In its bid to completely ban all form of online gambling, the Chinese government, has slapped a ban on the sale of poker video games in the country. China is known for its strict anti-gambling laws, and the latest move is a step towards furthering the policy of keeping gambling activities away from mainland China.
Following the ban, sale of poker and mahjong video games will be , and no licenses will be issued to developers and content creators.
A report published in Techcrunch revealed that China’s State Administration of Press and Publication had started the process of assessment and approval of new video game licenses on Monday; the regulator already had several pending cases and applications to review. As such, they had ceased to accept new applications.
However, amidst the resumed assessment process the regulator announced that all such video games that are related to any form of gambling would not be granted a license to operate. The State Administration of Press and Publication said that they fear that such video games can lead to illegal gambling activities in the country.
Market analysts and developers have raised concerns as with the new move small developers who are dedicated to developing similar games will have no space while the prominent companies operating in the sector have already gotten the license with their games out in the market. For big companies, the move may not impact their portfolio or market share because they already have several licenses for a wide variety of games.
Gambling is illegal in mainland China and players from mainland visit casinos in Hong Kong or Macau where it is legal.
The move is said to impact the Chinese video game market as over 30 percent of the gaming licenses approved in 2017 were related to poker or mahjong.