How Online Poker Platform PokerBaazi Clocked A 64% Revenue Jump In FY22

How Online Poker Platform PokerBaazi 

Today, the startup competes with India’s three online gaming unicorns — Dream11, MPL (Mobile Premier League) and Games24x7. But Singh is confident about its growth prospects due to the growing popularity of RMGs in India. According to KPMG, the RMG sector’s market opportunity is expected to reach INR 61.3 Bn by FY25, accounting for 21% of online gaming’s INR 290 Bn market opportunity.
How Online Poker Platform PokerBaazi

Consider this: An MIT report says that poker requires an ability to read situations and act accordingly. The prestigious institution has even launched a course on ‘poker theory’, arguing that the application of poker analytics helps in investment management and trading.

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Determined to eliminate the social stigma around poker and share his love for the game, Navkiran along with his brother Puneet Singh and friends — Anirudh Chaudhry, Avneet Rana, and Varun Ganjoo, set up Baazi Games in 2014. The gaming startup began its journey with the flagship platform PokerBaazi in October that year.

While naysayers may still believe that the luck factor is too high in poker, the rise in popularity of the game and research-backed conclusions on the skill factor involved in it, prove a shift in this mindset.
Baazi Games’ mantra for scaling lies in building a premium gaming experience. It claimed that this has helped it on board 11 Mn users, with PokerBaazi accounting for 2 Mn users and a 70% MoM retention rate. PokerBaazi recorded INR 249 Cr in revenue in FY22, clocking a 64% YoY growth in revenue from the previous year, Navkiran said.

Playing The Cards Right To Boost Customer Engagement

 When PokerBaazi started in 2014, it immediately struck a chord with desi poker lovers, claimed Navkiran. However, the founders also noticed a sense of apprehension among users or users-to-be. “In those days, people were still hesitant about transacting digitally. And they were equally sceptical about putting their money on the line for a gaming platform,” he added. These factors hindered customer acquisition. Hence, the gaming startup has introduced many engagement and retention strategies over the years to increase its customer base. The team at PokerBaazi kicked it off with awareness campaigns and hosted professional poker players across a series of webinars to educate people about poker and highlight how the game would require quick and rational decision-making to corner success. More importantly, it kept its processes transparent to foster a sense of trust and community. “Each process and task was planned keeping the customer at the centre,” said Navkiran.

How The Covid Impact Led To An Online Gaming Boom During the initial pandemic days

 online gaming played a critical role, providing people with entertainment, relaxation and social connectivity. Inc42’s report on ‘The State Of Consumer Internet’ also reveals this growing consumer engagement. According to the report, India accounted for 433 Mn online gaming users in FY21. The user base rose to 481 Mn in FY22 — registering an 11% increase. By FY25, the user base is expected to cross 657 Mn. Navkiran said that PokerBaazi saw a 20-25% jump in user engagement during the initial lockdown.

Is Poker A Game Of Skill Or Chance? 

There is a lot of debate around the legality of real money games in India. Section 12 of the Public Gambling Act, 1867 exempts certain games of skill. Still, these games have not been defined in the Act, leaving a large grey area regarding what is legal and what is not. Many gaming platforms have developed their own code of conduct to ensure a safe environment for their users. One of the tools PokerBaazi has in place is its automated Responsible Gaming tool which has game stakes controls, and financial controls available to the users at a button’s click. According to Navkiran, state governments are bound to notice the gaming community’s efforts to self-regulate and change their outlook. In fact, the recent judgements are going in favour of online gaming companies.

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