Elections are scheduled in Goa in early 2017 and one of the key issues for political parties is the fate of casinos. Political parties like the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), whom political pundits feel have a decent shot at power, have promised to eliminate casinos if voted to power, while other opposition parties like the Congress party have stated that they would consider removing casinos altogether or phase them out, if required. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) however maintains that casinos are a necessary evil and have brought in considerable investment and attracted tourism.
2) The online skill games space is likely to see more consolidation with big enterprises entering this sector. One could see launch of more rummy, poker and gaming websites and more announcements on the lines of the Delta Corp acquisition of Adda52.
3) Amaya Group CEO Rafi Ashkenazi has indicated that Pokerstars will launch an India facing website by the first or second quarter of 2017 and is in discussions with local partners. Pokerstars formally making an entry to India will make the online skill games space highly competitive and smaller players may be forced to exit the space.
4) Delta Corp has announced the launch of its new casino in Hotel Denzong Regency in Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim. The company has already received a provisional license from the state government and is in the process of refurbishing the gaming space. The new casino is expected to start operations by the first quarter of 2017.
5) 2017 could see one or two more states regulating and licensing casinos. There are talks with the governments of Puducherry, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka and one or two of these might probably commence the process of regulating and licensing casinos for the purpose of promoting tourism.
Note from Jay Sayta, founder Glaws.com
Other notes from:
Sam Sheng, director of Double Square Consulting
Steve Gallaway, Global Market Advisors
Sudhir Kale, CEO of GamePlan Consulting
Tim Shepherd, co-founder and president of business development at Silver Heritage Group
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