Cards52: A marketplace for online games


Kolkata-based online gaming company Cards52 is a marketplace for real money games. Ramesh Thotapalli set up the company a couple months back with the aim to address the need for a reliable and trustworthy platform for various skill-based real money games.

Being a recreational poker player himself, Thotapalli saw this gap in the industry during the harsh times of the pandemic. Going live in the next one month, the platform is going live with three games- rummy, poker, and fantasy. It focuses on rewards and rakeback programs for its users.


Rakeback is a player reward method used on poker platforms where a part of the tournament entries is paid back to the player as incentives. This is usually done to promote more usage and ensure player retrieval on the site.

To ensure fairness, the platform uses and is heavily working with the recent AI developments. It has security measures like analyzing gameplay to ensure the same user is playing from a particular account. A facial recognition system is also under works to ensure transparency and to adhere to the strict age limits.

Explaining its revenue model, founder, and CEO of the company, Thotapalli told Entrackr, “We don’t own any of the game, so it’s a low-cost company. We are not developing the games in-house and are just posting the games, making us a marketplace of online games. So, we don’t have any developmental costs.”

The company gets most of its revenue from conducting premium events, tournaments, and partnerships and sponsorships. Currently in its beta stage, Cards52 plans launching an additional three games in the coming quarter which are Call Break, Ludo, and Opinion Trading.

The company has to date raised a total of Rs 5 crore and has a valuation of Rs 6.61 crore. As the platform is yet to officially launch, the financials are not taken into consideration as of yet.

With the online gaming industry getting crowded as of late, Cards52 is up against known names like MPL, Baazi Games, Taj games, Adda52, and Googly.

The ongoing discussion on the legality of games of skill and chance is going to be ever present especially with games like Ludo, a chance-based game, being onboarded to the platform. 

Commenting on this, Thotapalli said, “Unlike other countries like the US, Europe and Australia where all exists, India still has to reach a stage where the gaming laws are more detailed, more accurate, and which also benefits the economy but at the same time protects the citizens of the country. We are somewhere in between that path. The industry is working towards it.”

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