Deepak Gullapalli Talks about real money games, rummy and myths around self-regulationby Amit K. Marketing Manager
Deepak Gullapalli, Founder & CEO, Head Digital Works, and his team have made a strong representation to the industry federation, among other things, to get more government involvement and support in regularizing the industry. This would help the government understand the nuances of the industry, its framework, and, most importantly, the nature of the games that fall into the ‘game of skills' category. A jacket ban, he claims, is not the way out and will just lead to illicit operators siphoning money out of the country.
Regulation vs self-regulation
There is a lot of controversy about whether rummy and other digital platform games are games of skill or games of chance. Sadly, despite intense education programs and awareness campaigns, a large portion of the Indian public, as well as several state governments, see rummy as a game of chance.
Gullapalli believes that self-regulation will not address the situation. The true solution is to have a rule in place where a body in power, in this case, the government, looks at these games and evaluates them both statistically and legally and gives them a prominent description. Self-regulation is not an option in this situation since there is no ultimate authority, which can always lead to disagreements and inconsistencies.
According to Gullapalli, having a definition can alter how individuals view these games. One must grasp the game and all of its aspects, such as how the money is won, where the money comes from, and basic information such as how the business functions.
Self-regulation, on the other hand, would help to some extent in that all stakeholders in the industry would be on the same page in a self-regulating framework, but once the government has a regulation in place, everyone has to obey it, and that is how the industry can be converted into an organized one, according to Gullapalli.
Notion around rummy—has it changed over the years?
The business has gone a long way since its inception, but is that enough recognition? A lot has changed in the industry since the early years, when there were many challenges, such as convincing banks, payment gateways, advertisers, media, and others about the business, and people had a negative perception of real money games like rummy, but from the first five years of my being in the industry to now, there has been a significant change in how people view it.
Explaining how views have shifted Gullapalli stated that when people asked him what he did for a job and he told them about his online rummy company, the first question they asked was whether it was legal. From there, it has grown into a multibillion-dollar industry, and the people who pioneered it have made a significant contribution. They work extremely closely as an industry (which includes all of the operators) to help the industry expand, and rummy has kind of opened the door for different games and showed the route for various games in terms of income creation.
Previously, monetization was a significant problem, but rummy showed how to optimize income, he noted.
At the end of the day, though, Gullapalli believes that only total approval by the judiciary and government would result in a brighter future for the sector in India.
Gullapalli’s journey through the industry
Gullapalli had the idea to start online rummy during his undergraduate days in London when he and his buddies would spend a lot of time playing off-line rummy. Among his pals, there was a guy who was often playing Solitaire on the computer, and the idea of playing rummy on the computer hit him.
Gullapalli began his adventure to create an ecosystem centered on skill-based gaming in 2006 when he rented a garage and two PCs. The first aim was not to make a money game, but rather to just play against the computer, thus the first business strategy was to launch it on CD ROM and sell it in a market where people could play it on a computer.
Their parent firm, Head Digital Works, owns and manages Ace2three.com, the group's main real money enterprise. Head Digital Works, it turns out, is also releasing new games.
Head Digital Works, being one of the first firms to obtain VC investment in 2010, paved the way for several VC and PE funds to participate in this market in India. Reputable funds participating in the field not only provided legitimacy to the company but also made others realize the industry's potential in the country. Going all-in? Going Public or Going Global? Perhaps all of it.
Head Digital Works' future plans, like those of any other business, are to continue to invest in and develop the company.
Head Digital Works is also developing an aggressive content strategy for cricket.com, with aspirations to take it global.
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Created on Aug 23rd 2021 02:51. Viewed 62 times.