SPiCE 2019: Deltin Group’s Manish Adnani discusses the sportification of skill games

SPiCE, Deltin Group, poker, goa
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Eventus International “adds more spice” to SPiCE 2019, with pre-event networking cocktails on the 25th of February 2019 from 17:00 – 21:00 at Goa Marriott Resort & Spa.

The SP’iCE’ Breaker pre-event networking cocktail is proudly co-sponsored by Spartan Poker and will give all attendees the chance to BREAK THE ICE at SPiCE with HOT conversation and ICE COLD drinks, while gazing out over the beautiful oceanic views of Goa, before the event officially kicks off on the 26th of February 2019.

Manish Adnani is the Business Head (Poker) for Deltin Group, he holds a bachelor of economics from Bombay University, is a MCSE – Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer as well as the Founder and Managing Director of Overdrive Technologies. Manish has been a professional poker player since 2008.

Poker leagues are burgeoning and also being televised. What are the opportunities in the sportification of skill games?

Manish AdnaniManish: The formation of Poker Leagues is the perfect vestibule for sportification in the Poker Industry transforming a single player card game into a team sport. Team Sports holistically involve group discussions, strategies and a common goal to be successful, making them a collaborative environment in which luck surely plays a very small part. League formats magnify the “ Skill “ element involved in playing the game of Poker or any other card based game.

What are the steps for player protection and ethical practices that need to be adopted by operators?

Manish: The first step would be to form a single recognized charter / association that defines standards and guidelines on fair play violation policies, responsible gaming standards, software integrity and related internal control standards. Once we have an established body that monitors all the above standards once can expect a uniform roll out from the various operators and offer the community a standard online playing experience. In addition to this, the association must spread awareness on these norms and propagate the same and empanel operators based on adherence of the rules and regulations. Operators who do not stick to these forms must be blackballed and ousted from the community. This I am confident would give the consumers a sense of protection and comfort playing online and thereby align with their favorite brands and card game. It would also give customers a sense on the best practices and which companies are actually working on those lines.

The debate on legalising sports betting in the country has gained momentum in the country with the Law Commission’s report, however, there has been little discussion at the political level so far. How do you see the deliberations moving ahead in the coming days?

Manish: The Law Commission Report involves 16 statutory provisions which form an integral base to the report. Each of these provisions is an act and a debate at an individual level involving multiple facts and need to be addressed before any headway can be made at a political level on the report as a whole. I do believe that we will make headway with the report, however the provisions will need to be clubbed in to groups and addressed. This would give all stake holders common goals which can be addressed with concise clarity , and the framework and laws can be defined effectively.

Do you think the government needs to focus more on the gaming sector? If so, what are the immediate and practically plausible steps that can be taken by the government?

Manish: Yes, Most Definitely. The Gaming Sector is Galaxy by itself with the growth trajectory predominantly stemming from the online segment. The online segment has been growing at a rapid pace over the last few years. Fantasy Sports leads the space with super heathy CAGR growth with card based games being a close second. For this growth curve to be maintained the government needs to provide aids in the form of lower taxation , credit to the sector for creating jobs and other grants that most sunrise industries would enjoy with such healthy growth numbers. Off-line ventures would pre-dominantly grow once we have “ SCALE “ which involves investments to increase infrastructure. Introducing FDI into this sector would not only provide “SCALE“ but will also offer technology and operational optimization knowledge share thereby improving the overall offering. All of the above steps would posture the industry and the government in positive light to this sector internationally paving the way for new investment opportunities.

What are the innovative products that can be offered in the current market and are you looking to expand your offering?

Manish: We are always looking to expand our offering based optimization of resources and capex. The three pillars of the casino industry are Gaming experience , Entertainment & FNB and we are constantly evolving to offer a unique & premium experience to our customers.

Do you think it makes sense to look at opportunities in the broader Indian subcontinent, for example in Nepal and Sri Lanka?

Manish: Yes. Gambling in Nepal and Sri Lanka has been prominent before it hit the Indian shores. For instance Nepal has has its first casinos dating back to 1968. Sri Lanka has enjoyed the culture for over 3 decades now with re-forms coming about in 2010 . Casinos have been a tourist attraction in these nations right from the start. Having said this the offering is below international standards and there is room from improvement and Scale. With this opportunity close to India , it would be a natural progression for most Casino Based Enterprises to expand to these nations once optimum standards have been achieved in India.

What do you look forward to by being a part of SPiCE 2019?

Manish: I was introduced to SPICE last year which left me with a fantastic learning experience, notwithstanding the fantastic people that I did encounter. I was thrilled to meet Yudi Soetjiptadi the enigmatic man who chose this tough task of conducting an international event like this in Goa – India connecting people in the industry across the world. I do look forward to meeting Yudi and the team once again.

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