Poker has continued to grow at a rapid rate during the last decade thanks to the increase in both live and online poker events across the world. A number of gaming analysts have predicted that the next poker boom will be in Asia and based on current market trends, their predictions are turning out to be right.
Macau, the biggest gambling hub in the world is leading the poker surge in Asia as gamblers from all over Asia are frequenting Macau to take part in a number of exciting poker events. The anti-gambling campaign launched by Beijing has impacted Macau’s casino industry, causing it to experience 26 months of decline in gross gaming revenues (GGR) but the poker scene is continuing to grow.
Typically most gamblers in Macau have preferred to play either baccarat or mini-baccarat but thanks to some great marketing and innovative promotions from companies like PokerStars, the gaming of poker has grown by leaps and bounds in Macau.
Some of the biggest poker events that have been hosted in Macau include the PokerStars LIVE Macau festival which hosts events such as the PokerStars Macau Poker Cup 25 Red Dragon Main Event and the Asia Championship of Poker Platinum Series. Poker players from all over the Mainland have turned up for the PokerStars festival and each year the number continues to grow.
PokerStars has a strong presence in Macau as it opened its first poker room at the City of Dreams casino. The PokerStars Live Macau poker room hosted the MPC Red Dragon poker tour in March 2015 and saw a total of 1,075 player registrations. This year the MPC Red Dragon event had a total of 1, 145 registrations and a guaranteed prize pool of HKD $12 million.
In a statement, Fred Leung, Senior Marketing & Business Development Manager for PokerStars’ Live Events in Asia said “We’re seeing an emerging poker market in Asia which was always the opportunity PokerStars saw when it decided to build its first live poker room here in Macau. It’s not a coincidence that the tens of millions of Chinese visitors have brought the game back to China where it is gaining popularity daily”.
Leung stated that when he first started out in the industry in 2008, China accounted for just 10 percent of the playing field and eight years later, the Chinese now account for more than 58 percent of the players at the Red Dragon in 2016.