The year 2017 had been a challenging and yet no less a fun-filled year for the industry ever since its inception. The cacophony coming from all quarters in the form of certain policy decisions from both union government and certain state governments has really hit the game hard. Despite facing hostilities from all corners, if the game has survived unscathed, it is primarily due to the sensation it has managed to create in the Rummy loving country of India. Let us now have a detailed and quick recap of the changes / developments which happened with regards to the game.
Adverse happenings which stunned online gaming:
- First and foremost, the concept of one nation one tax, GST, as it is shortly put, has stupefied the entire lottery industry in view of highest slab of 28 percent made applicable to it. According to private lottery distributors, this unified tax which subsumes indirect tax has affected 70 to 80 percent of the business which is quite high.
- The Telangana government has in fact banned all skill based online games played for stake by passing a new law. This came as a terrible jolt to all online games in India as it is supposed to be one of the major states in the south. This can be construed as a very regressive move considering the fact that the country is by and large in search of foreign direct investments. When even a state like Nagaland has started issuing licences for online gaming, Telangana’s move to ban them came as a shocker.
- The prospect of gaming industry took a backseat as the Gujarat High court categorically denied adhering to the demand of the Poker clubs to recognise the game of Poker as a game of skill. In fact, they have labelled it as a game of chance adding to the dismay of Poker clubs.
- A Canada based Clairvest group pioneered the acquisition of one of the largest online Rummy sites called Ace2Three along with a consortium of foreign investors.
Favourable scenarios that boosted online gaming in India:
Although 2017 threw many hiccups for the gaming industry to face, it had something fruitful to offer too. The online Rummy sites found path breaking success thanks to the advent of “Jio” service providers. Not only did they provide a very fast Internet at 4g speed but also the customers were charged a very nominal recharge fees. This prompted an increase in Rummy users as almost all the websites provide app based Rummy online games easily operated through mobiles. Each penny is worth spent for them. Thus, the revolution of Jio as a mobile service provider really hiked the interest of online Rummy games. Adding to that many mobile service providers nowadays offer data recharge at a very competitive rate to withstand the challenge provided by jio. Therefore, the future of online Rummy games looks even brighter in the upcoming years starting from 2018.
Also, there is a significant rise in the payouts to developers from app store and play store which adds to the growth of online Indian Rummy.
Analysing whatever has happened thus far in 2017, there are multiple possibilities waiting to happen which may work both in favour of the game or do the reverse.
Advent of more foreign gaming companies:
On one hand as India ranks third as far as games downloaded from Play Store, 2018 may see more foreign online gaming companies entering India lured by the popularity of the skill game like Rummy. Undoubtedly, there is more revenue coming in the upcoming years.
More bans expected?
With Telangana government framing its own law banning the game, it will not come as any kind of surprise if more states start following its footsteps. India being one of the leading markets for Rummy games, if more bans are expected, then it may affect the gaming business, especially Rummy. The Rummy sites in India will be left with a mountain to climb if such a scenario crops up.
However, all said and done, the online Rummy in India is in such a purple patch right now that it will be simply impossible or next to impossible to dethrone it from the pinnacle that it has attained at least in this century.