Essel’s Group PokerNation has announced they will stop operations and part ways with its international software provider Microgaming Poker Network from 15 September.
The online poker website operated by Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament, Subhash Chandra’s Essel Group, stated they will resume operations within 90-120 days with their own customized software and upgraded features and capabilities.
The news was confirmed on the website itself.
“PokerNation has made the decision to part ways with its partner Microgaming, its current software provider. We would be taking a break and discontinue our poker operations as part of a re-structuring process from 15th of September, 2018.”
The re-launch date is still unknown but the operations on the current site will stop on 15 September and all customers are welcomed to withdraw their funds until 30 September.
PokerNation should invest a lot of money into revamping the site and its operations but the legal situation in India makes it uncertain to guarantee success. The first online poker license was issued in 2016 but only within Nagaland region. In July, India’s Law Commission recommended creating a new set of laws regarding the industry to stop them acting in the grey area, which is a huge step forward.
“Since it is not possible to prevent these activities completely, effectively regulating them remains the only viable option,” states Gambling and Sports Betting India report.
If poker becomes legal in all India, it will boost the player base and therefore make easier for sites to maintain their businesses.
Mumbai-based Sachar Gaming Pvt. has also closed its poker site Khelplay.com in March under the explanation of restructuring process but it was speculated at the time that Microgaming’s India Poker Network has failed to create a substantial player pool and maintain liquidity in India.
The site continued operating under their rummy brand, and Khel Play Rummy is now, next to Microgaming’s Poker Lion and Poker Yaar, a place where Indian players can enjoy playing online poker.
In a previous hit to Microgaming operations, Thrill Poker has also closed its operations earlier this year. It was one of the first sites to join hands with Microgaming in 2014 but then turned to Swedish software provider Cubeia a year later before winding up operations.
With only two operational sites, Poker Lion and Poker Yaar, Microgaming’s foray in India didn’t quite go as planned but things can change pretty fast if federal regulations on poker are passed.