The Stars Group is set to enter the Indian iGaming market with the launch of PokerStars.in on April 17th.
The site will be available to players in the majority of Indian states through a partnership with Sugal & Damani Group, a conglomerate active in a number of sectors including lottery and gaming.
PokerStars.in will be operated by Sachiko Gaming, a Sugal & Damani subsidiary focused on skill gaming, with The Stars Group licensing its brand and supplying certain support services.
"The popularity of poker in India is growing and we are excited to build the market with the support of the global leader in online poker," Sugal & Damani chief executive Kamlesh Vijay said.
The site will be available for play on desktop and mobile devices with Indian Rupees as the main currency, and will feature localised versions of PokerStars' most popular tournaments and events, including the Sunday Million and World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP). Players will also be offered a high standard of protection through responsible gaming and fraud detection mechanisms.
However, players in the states of Assam, Odisha and Telangana will not be able to access the site due to the undefined legal status of real-money skill gaming in those states.
The Stars Group chief executive Rafi Ashkenazi commented: "Pokerstars has helped to make poker one of the most popular skill-based games in the world and we look forward to Sachiko Gaming introducing the brand into the Indian market."
Sugal & Damani has strong pedigree in lottery and gaming in India, operating a network of 25,000 lottery point of sale terminals and serving as the sole selling or marketing agent for lotteries in the states of Punjab Maharashtra, Sikkim, Mizoram, Goa and Arunachal Pradesh. Through a subsidiary, it is also active in the African lottery market under the Winlot brand, with 15,000 terminals operating on the continent.
Sugal & Damani has also been active in online gaming, offering rummmy and poker under the KehlPlay brand. The poker offering, which operated on Microgaming's Indian Poker Network, was closed down earlier this month.
Shares in The Stars Group Inc (TOR:TSGI) closed up 1.31 per cent at CAD$34.08 per share in Toronto Wednesday.