Mainland China has been the target for a number of gambling companies all over the world as it is not secret that the Chinese love to gamble and are happy to play high stake games. However gambling in banned in the Mainland and Chinese president Xi Jinping has also been responsible for launching an anti-corruption crackdown targeting Macau’s casino industry and high stake gamblers.
The anti-corruption crackdown has scared away high stake gamblers from Mainland China who are not willing to risk traveling to Macau. As a result, Macau’s casino industry has slumped for the last twenty five months and it does not appear that the VIP market segment will recover anytime in the near future.
The last time a major poker tournament was held in Mainland China was when the Asia Poker League (APL) launched the APPT Nanjing Millions at the Beijing Poker Club. The tournament turned out to be an extremely successful event that attracted more than 2,300 registrations and in doing so also the attention of Beijing. The authorities raided the tournament midway and the tournament was shutdown as officials suspected that illegal gambling was taking place. Since then, there has been no major poker tournaments held in the Mainland and the government has confirmed that it has tightened regulations on the gambling industry.
In a statement, Hua Jingfeng, a deputy bureau chief at the Ministry of Public Security said “Some foreign countries see our nation as an enormous market, and we have investigated a series of cases. A fair number of neighboring countries have casinos, and they have set up offices in China to attract and drum up interest from Chinese citizens to go abroad and gamble. This will also be an area that we will crack down on.”
The Beijing Athletic Association permits poker to be played when there are no cash games. The Asia Poker League led by Judic Kim is expected to host a new poker tournament once again at the Beijing Poker Club and expects no trouble with the authorities as the tournament will not feature any cash games.
A total of 10 events will take place during the tournament which runs from August 12 to 18. The Main Event will have a $1,100 buy-in and a $500,000 guarantee. Kim stated that the government required detailed info about the tournament regarding its buy-ins, tournament schedule, number of participants expected and once the information is furnish and the rules are adhered to, there should be no problem with the authorities.