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NEWS 30 October 2018

Chinese authorities close down multiple mobile poker apps

By Nathan Joyes

Chinese authorities have strengthened their oversight of online gambling activity and content by shutting down multiple poker apps.

Shenzhen authorities have arrested a total of 71 people in the past year for gambling activities on Tencent’s WeChat and QQ platforms, in an attempt to clean up the country's illegal gambling problems. This has led to more rigorous checks being taken out on gambling apps in China.

Poker King and Poker Tribe, both online gambling platforms, have suffered as a result of these actions, with several Texas Hold'em poker mobile apps being shut down.

According to Chinese Broadcaster, China Central Television (CCTV), platforms such as Poker King have argued they have the legal right to run online gambling businesses under licences issued by the Philippines, with the operators often changing their names. This makes it far more difficult for Chinese authorities to track and ultimately shut the platforms down.

Chinese authorities will continue to close down any content they deem inappropriate but there is no doubt this will be a large, ongoing operation.

In August, tech giant Apple pulled around 25,000 illegal lottery apps from the app store in China, according to state media.

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