China is looked at as a very lucrative and untapped poker market. But the chances of tapping this market are about as good as my chances of tapping Kate Upton after Chinese National Police raided the APPT Nanjing Millions tournament.
Staged in Nanjing, an Eastern Chinese city with 3.6 million residents, this tourney was expected to go off without a hitch like any other live PokerStars event. And at first, this looked to be the case since over 2,300 players entered the APPT Nanjing Millions. But that was until authorities showed up to the Wutaishan Sports Center and shut down the event. As World Gaming Magazine reported through their Facebook page, authorities hung a sign on the door that read:
“Due to the APPT Nanjing Millions tournament being suspected of illegal gambling, the police are now investigating and the event is being ceased. All related staff should go and register at the designated location and co-operate with the police for the investigation.”
There’s still a lot of mystery surrounding the crackdown, and a clear-cut answer has yet to be given for shutting the event down (beyond illegal gambling). But whatever the case may be, this definitely isn’t good for any ambitions surrounding the Chinese poker dream.
For the past few years, both players and poker operators have been looking to China as a country that could stimulate major growth in the game. However, China is currently in the midst of a crackdown on both gambling and political corruption. And it looks like their government officials aren’t buying the whole poker-is-a-skill-game argument that’s been flaunted in the U.S. so many times. Long story short, legal online poker in China may follow the same timeline as the invention of the hover car.