The Stars Poker Room located in Indiranagar, India, was raided by local police earlier this month during the start of its inaugural poker series.
Gutshot Magazine reported that the first tournament in the series kicked off with about 60 of the 75 entrants remaining when the police escorted players out of the poker room.
The tournament series was cancelled due to the incident, although eyebrows were raised as to why the raid even took place since the Bengaluru High Court approved poker as a game of skill, which led to many poker rooms opening in the region.
Rajeev Raut, a poker player who along with local businessman Krishna G, announced on the poker room's Facebook page that, "With great regret have to announce the cancellation of Stars Poker Series. Really thankful to all the supporters who stood by. We are still continuing cash games & Sit’n’Go Games at IPA Stars."
The East Bangalore poker room, which just opened weeks before the raid, was expected to bring life into the local poker community after forming a strategic alliance with the Indian Poker Association (IPA) last October. The agreement called for the Stars Poker Room to manage the property with the IPA responsible for daily operations.
Raut was not only optimistic at the time that this poker room would be a success, but that the partnership with the IPA would enable the opening of four or five poker rooms throughout Bangalore.
"Presently, we are tying up with IPA for managing only their Ulsoor Lake property, but I am quite keen on opening up at least four or five poker rooms across the city," Raut stated to Gutshot Magazine in October. "Bangalore is quite spread out and so if we could do one poker room per geographical zone, that would be the ideal scenario. I would be quite happy if we go on to partner with IPA in more rooms as we share the same vision."
This isn't the first time Raut has been involved in a raid by authorities in Bangalore. Raut was the co-promoter of the popular Rockets Poker Room when it was raided by local police on suspicion of offering games outside of poker. Raut parted ways with the poker room in June, which is now partners with India's largest online poker room Adda52.com.
Stay tuned at PokerNews as more news develops in the Indian gambling marketplace.