Naveen Goyal: Offering skill games in the Indian market


The Indian gambling sector can be a bit tricky, as the government continues to ponder how much it wants to regulate and outlaw. There are certain products that are legal though, and thriving. To discuss how Adda52 is capitalizing on opportunities, Naveen Goyal, CEO of the operation, joined our Becky Liggero.

The first key thing in the Indian market is to understand what games the government will allow. “So from a government perspective, online poker is sort of ok to do it,” Goyal said. “The government is not sure whether it is a skill game or it is not a skill game. But from the perspective of government, it is ok to run the business. In India, any game which is skilled, or considered as skilled, it’s ok to run in India without any license. So that’s the sweet spot we are in. We run poker, we run rummy, we have fantasy sports, all skill games in India.”

With those offerings, Adda52 is making a killing, and they’re doing it through the best technology. “Adda52 is the oldest and the largest poker company in India,” Goyal noted. “We have about 50% market share. One of the ways we have achieved it is a very good use of personalization, machine learning, artificial intelligence. So the moment they come on app, how can we make them understand what is poker? How to play poker, right? And then for existing users, how we can make the experience much better for them? And I think that has really paid off well, and this is how we are where we are.”

Artificial Intelligence has become one of the trending terms in the gambling industry, but understanding how to apply it is where a company gets ahead. “I call it as slavish word, because everybody wants to use it, doesn’t know how to do it, right?” he said. “But what we have done is, we have gone back to the basics of computer engineering, and we started implementing simple components, and not the composite components. Wherein, we tried to understand what the user behavior is, depending on how they work on our app. What sort of games do they play? How much do they bet? When do they not bet? What is their behavior when they lose? And based on that behavior, we actually display them the games that they would like, in effect, customize the lobby.”

Goyal has a simple solution for those looking to break into the Indian market. “Connect with me, connect with us,” he declared. “We understand Indian gaming industry extremely well. Established operations, retention, acquisition, and we operate in all the gaming areas which are allowed by India, which is fantasy sports, rummy, poker. I would love to partner and expand our partners in India.”