It’s been quite the news story in the recent couple of weeks – the fact that China has officially banned online poker and its promotion on social media. In fact, the law itself it supposed to come into effect as of June 1, but it appears as though China may have been trying to show its authority on the matter even before this time.
Certain rumours popped up recently stating that officials from the company known as Ourgame International Holdings Limited, had been arrested. Well, it seems as though those rumours are no longer just rumours, and instead have been partially confirmed by the company. Ourgame, which is the owner of the World Poker Tour working as one of China’s forerunners in the online poker application sector, revealed that six employees from one of its subsidiaries were detained. The reason for this? Engaging in personal activities that are contrary to the gambling laws of the People’s Republic of China.
These six employees are now all subject to potentially being prosecuted in the Henan Province. Alas, the company itself has chosen to segregate itself from them, stating that none of them act as seniors or directors for Ourgame. Though this is the case, it has still established a committee that will research the matter and return reports to the relevant public authorities. It has also stated that it will continue to assist the authorities in any way it possibly can.
China’s Crackdown Hardens
The arrests of these six Ourgame employees is just something else that surrounds the online gambling sector in China, with the banning of online poker being announced three weeks ago. The promotion of Texas Hold’em Poker tournaments and events on social media platforms will also be illegal as of June 1. The ban will see all apps that offer any form of social poker play to be shut down completely and removed from all app stores.
Furthermore, China’s social media channels like WeChat won’t be able to promote such, meaning that Chinese poker players will be completely cut off from actively accessing and participating in such games altogether. Once the announcement was made, Ourgame did make a statement saying that it would alter its own poker options in order to fall in line with the new regulations and laws surrounding such.
Up until now, it has been responsible for offering many millions of avid players with the option of playing in high-quality, intellectual tournaments and events. The company went on to state that its games not only helped to play an important role as far as social, cultural and economic values are concerned, but it also works as somewhat of a “bridge between China and the world’s intellectual sports”. Following on from this, Ourgame said that it will continue to provide and welcome in new top-level sports events, as well as promote the popular offerings of chess and card games.