China ban on online poker

It's already being called the 'Chinese Black Friday' as the government cracks down on social online poker games.

Tenchet Poker
Tenchet Poker will be removed from app stores on June 1

The Chinese Government has announced that as of June 1 all apps that offer online poker games will be banned. Google Play, WeChat and the Apple Store will be required to remove all poker apps and social media channels will no longer be able to promote poker after the game is no longer be recognised as a competitive sport.

Tenchet, the company behind WeChat and the Chinese expansion of the WSOP, have now removed their WSOP app from stores. Ourgame, the Chinese owners of the World Poker Tour have announced they are monitoring this situation closely. 

This is a major blow for Chinese poker players and has been dubbed the 'Chinese Black Friday'. 

Speaking in the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong Poker Players Association managing director Stephen Lai commented:

It is a shame that the government won’t allow people talking about the game. We have been very happy that China have been allowing social gaming, not for money, so that people from China have a chance to practise and travel around Asia and beyond to play poker, where it is legal to do so. Now, with the alleged policy change, there will be no ‘play money’ poker in China, and you can’t talk about poker on social media. Chinese players won’t have a chance to practise, and they won’t get to know about legal poker events around Asia. Poker has gone back to square one in China.

The legal framework under which the ban will be enforced has not yet been announced. 

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