a specific law to regulate online skill games, after it passed a law to that effect last year. Consequently, the Nagaland government had notified the Rules under the Act in May 2016 and framed guidelines on the procedure to obtain the license.

The first Letter of Intent (LOI)/provisional license under the Skill Games Act and Rules was issued to online rummy company Club Empire Tech Pvt. Ltd. in August 2016. Subsequently, around ten more LOIs have been issued by the government to different companies till date.

The government however after examining the relevant documents including Random Number Generation (RNG) certification, software certification, company incorporation and tax related documents etc. finally decided to issue the first ‘go live’ license earlier this week. Sources in the government indicate that more licenses will be issued in the next couple of months to companies who have been issued the LOI and who get their documents scrutinised by the Director, Nagaland State Lotteries.

The license issued by the Nagaland State Lotteries indicates that the licensee may offer its services to all states or union territories where games of skill are permitted. Further, the license also indicates that online websites may advertise their services to all such territories where games of skill are exempted from the definition of gambling.  The licensee is also required to provide the government access to a dashboard to enable the authorities to check the activities undertaken by the website in real time. Other conditions mentioned in the Act and Rules are also reiterated in the final license.

Reacting to the development, Vinod Manoharan, Managing Director of K365 Web Assets Pvt. Ltd. said, “We are happy that the Nagaland government has finally issued the license to regulate online skill games. We are proud to be the first company to have procured the license and to have submitted all our documents to a regulatory authority. The license issued by the Nagaland government will end the debate on the legality of online poker once and for all, and will enable this industry to boom.”

He added that his company was in the process of finalising mass media campaigns with advertising agencies to create awareness about the game of poker and ensure its growth.

Categories
Legal & Regulatory Poker

Spartan Poker in legal tangle, accusations galore, two rival websites to be launched

Spartan Poker, one of India’s prominent poker websites is in a legal tangle, with two rival promoter factions hurling accusations at the other. One faction is led by Pokerguru.in promoter Rajat Agarwal, while the other one comprises of the promoters of the Indian Poker Championship (IPC).

This morning a notice was put on the Spartan Poker website which read as follows:

Please note that PokerGuru has no control over the day-to-day operations or finances of Spartan Poker. Please exercise caution and PokerGuru has no responsibility for player funds kept on Spartan Poker.

PokerGuru will be initiating legal action against Sameer Rattonsey, Amin Rozani, Rajeev Kanjani, Rohit Bhalla, Peter Abraham and Quadrific Media Pvt Ltd.

PokerGuru Will Be Launching A NEW and IMPROVED Spartan Poker Soon. Keep watching this space for more updates!

A representative of Pokerguru added, “All clarifications will be posted on the website – SpartanPoker.com in due course.”

On the other hand, the rival promoter faction led by poker entrepreneur Amin Rozani noted that the Pokerguru faction had misused its intellectual property and they intend to launch a new poker website by the name of ‘The Spartan Poker’.

Rozani noted as follows, “It’s a misuse of Spartan property and for now we have changed the domain to TheSpartanPoker.com”

Earlier this year, SpartanPoker was in a controversy over charging a higher rate of ‘rake’ or ‘user fee’ than stated on the website, which had outraged poker players in India. It is unclear what the genesis of the dispute between the two rival factions is, but it seems that the matter stems from alleged misuse of player deposits.

The dispute is the first major and public legal dispute in the online poker industry and it is unclear whether the player deposits and winnings will be protected, as two websites with the same name are set to be launched.  This legal tangle has definitely  cast the entire online poker industry in a negative light and one hopes that the dispute is resolved amicably.