The public perceptionon poker and other card games has come a long way, from stigma to appreciation of the skills and knowledge needed for a consistent performance in the game. The market has shown that the people behind Baazi Games have been right.
Baazi Games’ Co-Founder and Marketing Director Varun Ganjoo recently talked with the Business Insider about the various initiatives the company has been undertaking over the years to raise awareness about the skill based nature of poker. Poker, as well as a number of other card games, requires superior memory combined with vast knowledge and abilities in math and psychology.
Just a few years ago, another of the Co-Founders of the online game developer and operator, Puneet Singh, admitted that in the first year after setting up PokerBaazi, he and his brother Navkiran were rejected by their family because of the taboo associated with poker. Over the course of the same year, however, the two brothers managed to gain the support of their family having focused on spreading the understanding that poker is a game of skill, rather than gambling.
PokerBaazi was the first Indian Real Money Gaming (RMG) enterprise to rope in a celebrity for digital media partnership. In 2016, the company signed with famous Bollywood star and reality show host Sunny Leone (Karenjit Kaur Vohra) as their first brand ambassador.
The poker site described Sunny Leone as the woman who delivered a ‘breakout’ to Google through the unseen so far number of searches for her name. Navkiran Singh commented about Leone, “Her amazing beauty, grace, confidence, dignity, and sincerity encapsulates everything that we showcase through our platform for gaming industry”.
In February 2021 Baazi Games announced their digital collaboration with another big name in Hindi cinema– Divyenndu (Divyendu Sharma). The popular actor joined the expanding list of celebrity brand ambassadors now including names like Olympic medallist in boxing Vijender Singh and Indian international cricketer and Arjuna Award winner Yuvraj Singh.
The company has also hired a group of professional players, called the PokerBaazi Team Pro, to host a number of webinars and discuss mathematics and the laws of probability, and how they relate to the skill gaming of poker. Joint work with renowned Indian Institutes of Technology or Management has also brought awareness about the skill nature of poker a long way ahead.
The team of co-founders behind Baazi Games started working together on their poker platform back in 2013. The site was finalized and put into operation in the last quarter of 2014, after a year of hard work on game software development and legality aspects.
According to Marketing Director Varun Ganjoo, at that time good poker platforms simply did not exist. The company’s philosophy has been to provide superior experience to players by focusing on innovation and relying on their own in-house team of developers for creating unique content. Attention to the smallest of details such as felt colour or card number size has been seen as crucial.
Great consideration has been given to the quality of customer support, which has been regarded by many as the best organized in the whole RMG sector. Baazi Games was also the first operator to implement a responsible gaming system on its platform. It automatically detects signs of addiction and asks players to limit their gaming time or to take a break from the game altogether.
In the beginning of 2018, after accumulating experience and financial strength, Baazi Games launched its second vertical and online fantasy sport platform BalleBaazi. Naturally, cricket is the main league, but other sports like football, basketball, baseball and kabaddi are also represented. During the next year, in 2019, the group achieved further business diversification with the start of rummy operator RummyBaazi.
Currently, the group boasts a joint user base of 10 million people, the largest set of 7 million being at the fantasy sport vertical, 2 million are playing poker, and one million use the rummy platform. For the last three years the Baazi group has been growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 70 per cent. For the fiscal year of 2022, the Baazi Group is aiming to achieve a 100 per cent growth of its customer base.
Baazi Games is considered the fastest growing Indian real money game developer and operator in a rapidly developing industry. Fans of online blackjack games, rummy, poker or other RMGs including online roulette in India are expected to spend ₹ 4,980 crore in FY 2021, according to a recent report by KPMG. By the financial year of 2025, the market is projected to grow with 23 per cent and generate revenues of ₹ 6,130 crore.
Even before the pandemic lockdowns which gave it an additional push, the Indian online gaming sector has been growing fast powered by young demographics, a growing economy, affordable but fast data plans, and large-scale smartphone penetration with rural areas catching up with metros and Tier 1 cities.
A previous report by the global financial consultants KPMG finds that the Bharat online gaming industry had doubled its revenues for a period of four years, from ₹ 20.3 crore for FY 2014, to ₹ 43.8 crore in FY 2018. The paper expects the sector to keep growing at a CAGR of 22.1 per cent and reach net sales of ₹ 118.8 crore for the financial year of 2023.
(Note: TheYouth does not provoke or motivate any of its readers to play the game. It is only an imformative article based on information collected from online sources. You can play the game only if it is legally allowed in your country. It must be noted such games involve both monetary losses and gains. Either you win or lose, TheYouth shall not be responsible.)