In 2018, Asian Poker Tour strikes a deal with Baadshah Gaming in order to get more Indians interested in the game of poker. Countries like China, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Japan have turned Asia into a hotbed of gaming and poker activity. India however is not considered very active in the online casino market. Gaming is not something that is highly approved of in the country of India, as it is considered to take away focus that should be reserved to duty and religious pursuits. In the last years however it has shown some growth.
The Asian Poker Tour declared the need to add more Indian players to their tour, in order to attract more players from the country. In order to achieve their goal and find more players on the Indian market, ATP signed an agreement with Baadshah, a company which offers online games. This is the first partnership of its kind in Asia. As a result of the agreement between the two entities, Baadshah Gaming will be allowed to host poker events in various locations throughout India, and in order to promote the events, their gaming site is allowed to use the Asian Poker Tour logo.
Despite the fact that the game has been growing rapidly in the last 5 years, gambling is still considered somewhat controversial in India. There are still debates on whether online poker should be legalized in the country or not. In the state of Nagaland, online poker casinos have been able to acquire poker licenses; however, the state of Gujarat has refused to issue licenses to online gamers. In Gujarat the game is illegal, due to it being considered to not be a game of skill. Due to the partnership between APT and Baadshah, if necessary, Indian players will be able to play poker outside the country. Starting in 2008, APT now hosts over 80 tournaments across the Asia-Pacific region, and their events can be found in countries with a large gaming scene, such as South Korea, and the Philippines.
Both APT and Baadshah hope that as a result of poker tournaments offering better money, more Indian players will join the game. If India can produce a winner, that can also lead to a big influx of Indians taking up the game of poker. Vivek Rajkumar is a popular poker player born in India. In the last 10 years he has earned almost $5 million. Producing a champion of his caliber can be very beneficial for the poker industry in India, lending it more credibility which ultimately could result in the game being legalized.
Due to the thriving technology sector (and the overall growth) that India has experienced in the last years, companies are now looking outside the country to strike deals in order to promote online poker. The partnership between Baadshah Gaming and APT means that the Asian Poker Tour is now giving players that use Baadshah’s website a chance to take part in their qualifiers in order to participate in APT events. Both entities are expected to benefit from the partnership.