Macau Might Put An End To Poker Games
Tencent is the company that is responsible for most of China’s online gaming success and they were recently forced to cease operating their online Texas Hold’em game.
Tencent made the move after Chinese began to take a stricter stance on all poker related activities. This has caused other companies to consider doing the same and that has hurt the game of poker.
Gaming analysts believe that Macau might have to give up on offering poker as the clampdown continues in the Chinese special administrative region.
The Asian Poker Tour recently announced that they had canceled one of their events that was supposed to take place in Macau. That event has since been relocated to the Philippines. Asian Poker Tour CEO Jeff Mann confirmed that the APT had to cancel the event in Macau due to circumstances beyond their control. That particular event, which was to be the APT’s 2018 Finale, was scheduled to run from November 27 until December 8.
China’s Stance On Poker – Troubling
Gambling is prohibited in China but Chinese officials were okay with poker at one point of time as the game was recognized by the state as a competitive sport. Things started to change when Chinese lawmakers started to ban anything that was related to poker. The authorities are so strict concerning poker that they have even gone so far as to ban people from discussing poker on social media.
Boyaa Interactive’s stock fell to an all-time low within a few days of the ban being implemented. Their parent company, Ourgame which owns the WPT brand, also saw their stock decline. Tencent’s stock dropped but not as much some of the other smaller operators.
The strict anti-gambling laws that exist in mainland China are not applicable in Macau which is the biggest gambling hub in the world. Lots of Chinese from the mainland head across the border to play poker at Macau’s casinos but this could soon be stopped as Macau might yield to the pressure being applied by Beijing.
Poker Games Dwindle In Macau
The APT debuted in Macau back in 2007 and it kicked off a trend of high-profile events such as Macau Millions and the Macau Poker Cup. There was also an explosion in the number of poker rooms in the city and Macau officials even had a list of official poker rules published.
In the wake of China’s crackdown on poker, there has been no official word as to the future of poker in the city. PokerStars conducted its Macau Millions in April and since then has not scheduled any more poker events in Macau which is yet another indicator that poker games might be coming to an end in the peninsula.