The mobile esports and skill gaming platform Mobile Premier League’s poker arm has exceeded 2.5 million poker players in India, making it the country’s largest poker platform.
The app boasts a wide user base from various socioeconomic backgrounds, with users originating from major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore, among others. It has also achieved tremendous acceptance in tier 2 and 3 markets over the years. Thane, Nagpur, Jodhpur, Kanpur, and other cities have seen the most rapid expansion. At the moment, more than 60% of users come from tier 2 and 3 locations where the firm has a significant presence.
Because of the growth of inexpensive smartphones and greater internet connection, the mobile gaming software is already available in 5,200 towns and cities and is constantly growing to new areas. Notably, women account for around one-third of poker players, according to MPL, and the percentage is steadily increasing as women make their mark in this traditionally male-dominated activity. Sharkshe S (Shakshi Shetty), a celebrity player, is also on the platform’s list of female players.
“The growth we have seen on our platform attests to the fact that poker is gaining prominence among users in India not just as a hobby, but as a mind sport,” said Namratha Swamy, Country Head – India, MPL.
As recognised by the International Mind Sports Association, Poker, together with Bridge, Chess and Scrabble, is part of the Mind Sports Olympiad, the global event for games of mental skill. And for good reason: Poker encourages players to use their mental skills and logical thinking while crafting every move; and just like traditional sports, it takes strategy and practice to become a better player.
But more importantly, it has evolved into a serious profession for many in the country. Swamy said:
“Poker, as we know it today, is not just another card game played in a social setting. There are numerous Indian players who are engaging with the sport and making a living from playing poker.”