After the two poker rooms closed, it was revealed that new events to be held in the region had been canceled. The International Poker Tour Macau is scheduled to take place next week, from 16-20. Alisports is the IPT organizer who announced last week that the event was being suspended “after careful consideration”. IPT Macau’s business model is heavily centered around the Alibaba poker app to allow players to qualify for tournaments. With the crackdown, this is no longer an option.
Last month, the Chinese government announced that poker visiting Dewa Poker would no longer be considered a competitive sport and at the same time, Texas Hold’em would no longer be able to be promoted on social media applications. With the ban, all apps that provide any form of social poker play must be closed and no longer offered on app stores by June 1, according to Inside Asia Gaming. WeChat and other social media channels are now prohibited from promoting any products related to Texas Hold’em.
The popular poker game in China is largely due to social media applications. With this ban, several companies will be affected including World Poker Tour owner, Ourgame. Others affected include Boyaa Interactive and Tencent. Boyaa offers poker tours that use the app for qualifying while Tencent has a poker app that was quickly removed after the ban announcement.
Tencent is connected to the World Series of Poker, having signed a ten-year partnership agreement back in 2017. The new agreement saw China’s WSOP first take place last year and rumors are now circulating that the WSOP will be canceled due to poker game regulatory changes. No announcement has been made by the WSOP on this issue.