It was only a couple of days ago that Poker Raj was introduced to India’s online poker landscape. Now, another company has announced that it is taking the plunge, as well.
Caretel Infotech Limited, a business outsourcing and software company, is the latest to enter the mix. The company has launched its “Poker Johny” poker portal in an effort to expand its portfolio of offerings. The portal’s website, pokerjohny.com, is registered to Caretel’s CEO, Rajesh Sehgal.
Caretel has been promoted by Sanjay Dalmia of the Dalmia Group. Dalmia is a former member of India’s Parliament and represented Uttar Pradesh. He has close ties to the founder of the Samajwadi Party, Mulayam Singh Yadav and is the son of former Vishnu Hari Dalmia, the former president of Vishwa Hindu Parishad International.
The Dalmia Group operates in a number of sectors, including textiles, tobacco, chemicals and more. The company is also the parent to Delta Corp., through a subsidiary, and Viaan Industries, both of which operate online poker portals.
Despite the current uncertainty of poker in India, the game is still increasing in popularity. There have been a number of high-profile sports and TV celebrities that have put their weight behind poker, which has only helped to expand it is a viable business while lawmakers still work to create a national response to the question of whether or not poker is gambling, or simple luck.
The Valuable Group, which is owned by UFO Moviez Managing Director Sanjay Gaikwad, has recently acquired the Thrill Poker website from Mirch Entertainment Private Limited. This past April, PokerStars said that it was getting into the India poker scene, as well, through a strategic partnership.
Not all of the poker sites have been able to thrive, however. Essel Group, which operated the online poker portal PokerNation, took the site down five days ago. It said that it could possibly relaunch the site within the next several months, but that it is in the market for an international operator with which it could partner in the endeavor. PokerNation was previously part of the Microgaming Poker Network in India, and its departure from the group left only two companies, PokerLion out of Kolkata and Lucknow-based Pokeryaar.