Tencent Holdings, Alibaba Group and SoftBank Group are investing millions of dollars in Indian apps that use loopholes in anti-gambling laws to offer bettors cash prizes, vacations to Macau and new iPhones.
About 300 million players use apps such as Dream11, Play Games24x7, Paytm First Games and FanFight to gamble on “fantasy cricket” and rummy card games. Industry sales are forecast to reach about $3.3 billion by 2024, prompting India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, to say the business eventually will surpass that of music, movies and TV shows combined.
“India is sweetly positioned to exponentially grow the gaming industry. The online platform has a very strong outlook considering India has the world’s largest youth population and the second-largest internet penetration,” Vishal Seth, a managing director overseeing mergers and acquisitions for Protiviti India, said.
While e-commerce and video streaming are gaining in popularity, online gaming is considered a better business proposition because individual transactions are immediately profitable. That is because operators do not have to invest much in building up logistics, inventory or content.
The boom is driven by Indians who prefer vying for cash and prizes as better use of their online time than watching movies or playing video games that do not offer any rewards.
More than a third of India’s 1.3 billion people are internet users, and most of that is via budget smartphones with cheap data-usage plans. Before the coronavirus outbreak crushed the global economy, the local smartphone market was growing at a 10% rate.
As much as 90% of gaming in India happens on phones, said Girish Menon, head of media and entertainment for KPMG in Mumbai.
“That is attractive to Alibaba and Tencent because their entire ecosystem is developed around mobile phones. The time spent on gaming is far higher than any other form of entertainment,” he said.
Cambodian Casinos Urged to Settle Non-Gambling Taxes
The General Department of Taxation (GDT) reminded the directors of all enterprises engaged in commercial gambling to declare and pay taxes on all business activities other than gambling.
In a February 2 notice, GDT director-general Kong Vibol said that they must fulfill their tax obligations for gambling in accordance with the Prakas on the rules and procedures for tax declarations on the proceeds of gambling.
For business activity other than gambling, they are obligated to declare and pay taxes, according to standard tax laws and regulations.
The GDT noted that some commercial gambling enterprises had fulfilled their obligation, while some had failed to do so.
“Those who have not declared their taxes yet should consider this a reminder that failing to meet your tax obligations is punishable by law,” said the notice.
The notice stated that with the February 1 approval of Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth, the ministry had agreed to eliminate late penalties, including additional taxes and late interest, to enterprises that declared and paid their tax bills before the end of March.
The GDT strongly hoped that the directors of gambling enterprises will accept their responsibilities and file their tax declarations as soon as possible.
Prime Minister Hun Sen recently complimented the GDT for collecting 122.54% of the internal tax revenue that had been targeted by the Law on financial management of 2022.
“I am very pleased and laud the results of their internal tax collection. Truly, this is an amazing result. The GDT collected 22.54 per cent more revenue that we expected, an amount that exceeded $635 million,” he said.
Spintec and APE to renew their exclusive distribution agreement for Southeast Asia
The cooperation between Spintec Gaming Technology and Asia Pioneer Entertainment Limited (APE), which has started more than 10 years ago, has proven beneficial for both parties and has yielded important business success in the region. APE as the largest electronic table game distributor in Asia has now become the exclusive distributor for Spintec products beside Macau also in Singapore, Philippines, and Malaysia, while also remaining their trusted partner in Vietnam and Cambodia.
The 3-year exclusive distribution agreement covering the large part of Southeast Asia is providing both partners with a valuable gambit to tackle the demands of the fast-growing market in the post-pandemic era. As the market is opening and growing, both partners will be taking advantage of their strong market positions and superior products to enhance their presence in the region even further.
Their previous cooperation has brought exceptional results in all the markets of the region, but especially in Macau. With its sheer size and tight regulation, but especially with the introduction of the EGM 2.0 standard, the Macau market is becoming one of the most demanding gaming markets in the world. Spintec products are of extremely high quality and have been hugely popular in Macau, not least because of the excellent services provided by APE. Spintec products are also fully compliant with all the regulations in Macau, including the EGM 2.0, so the partners are confident that their presence in this highly demanding market will continue to flourish.
Maria Garcia, Sales Director at APE for Macau & Southeast Asia, says of the cooperation: “It is truly an honor to be working with a producer of electronic table games of such high quality and a partner that is fully committed to growing in this important region.” Mitja Dornik, Regional Sales Manager at Spintec, agrees: “Our performance in Southeast Asia is growing day by day and we are thrilled to see that APE is helping us extremely on this path.”
Herman Ng Man Ho, CEO at Asia Pioneer Entertainment Limited, emphasises the importance of the high product quality in their partnership: “As the largest electronic table game distributor in Asia, it is our company policy to work with the best producers in every segment and Spintec is definitely a part of the ETG elite.” Spintec’s CEO Goran Miskulin is also extremely proud with their cooperation with APE: “Asia Pacific is one of the most important regions for us and we are thrilled to be cooperating with a partner that recognises our advantages and is able to translate them into a strong market presence.” Goran Sovilj, Spintec’s Global Sales Director, recognises the challenges of the Southeast Asian markets: “These markets are very lucrative, but only if the commitment to quality and service diligence is paramount. We realize that we need a strong and reliable partner to deliver in this region and with APE we have found just that.”
Made-in-India Battle Royale Indus Gameplay Trailer Revealed via London Takeover, Pre-Registrations Live Now
Leading Indian game developer SuperGaming has revealed the first gameplay trailer for its upcoming Indo-Futuristic battle royale Indus to celebrate India’s Republic Day of January 26, 2023.
To launch the gameplay trailer, the company released a series of high-impact takeovers across the biggest locations in London. This is in line with SuperGaming’s vision of putting India on the global gaming map much like its previous Indus trailer launch at New York’s Times Square to mark India’s Independence Day of August 15, 2022.
“As we’ve been making Indus and seeing its gameplay evolve over the year, we wanted to share it with the rest of the world,” says SuperGaming co-founder and CEO Roby John. “This gameplay trailer is for the Indus community the world over that may not have been able to play it with us and to show off the true scale of battle royale that we want you to have when the game is out.”
The trailer entices players to discover, loot, and win on Virlok — the game’s island map, all while showcasing Indus’ weapons, Paragons (the game’s character skins), and traversal. It also highlights multiple locations and firefights with an intent of showing the scope and size of the battle royale experience SuperGaming aims to provide.
You can check out the trailer right here:
Indus Pre-Registration Details
Pre-registrations for Indus are now live on the Google Play Store for Android with pre-registrations on the App Store for iOS and iPadOS to follow soon. Pre-registering early will get you exclusive surprises that will make your experience of Indus truly your own.
You can pre-register now for Indus via the Google Play Store.
In the run up to Indus’ release date, SuperGaming will have multiple community playtests through the year. The last community playtest was held at Comic Con Bengaluru which was met with a tremendous response from the community, on an average being overbooked by 50 percent for each playtest slot. Players will be able to share their thoughts on various aspects of the game and impact the direction of how SuperGaming crafts its most ambitious title yet.
The first Indus Community Playtest for 2023 will be revealed soon.
For more on Indus, check out the developer blog as YouTube, Discord, Twitter, and
Instagram for the latest behind-the-scenes updates.
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