Will Online Poker be Legalized in India?

Online-Poker-thumb-250xauto-22280Online poker is a hot topic in a number of locations around the world that do not offer legalized gaming for real money. In India, the online poker market is profitable, although somewhat small when looking at the number of potential online poker players available.

Recently a court case involving rummy went to the Supreme Court in India. While the court did not rule out rummy as illegal, it declined to rule on the legality of the game, even when played for real money stakes. Since then, both rummy, and now online poker have been given a boost in the Indian online gaming world.

Poker is a particularly popular game because the outcome of the games is not only guided by luck, but by the skill of the player. The decision as to whether online poker is legal or not has not yet been faced head on in India.

In January, there will be a court hearing that could bring clarity to this issue. While there are online poker sites in India, they are currently operating in a somewhat grey area.

The Delhi High Court will be looking at the Indian online poker industry, a small industry that include about two dozen online poker sites.

Since the ruling regarding rummy offers a new perspective from the courts, the online poker industry is somewhat optimistic that the court will rule that online poker is a game of skill, and can be played for real money.

There are approximately 500,000 Indians who play real money online poker at this time. While the industry is considered to be a small one, the market is worth about US$214 million.

Should the courts rule in favor of legalized online poker in January, the market is likely to increase in size very quickly.