China Online Poker Ban Would Not Affect Asian Poker Tour, Say APT Officials

The Philippines-based poker event organiser Asian Poker Tour (APT) revealed that it does not intend to put off its scheduled events scheduled for the city of Macau, unlike several tournaments and poker rooms that have announced their full closure following the poker ban in China.

The poker industry of Macau has suffered a number of serious blows recently, with the closure of a couple of poker rooms and the cancellation of some tournament series in the wake of the recent crackdown on online poker operations announced by the Chinese Government.

As reported by Macau News Agency (MNA), the tournaments scheduled by the APT for the period from November 27th to December 8th in Macau would not be changed or postponed. The information comes after a number of poker rooms in the city were closed following the reports that a ban on online poker promotion and activities is to be imposed by the Central Government of China. The ban is to be enforced on July 1st.

In 2017, the poker tournament organiser inked an exclusive agreement for five years with Macau Billionaire Poker (MBP), a local event company. Under the deal, MBP is allowed to host a minimum of two global poker events per annum in Macau. Poker tournaments are usually hosted by Macau Billionaire Poker at the Babylon Casino at Macau Fisherman’s Wharf thanks to a deal with Macau Legend Development.

As revealed by the Chief Executive Officer of the APT for a local media, the Asian Poker Tour had not depended on attracting players through online activities, as the APT business model was not oriented towards web-based operations at all.

Other Brands’ Poker Room Closures

At a time when the Asian Poker Tour has revealed no intentions of closing its operations, Melco Resorts & Entertainment confirmed that its City of Dreams-located poker room has been closed since April 30th. The casino and gaming group has been operating at City of Dreams for half a decade, with the PokerStars Macau Poker Cup and a number of other live poker tournaments being set there.

Now, the poker room which was operated by the company in collaboration with PokerStars LIVE Macau was closed, after the contract between Melco and The Stars Group expired.

According to Macau News Agency report, negotiations for the re-opening of the room have been on the table, with Melco Resorts’ spokesperson explaining that a possible date for reopening still remains unknown.

On the other hand, The Stars Group has not commented on the matter for MNA, but the company claimed last week that the online poker ban in imposed by the country’s Central Government did not actually affect either the group’s businesses or its live poker events.

The Pavilion Poker Room owned and operated by Galaxy Macau is also to be closed for an undisclosed period. A week ago, the Alibaba Group’s subsiiary Alisports also revealed that the next leg of its International Poker Tour (IPT), which was set to be held at the Venetian in the period from May 16th to 20th, was put off.

  • Author
Harry Evans

Harry Evans

Harry Evans is a long-year journalist with a passion for poker. Apart from a good game of poker, he loves to write which is why he spent several years as an editor of a local news magazine.
Daniel Williams
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