Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
A first-generation Poker entrepreneur, Amin Rozani’s love affair with the game started in Goa, one of the three states in India where it has a legal status. Subsequently, he climbed the Poker ladder quickly by joining hands with other promoters and events like the prestigious Indian Poker Championship and starting his own sites. Today, the promoter and managing director of Mumbai-based SPARTAN POKER is widely respected domestically and globally as a player, consultant and promoter of the game.
His name is so synonymous with the card game in India that observers of the domestic gaming scene call him the Shah Rukh Khan of Poker! In fact, there is probably not a single Poker player or afficionado in this country who has not heard of this Poker badshah. Unassuming yet daring, soft-spoken yet keenly observant, with a seemingly ordinary persona that cloaks a visionary mind, Amin Rozani is not only a name to reckon with amongst the fast-growing domestic Poker fraternity but is also esteemed by his peers in the wider Poker world. Today, his reputation goes beyond his accomplishments as a Poker player – he is highly regarded as a consultant on the game and a successful entrepreneur in the field.
When interviewed by experts:
CI: What do you mean by paradigm shift?
AR: Till now, Poker was being considered a game of gambling. But now, slowly but surely, it is being realised that Poker is a game of skill rather than one of chance. An awareness is growing that Poker draws on logic and strategy-making, and demands a good grip on memory, math and psychology. Now, in Poker rooms as well as in online Poker, several advocates, professors, engineers, doctors, merchants, accountants and other professionals are playing the game.
CI: But is Poker a good business move? Can it grow as an economically viable business proposition in this country?
AR: Interesting! Poker is not only a viable business proposition in India but it has the potential to develop into a robust industry if the various obstacles are removed. Do you know that Delta, a listed public limited company operating in Goa, paid over Rs. 150 crore to acquire Adda52, a Poker outfit? Of course, Goa has emerged as the leading live Poker destination, but a large number of online Poker start-ups have sprung up across the country. Though there is no authentic figure on the total Poker business in the country, I feel it will not be less than Rs. 1,000 crore, taking live as well as online Poker into consideration. Let me tell you, the sky is the limit for this business if various hurdles are removed and the negative image of the game is got rid of.
Needless to say, Mr. Rozani’s priorities do not begin and end with Poker alone. Few empathise more with the problems of the underprivileged than this rags-to-riches entrepreneur. His compassion rounding off his playing skills, he says, “Society has given me a lot and now it is my turn to give back to society. We feel happy to donate funds for a good cause to NGOs and we would like to contribute our mite for making this earth a better place for as many as possible. This is our duty.” That’s a true winner, on the card game and beyond.
His contribution for betterment of lives of under privileged children has been commendable and appreciated by many. Kunal Kapoor appreciated Spartan Poker donations for Keto Foundation. Dia Mirza expressed her heartfelt thanks to Spartan Poker for donations to her Genesis Foundation. Ihana Dhillon an established Punjabi actress and an upcoming Bollywood star praises Amin Rozani’s contributions to the society.