APT to maintain Macau poker schedule

Asia Poker Tour (APT) says it will push ahead with tournaments scheduled later this year in Macau despite a Chinese ban on online poker promotion.

The APT has events scheduled for Nov. 27 and Dec. 8 this year. It has a five-year exclusive accord with Macau Billionaire Poker to host at least two international events a year in the city.

“Fortunately, APT has never been dependent or reliant on deriving players from online activities of any type. Our business model is not online focused at all,” Macau News Agency cited the company as saying.

The agency also said Melco Resorts & Entertainment has confirmed its poker room at its flagship City of Dreams property shut on April 30. The operator had a contract with The Stars Group to run events.

The April directive from Beijing tells gaming platforms to stop operating Texas Hold’em games, a variation of poker, forbid services that transfer or trade virtual currency and stop the publication of anything poker or gambling-related on Weibo and WeChat.

Poker companies have warned the ban will have an impact on poker tours across Asia.