Baazi Group announces PokerBaazi Live room at Pride 2 casino in Goa

Leading online poker site PokerBaazi has announced that it will be operating a poker room in partnership with the Pride Group of casinos. The new card room, christened as the ‘PokerBaazi Live Room’, will be operating on Level 2 of the new Casino Pride 2 offshore casino vessel in Goa.

For this venture, Baazi has tied up with Madhav Gupta, who operates online poker website Baadshah Gaming and has been associated with Pride 1 casino’s poker room for a long time.

It is understood, that as part of the arrangement, Gupta will cease operating the poker room at the Pride 1 casino and will instead, collaborate with PokerBaazi for the poker room in the Pride 2 vessel.

Commenting on the announcement, PokerBaazi CEO Navkiran Singh noted, “I want to bring the same levels of excitement for players to enjoy the game in the live circuit, as they have been doing online. Plus, we have Maddy (Madhav Gupta) aka ‘Goa ka Daddy’ on board which only makes this all the more exciting and fun! We are thrilled to be launching the PokerBaazi LIVE room aboard the new Pride 2 ship – which is truly a spectacular venue. Players can definitely expect some big live events over the next year or so.”

Gupta added, “I am very excited to announce what I feel will be the next catalyst for Indian Poker. The pride poker room has been a pet project of mine for the last decade and I believe that with the combination of India’s premier poker site and our years of great service live we can extend the goalpost of what will be offered to players.”

PokerBaazi has stated that it will be announcing cash game festivals and international tournament series onboard the Pride 2 casino in the coming few months.

Read more about offline and online poker in India.


Baadshah Gaming raises second round of funding, to spend Rs. 15 crore on marketing this year

Online skill-gaming startup Oceanking Software Solutions LLP, the entity that operates Baadshah Gaming, has raised an undisclosed second round of funding, that was led by its founder and CEO Madhav Gupta. As per the company’s press release, the funding was done internally by Gupta and Pride Group.

In the first round, Pride Group had invested an undisclosed amount in the LLP for a 30% stake. Baadshah Gaming has stated that it will use the funds raised to enhance the existing product and strengthen its live gaming properties Baadshah Live Tournaments (BLT) and Baadshah Live Poker Room at Casino Pride.

Presently, the Baadshah Gaming website is not working and undergoing maintenance. According to the management, a new and improved version of the website and mobile app will be launched on 8th June. The company said  added that a total of 15 crore will be used for digital marketing spends for the current year.

Commenting on the funding, Rahul Khetrapal, promoter of Pride Group of casinos said, “The team at Baadshah comes with a combined expertise of over 50 years. With such a strong leadership at the helm and robust offline operations, we believe that Baadshah Gaming has the potential to emerge as one of the leading players in the online skill-based gaming market in India. We hare happy to partner with the company and be a part of their growth story.”

“With the advent of mobile phones, the online gaming industry has seen an explosive growth in the past few years. We at Baadshah are focused on building a top-notch gaming experience that brings the thrills and credibility of the live gaming arena out onto the virtual world. The new infusion of funds comes at a right time that will help us achieve our vision of providing a smooth, safe, transparent, credible and seriously fun gaming platform for all the players” said Gupta.

Gupta added that Baadshah Gaming, which will be offering poker, rummy and fantasy sports, has shifted their offices from Mumbai to Goa to ‘further strengthen our position as a true click and mortar business’.


Pride Casino promoter, ZDream Ventures invest in social betting startup Cricnwin

Promoter of Pride Group of Casinos, Rahul Khetrapal, Chinese venture fund ZDream Ventures and angel investors Ankush Nijhawan, Gaurav Bhatnagar and Manish Dhingra, have invested an undisclosed amount in Gurugram-based social gaming platform Cricnwin in a seed funding round, as per a news report in VCCircle.

Cricnwin is a social gaming app that  has more than 250,000 users with around 15,000 daily active users. The app offers users an opportunity to play in prediction games, quizzes, fantasy leagues and other interactive games. The mobile app also has live scores, news and other content relating to cricket.

The app rewards users winning points with vouchers of Paytm and Amazon. While the app is free-to-play for customers, Cricnwin earns  its revenues through media sales, in-app purchases and commissions received on voucher redemption.

Cricnwin co-founder Venus Dhuria said the company plans to use the fresh capital for product development and market expansion.

“We are also planning to launch the platform in Hindi soon along with expansion in 10 major cricket playing countries” said another co-founder Vipul Agarwal.

Khetrapal is an active angel investor and has earlier invested in ventures like Kaama Breweries Pvt. Ltd., which sells craft beer under the brand name Witlinger.

Pride Group, which operates casinos in Goa and Nepal, is the promoter of real-money online poker, rummy and fantasy sports website Baadshah Gaming.

Business Legal & Regulatory

Baadshah Gaming becomes first poker website to restrict players from Gujarat

Online skill-gaming website Baadshah Gaming, which is backed by the Pride Group of casinos, has stopped accepting players from Gujarat for its real-money online poker games. The move comes in response to the 4th December order of the Gujarat High Court that ruled poker is a game of chance.

Baadshah Gaming, put up the following notice on its poker games page that stated that residents of Gujarat are not allowed to play poker on its platform in light of the decision of the Gujarat High Court in Dominance Games Pvt. Ltd. & Others v. State of Gujarat & Others. The notice further requested players residing and/or accessing the website in Gujarat to not play poker on their platform.

Commenting on the decision, Baadshah Gaming CEO Madhav Gupta said, “We at Baadshah Gaming will continue to abide by the rules of the land. Since the latest order from the Gujarat High Court, we have suspended poker operations in the state. While we will miss our Gujarat players it is our responsibility to always be legally compliant. We do hope for a quick resolution of this matter and hope that those players also get an ability to showcase their skills in the future.

Gupta added that accounts of any players found playing poker from Gujarat on Baadshah Gaming would be suspended. He also said that the deposits of existing players from Gujarat would be refunded.

Baadshah Gaming is the first skill-gaming website to have taken cognisance of the order of the Gujarat High Court and restrict players from accessing real money games from Gujarat.

A single judge bench of the Gujarat High Court had on 4th December ruled that poker is not a game of skill. The court also observed that even playing a game of skill, where betting and wagering is involved would fall within the ambit of gambling.

Business Gaming

Baadshah Gaming ties up with Mojo Games, Mercury Gaming out of proposed poker network

Baadshah Gaming, a poker and fantasy sports portal has entered into a strategic partnership with Mojo Interactive Services India Private Ltd, a subsidiary of Canadian gaming software provider Mojo Games, for their poker solution, as per the latter’s press release.

Commenting on the development, Madhav Gupta, Co-Founder, Baadshah Gaming said, “We are very excited to be working with Mojo and chose to partner with them for their advanced iGaming platform and poker solutions. After considering several options, the Mojo solution was a clear winner as it gives us a lot of flexibility and allows for seamless integration of our proprietary products. We look forward to growing our online gaming network with Mojo Games.”

Baadshah Gaming is operated by Oceanking Software Solutions LLP, which is promoted by poker operator Madhav Gupta. It is understood that certain shareholders of Pride Group of casinos have also invested in the venture in their personal capacity.

Mojo Games’ earlier press release had stated that it had formed a poker network with  Essel Group company Mercury Gaming Solutions Pvt. Ltd. (which operates Mercury Poker) and Baadshah Gaming. However, it now appears that Mercury Poker is no longer going to be part of the Mojo Games-led poker network and is instead going to be part of the Microgaming-led Indian Poker Network.

Gupta confirmed that Baadshah Gaming is the only website being serviced by Mojo Games at the moment. He however did not rule out the possibility of co-opting other websites as part of a poker network at a later stage.