Poker Raj promises to transform itself into one of the most significant poker brands across India. Launched just a few months ago, the company has already signed up an important partnership with Anita Hassanandani, who has agreed to be the brand’s ambassador.
Just Like They Do in the West
Poker Raj, an Indian online poker platform, has added popular actress Anita Hassanandani as an official brand ambassador. Ms. Hassanandani will step into the role and attempt to promote the card room, raising awareness and the profile of the game in the country. Poker has long been contested as a game of skill, but the Indian Supreme Court still qualifies it as a game of luck and considers it a form of gambling, one that’s punishable by law unless certain conditions are met.
Hassanandani is not an unlikely choice and her popularity as an actress has little to do with her pick. She is multi-lingual and also a player herself. Hassanandani participated in the first season Match Indian Poker League (MIPL) hosted by Viaan Industries and backed by the International Federation of Match Poker (IFMP).
Hassanandani’s first official appearance in her new role also seemed to be carefully chosen, as she said that she had always loved “the sport of poker,” indicating that she wants to set the discourse about the game and hint that the game cannot be one of luck.
Meanwhile, Raj Kundra, the managing director of Viaan Industries which owns the poker portal, said that the company was happy to have Hassanandani onboard, citing her active personality and love for poker, and going so far as to call her a queen of poker.
Not an Easy Game After All
Poker has not had an easy run in India, however, with one obstacle sprouting after another. While the Supreme Court seems adamant in its decision to qualify the game as one based on luck, different states all across the county are still undecided what to make of it.
Some places ban it outright, pursuing poker players as much as law would allow them, and elsewhere the country is enjoying glamorous events that attract many established professionals and public personalities. The arrival of Poker Raj is the latest attempt by the country’s pro-poker lobby to set up a place where everyone who enjoys the game can play without having to worry about legal prosecution.
The portal opened doors in September and was inspired by the success of the MIPL. As a result, the card room will try to bring as much poker action as possible, hopefully attracting crowds far bigger than the turn-up at the MIPL.
The company is determined to launch one of the best online poker offers that India has seen to date. Poker Raj will now move and try to bite into a rapidly expanding online market, bringing Indian gamers back home and providing an alternative to offshore websites.
However, if there’s no proper licensing, then Poker Raj may find itself in trouble, particularly where it has to honor payments, which could potentially be blocked by law.