There’s more bad news for poker in China after “ Black Friday 2.0” rocked the poker industry in China in April.
Last month, the Chinese government announced that all poker-related apps and promotions will be banned from mainland China starting June 1.
While the announcement is only applicable in mainland China, Macau is also seeing its fair share of depressing poker news after two poker rooms closed their doors to the public.
Galaxy Macau and City of Dreams are both closing their poker rooms in Macau. The poker room in City of Dreams was operated in partnership with PokerStars.
According to Eric Hollreiser, Vice President of Corporate Communications for The Stars Group, the contract between City of Dreams and PokerStars that started in 2013 has ended and they will not be renewing. Despite the closure of the poker room, Hollreiser said that PokerStars will continue to promote their brand in Asia—although it will most likely be in another country.
The closure of their poker room in City of Dreams comes right after PokerStars responded to the Chinese poker ban and stated that the ban “does not materially affect our existing businesses or our live events”. In 2015, a PokerStars’ APPT Nanjing event was cancelled midway when the authorities raided the tournament and shut it down.
Only two years into operation, Galaxy Macau has also closed the Pavilion poker room. The small poker room only housed six cash tables and two Sit’n’Gos.
IPT 2018 Macau Postponed
Alisports had plans to take to bring its International Poker Tour (IPT) to Macau this year. The 5-day poker festival was scheduled to run at the Venetian Macau and had a HK$15,000 Main Event offering players a cool HK$5 Million guarantee. The company had plans to launch its IPT 2018 Macau tournament along with its new proprietary online poker platform.
The tournament was also tied into the new app since they were planning to host satellites and free-rolls to the IPT 2018 Macau via the app.
But since China has banned all poker-related apps, the satellites and qualifiers were also dissolved. So it isn’t a major surprise that that IPT Macau 2018 has been postponed. According to IPT Organizing Committee, the Macau stop is now postponed and the IPT 2018
tournament will be rescheduled as soon as possible. No new dates or locations have floated for the new IPT 2018 stop, but the company has said that updates will be posted on the IPT website.