China to ban all social poker games

The Chinese government has decided to crackdown all social poker games in the country.

Coming into effect from June 1st, all the apps that offer poker in any form would be banned in China. The government has also prohibited the promotion of poker via social media channels.

Google Play, the WeChat store, the Apple App store and other app stores would be removing all the apps related to poker, sources suggested.

As per SoMuchPoker, the legal framework for the ordinance is yet to be published. The news site which is primarily focused on the poker community living in the Asia Pacific region added that clarifications and changes are still possible until the enforcement of the ban.

Tencent, owner of Asia oriented chat application WeChat and the ones running the Chinese expansion of WSOP brand has also taken down its WSOP app.

Moreover, Beijing-based firm, Ourgame that bought the World Poker Tour in 2015 for $35 million has released official statement where they have announced a close examination of the proposed crackdown.

“If rumours are to be believed, there will be no ‘play money’ poker in China and we won’t be able to talk about poker on social media as well,” Hong Kong Poker Players Association managing director Stephen Lai told in an interview.

“Chinese players would not get a chance to practice and they would not be able to know about the legal poker events in Asia. Poker has witnessed a setback in China,” he added.

Three years ago, Chinese police task force had shut down the Asian-Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Nanjing Millions event in Nanjing.

Zhou Yun Peng had won the first-ever WSOP China for CNY 2,414,000 last December.

The game of poker is becoming more popular in China and the rest of Asia and this decision of the Chinese government is expected to have an adverse effect on the poker market of China. 

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