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India’s COVID-19 relief efforts sees support from online gambling industry

Punjab News Express | June 14, 2021 11:32 AM

Although the daily spike of new cases has been falling over the past couple of weeks, there’s no denying that India has been severely affected by the outbreak of COVID-19 infections since April. The number of cases has been declining recently, but the daily death toll remained above 3,000—even as nearly 12 crore doses are scheduled to be available in June.

Online gambling companies raising funds for COVID-19 relief

A number of companies in the gaming vertical have been spearheading efforts to raise funds to help COVID-19 relief efforts in India. Esports and skill gaming platform Mobile Premier League recently teamed up with online donation platform Give India for the “Gamers for India,” a fundraiser in the form of a livestream with popular gamers in attendance.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a transformation to every industry globally and the esports industry is no different. The lockdown fuelled this already-burgeoning industry,” said Abhishek Madhavan, SVP, Growth and Marketing at Mobile Premier League.

Krafton Inc, a PUBG and PUBG mobile game publisher based in South Korea, went the donation route—giving INR 1.5 crore to the PM Cares Fund. In a blog post, CEO Changhan Kim said, “India is navigating a challenging time with the current wave of covid-19. We remain committed to supporting the efforts of the government in battling this unprecedented crisis. We hope our contribution to the PM CARES Fund will help the aid efforts currently operational on the ground.”

For its part, online poker room Natural8 initiated the “Unite to Fight COVID-19 in India” campaign, in which it matched donations dollar for dollar. All of the contributions that Natural8 received will be turned over to community-run fund CryptoRelief, with a goal of providing aid in the form of medicine, oxygen and other essential items needed in these times of shortage in critical healthcare resources.

Natural8 was aiming to raise $100,000, it said in a blog post, adding, “At Natural8, we want to use our position as Asia’s Largest Online Poker Room to contribute to the relief efforts in India. As such, we would like to make a plea to all our players from all over the world to come together to make a difference.”

Casual Indian entertainment popular amid COVID-19 lockdowns

This pandemic has resulted in more people staying at home and using the Internet not just to check out the latest news, but also to learn new skills or pass time by playing games like online blackjack at SevenJackpots as well as other popular gambling entertainment games including Andar Bahar, Teen Patti and Rummy, these can be played on websites like

An ENV Media research called Andar Bahar, Teen Patti and Rummy as “the anchors of casual Indian entertainment, noting, “Such traditional card games have heavily influenced the local mobile gaming industry and social networks, with their demand and acceptance not likely to decrease. There are certain Western games with an Indian touch which are quite well accepted. But Indians love desi games first and foremost. These are “family” games that can be played and enjoyed with people of all age groups and players think little whether to engage in paid sessions if they like the game.”

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