How the online poker boom will come from the East: India and China

A fundamental principle of business is that if you wish to attract business, you need go where potential customers are. With this in mind, it is clear that the huge emerging markets of China and India are where the smart money is.

It wasn’t until midway through the 2000s that China got it first glimpses of poker; thanks mainly to American tournaments broadcast on TV. Since then, poker has exploded in popularity.


pokerA trend first started in Macau, high stake games created long waiting lists of punters thirsty for a shot at the gaming tables in real casinos. This is also true of India, where Open Magazine talks of “India’s Poker Cult”.

In both of these countries there is also a thirst for online gaming, which is still in its infancy. As well as the run-of -the-mill casino slots and mini-games, new technologies are emerging that allow a much more immersive experience for the player. Virtual reality is rumoured to be the next big thing in the industry, while PC based casino games, such as video poker at All Jackpots Casino, give people the flexibility to play at numerous locations.

What these emerging technologies also show is the potential for growth and investment in a rapidly growing eastern market.

Recent investment in China and India

Alex Dreyfus, the creator of the Global Poker League (GPL), has agreed to a partnership with Sina Sports in China. The deal makes Sina the “Official Digital Media Partner of GPL” in China and is set to capitalise on the popularity of the league in the country.


The WPT have agreed a deal with, the most popular online poker website in India. This will give the Indian company access to WPT’s TV vaults.

The future

Back in 2014, CNN reported that the Macau gaming market is now seven times bigger than in Las Vegas; it is still growing and will continue to do so.

While Macau is the only city in China where poker is legal, people flock from all over China and indeed the world to play there. India’s gaming market is said to worth $60 billion, with approximately 50% of that being legal.

Yet despite some restrictions, people are also thirsty for poker in both India and China. So with online poker is still in its early stages, both of these markets are ripe for investment.