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The founders of Indian skill gaming operator Passion Gaming have bought back shares in the business from investors to regain full ownership.

Passion Gaming offers online real-money rummy games to players through its flagship Rummy Passion product.

In 2023, the business surpassed the milestone of having more than 10 million registered players.

Previous investment

In 2017, the UK-based Rank Group made an investment of $3.75m in Passion Gaming through its Stride Investments subsidiary, acquiring 51% of shares in the business as a result.

Today (8 July), it was announced that Passion Gaming co-founders Bobby Garg and Priya Kumar have successfully re-acquired the sold shares for an undisclosed amount.

“Achieving 100% ownership again is a rarity in a founder’s journey,” said Kumar. 

“This move empowers us to pursue our vision with full autonomy and capitalise on the immense potential we see in the Indian skill gaming market.”

Garg added that: “We hold an optimistic view of the future for skill gaming in India.

“Navigating the complexities of taxation and hopeful of a positive regulatory setup in the skill gaming industry, we aim to reach 10 crore [100 million] registered users on Rummy Passion over the next three years to establish a significant leadership role in the rummy market.”

Gaming tax rate attracts criticism

In its statement, Passion Gaming also commented on the 28% online gambling deposit levy, applied via India’s Goods and Services Tax (GST), which remains in place for skill game operators in the country.

The tax “poses challenges to the sector,” Passion said, as co-founder Barg suggested: “We hope the government seizes this opportunity to put India in the pole position globally in the gaming sector by fostering entrepreneurship in skill gaming and implementing fair taxation policies. 

“We are optimistic that with our continued commitment to player protection the skill gaming sector can prosper. We keep our faith in the present progressive government which, we feel, can regulate the skill gaming to differentiate permissible games from betting and gambling.”

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