Chinese National Police Raid PokerStars APPT Event

PokerStarsJust a few days ago it was reported by World Gaming Magazine that the PokerStars Asia Pacific Poker Tour Nanjing Millions event was shut down after a raid by local police. On the 17th of April, the Chinese National Police raided the poker tournament and photos have surfaced from the event of police blocking the entrance to the venue, the Wutaishan Sports Center.

On the door of the venue, a sign read:

APPT Event Venue SignBased on the information of the report, the event was being operated by PokerStars Macau at the City of Dreams. It appeared as though the office of organizers of the tournament was seized and police had surrounded the offices. Players who had come to China to compete in the event were left with no information as to what might be the reason for the tournament closure.

Before the raid took place, the Nanjing Millions was full of competitors, with high numbers of players taking part in the tournaments offered. This is not the first time PokerStars has seen an incident take place in China. In 2014, the tour had to postpone the APT China event due to regulatory issues with the government.

In response to the report at World Gaming Magazine, PokerStars released the following statement:

PokerStars StatementThis is of course very little information except the specifics on the venue and how the tournament was organized. We still have no idea as to if anyone was arrested, why the tournament was stopped, what will happen to the money invested by players, will the tournament continue, etc. PokerStars is usually forthright with information on any instance with the brand, so we should see some type of response in the near future, though right now, everyone in the poker industry is simply questioning how this could happen and what is going on.

With an incident of similar magnitude taking place last year and now this, PokerStars may have to seriously reconsider hosting events in China. The area may not be safe for players or instances like this one, where events are raided and stopped during game play could continue to occur. The continuation of such raids would only result in PokerStars looking foolish for continuing to host events where something like this can take place.

Players will not be as open to taking part in such tournaments if they will be subject to a police force breaking up the game play. Many players are traveling from outside of China and have paid to travel, hotel accommodations and dining, not to mention the price to compete. If players are going to be hassled, they will look elsewhere to spend their hard earned money on poker gaming. Hopefully PokerStars will clear up the issue soon and let players know what exactly went on during the raid in China.