Macau has been rocked bytyphoons and geopolitical strife. The heavy-handiness of the Chinese government has been no small factor in the overall challenge for the gaming and poker industries in the region. However, now a new danger looms – will poker see the end of its days in Macau? We discuss the question in the following lines.
The Recent Events that May Spell the End of Poker
Much has happened just recently in Macau. Tencent, the leading provider of iGaming and gaming products, has had to scrap Texas Hold’em game, with the server going down in a week. China’s regulators have yet again demonstrated their determination to uproot a game that they consider to go “against the grain of the socialist norms” as per the government’s ruling tenets.
But as regulations continue to pile on, is Macau truly considering giving up on poker altogether? It makes sense – casinos would save themselves the trouble of tip-toeing around stringent rules.
The Asian Poker Tour (APT) has also had to cancel an event recently. And this is not a first either. APT had to scrap another event before announcing its latest cancellation, which, if not a sure-fire indication that things haven’t been going exactly well, is at least a hint that things may be getting more difficult to arrange. Meanwhile, the APT has found a new life for itself in the Philippines, even though the company officially expected to stay in Macau.
The Operators Don’t Want to Quit on Macau
Commenting as to the reasons of the cancellation, APT CEO Jeff Mann has been quite expressive. He has said time and again that the APT definitely doesn’t wish to leave Macau, but the move was occasioned by circumstances that were both beyond his and the event’s control. However, as the event is making headway, it’s adding players and money to its prize pool at a rapid clip.
This has reflected strongly on the player base, though, who are now more than ever eager to have reliable information about APT beforehand. As a result, the APT may decide to permanently relocate somewhere where government tantrums wouldn’t affect the event.
This year’s edition was scheduled for Macau. The event was supposed to take place from November 27 through December 8. However, plans had to be abruptly changed. This also affects players, too. Making reservation in gambling hubs usually comes at a hefty prize and some may struggle to recuperate that money, not to mention that you cannot always cancel your reservation and receive the full amount, if at all.
In honesty, poker has been oscillating between being a competitive sport and a game of chance according to Chinese authorities. The legal status is much as it is in the United States where the game is considered skill-based in certain states and pure luck in others.
It would be a great pity indeed if we see the APT leave Macau indeed. The first event started back in 2007 and we can honestly say that this is a poker pow-wow with traditions. With this in mind, Macau is truly one of the best destinations for it.