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Octro expands business overseas, says ban on game helping foreign firms

Online gaming company Octro has started expanding its business overseas after traction in its casino and card games, namely PlayRummy and Teen Patti, according to a senior company official.

online gaming

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

online gaming, lockdown

company Octro has started expanding its business overseas after traction in its casino and card games, namely PlayRummy and Teen Patti, according to a senior company official.

The firm's Chief Marketing Officer Manav Sethi said the move of some state governments to ban is helping gaming that are registered outside India.

"By March of 2021, we would start the user acquisition for international markets," Sethi told PTI.

He claimed that the company has seen 100 per cent growth year-on-year, and its revenue is in three digits of crore on Indian currency.

Octro owns online games including PlayRummy, Teen Patti, Indian Rummy, Tambola and Soccer Battles. The company's card games involve real monetary transactions that it calls a game of skills.

"We have gotten growth on these sides, basically the card and casino side. We have also seen some success on the real money gaming side. So, why don't we take these IPs (internet protocol) international.

"That is where our next round of investment in terms of capital, people and time is going into. We have two very clear tracks -- build an IP that can go global, and the second track is to take our existing IP globally," Sethi said.

Talking about impact of the recent move of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu governments that recently to ban online games, Sethi said a lot of lottery- or speculations-based gaming platforms from overseas have started reaching out to Indians that do not even fall in the category of game of skills.

"A lottery is a game of chance, roulette is a game of chance. A lot of these foreign incorporated entities have already entered India and are already enticing Indians to play them. There is no regulation that bans them," Sethi said.

He added that the money that should accrue to Indian exchequers, or the taxes that should accrue to Indian governments by this ban, all of that is moving to those entities that are not incorporated in India.

The Telangana government had issued two new Ordinances amending the Telangana Gaming Act, 1974, to ban online gambling by adding a new definition of 'cyber space' in the legislation, making betting and gambling through the internet illegal.

Subsequently, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh governments also made similar amendments banning online rummy for stakes.

The Telangana government has said that the addiction to online rummy games has affected various sections of society, including students and women.

Octro's games are among the list of games that have been banned by the three state governments.

Sethi said that nowhere, there is any data on record about the number of people that have been affected by online money games.

He also said the state government should have a meaningful discussion with gaming as the move to ban this is adversely impacting foreign direct investments and growth of the sector.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Sun, February 07 2021. 16:52 IST