The game of poker is popular in China mainly thanks to social media applications. Several companies are affected by this ban, including Ourgame, owner of the World Poker Tour. Boyaa Interactive and Tencent are also affected. Boyaa offered a poker tour with the qualifiers app, while Tencent had a poker app which was quickly removed after the ban was announced.
Tencent is affiliated with the World Series of Poker, having signed a partnership agreement a decade ago in 2017. The new arrangement saw the Chinese WSOP first held last year and now rumors are swirling that the WSOP will be canceled due to changes in poker rules. Halo69 The WSOP has made no announcement on this.
After both poker rooms closed, news broke that a new event planned in the area had been cancelled. The International Poker Tour Macau is scheduled to take place next week from the 16th to the 20th. Alisports is the organizer of the IPT, which announced last week that the event would be suspended “after careful consideration”. IPT Macau’s business model is heavily focused on Alibaba’s poker app, which allows players to qualify for tournaments. With the crackdown, visiting an online gambling agent is no longer an option
Last month, the Chinese government announced that poker would no longer be considered a competitive sport, while also banning the promotion of Texas Hold’em on social media apps. According to Inside Asia Gaming, all apps offering any form of social poker are to be shut down and no longer offered in app stores by June 1. WeChat and other social networks are now banned from promoting Texas Hold’em related products.