SPiCE isn’t just a 2-Day Conference and Exhibition. It is an “all-in-one” networking platform for the gaming industry to connect and grow together over formal and informal settings. Spartan Poker is the proud Co-Networking Drinks Sponsor for the “SP’iCE’ Breaker” networking event on the 25th of February 2019. During this event attendees who arrived early, can register to beat the queue on the next day, as well as BREAK THE ICE at SPiCE with HOT conversation and ICE COLD drinks, while gazing out over the beautiful oceanic views of Goa.
And… this is not the only way to network at SPiCE! Here follows all networking opportunities during SPiCE 2019:
• SP’iCE’ Breaker Networking Event: Co-Sponsorship (25 Feb, 5pm – 9pm)
• Sponsored Welcoming Drinks (26 – 27 Feb, 9am – 10am)
• Sponsored VIP Lounge & Bar (26 – 27 Feb, 10am – 5pm)
• SPiCE IT UP Poker Tournament: Co-Sponsorship (26 Feb, 8pm – Late)
• Table Talk Dinner VIP Networking Event: Co-Sponsorship (27 Feb, 7pm – 10pm)
We asked our SPiCE Speakers a couple of questions on current points of interest as the event draws closer.
Interview with Amin Rozani, Managing Director The Spartan Poker
Amin Rozani is the co-founder and Managing Director of The Spartan Poker, one of India’s leading real money gaming portals. A Six Sigma Black Belt, Mr. Rozani comes from a banking process background having worked and consulted with brands such as Birla, Wipro, WNS and Standard Chartered Bank among others.
Eventus: What are the challenges faced in the online poker space at present?
Amin: The area of opportunity here is the taboo associated with real money gaming. There is still a prevailing thought (among those who aren’t full aware) that poker is a game of chance. That mind-set has been changing over the past 5 years especially but there is some way to go before poker gains complete acceptance as a mind sport that is skill-based. Of course, there are advertising and marketing hurdles faced by us when we try to promote the sport and our brand as mainstream advertising is unavailable to us. There is also a lack of clarity about regulation which needs to be addressed if this industry is to achieve the growth it is capable of in a shorter duration of time.
Eventus: Poker leagues are burgeoning and also being televised. What are the opportunities in the sportification of skill games?
Amin: Certainly it is terrific mainstream exposure for the sport and the more that happens, the faster we will see this game grow in India. If you ask people like us who first started playing/following the sport back in the mid-2000s, watching shows like the World Poker Tour on Indian television really opened us to how developed poker was in mature markets like US and Europe.
The other advantage of televising poker is the creation of Indian poker celebrities. While there are stalwarts in the game across the world, that one can admire, it’s a different feeling to look at home-grown heroes as a source of pride and inspiration.
Eventus: Although there are various restrictions on international operators starting something in India, what are the possibilities in the present scenario?
Amin: The poker industry in India is a very niche one which is closed off. There are several entry barriers for international operators to venture into India despite it being a very attractive proposition and one of ‘last frontiers’ in terms of poker markets. So any international operator who wishes to enter needs to understand these challenges and will require substantial funding to make a dent in this market.
Eventus: There are various legal cases going on in High Courts that will decide the fate of skill-based games like poker and rummy. How has the progress been in the matters so far and what may be expected in terms of legal and regulatory challenges going forward?
Amin: Poker is still in its nascent stages. The industry has exhibited immense growth despite various challenges. This upward trend will continue and considering that there are more opportunities than challenges, I am hopeful that those in charge of regulations will see the positives of making this sport mainstream and that it will happen sooner rather than later.
Eventus: Do you think other state governments are looking at opportunities in the casino and gaming space?
Amin: Certainly tourism-dependent states are always looking for opportunities to attract visitors. Gaming entertainment provides that and the significant revenue it would generate will help those states in funding various other developmental initiatives..
Eventus: What are the innovative products that can be offered in the current market and are you looking to expand your offering?
Amin: Within poker, there are many variants like Open Face Chinese Poker (OFC), a fast paced variant such as Boost (also known as Zoom on PokerStars), a jackpot style variant called Windfall and many more products are already on offer for players. Beyond poker, there’s games like rummy, fantasy sports and even play money casino which we are looking to get into. As such we are constantly seeking to innovate and new product development is an on-going activity.
Eventus: What do you look forward to by being a part of SPiCE 2019?
Amin: SPiCE will allow me the opportunity to listen to and interact with industry leaders and veterans who will share their past experiences as well as their vision for the gaming industry’s future. Such insights are immensely useful to newcomers as well as to brands like ours which been around for a while. We can learn from the pillars of the industry which will help us avoid making errors and improve on existing processes. After all we are in the service business and the ongoing goal is to always serve our customers better.
Amin Rozani looks forward to meeting you in person at SPiCE 2019 in Goa. See more information on SPiCE 2019 and how you can register below.