In recent news, the Asian Poker Tour (APT), Asia’s biggest original poker tour organization, will be working together with Babylon Casino and Macau Billionaire Poker (MBP) in an exclusive 5 year agreement to amp up Macau’s already thriving poker scene.
The contract was drawn with the intention of promoting poker events in Macau, and all parties agreed to have at least two international poker tournaments annually for the next 5 years. This is a huge step forward for both Macau’s poker scene, and the APT’s reach into one of the most vibrant casino destinations of the region.
Macau is one of Asia’s biggest casino tourism destinations, and has been described as the region’s very own Las Vegas. The city has been undergoing some heavy improvements, and this deal is potentially part of Macau’s attempt to diversify their tourism experience. Moreover, per Bloomberg the city’s gambling revenue is predicted to rise about 7% by the end of 2017.
While online casinos focus on driving in new players with no deposit bonuses, tourism hubs like Macau and Vegas collect revenue from a wide variety of sources beyond the usual slot handle. Hotel stays, restaurants, and local sightseeing venues all benefit from more tourism; and what better way to boost numbers than partnering up with the leading poker event organizers in the continent.
One of the guaranteed events is the highly coveted year-end festive and Player of Year festivities that usually take place every year in December. Per the APT, CEO of Macau Billionaire Poker, Tim Chen, made the announcement as follows:
“For too long Macau has been restricted in terms of the variety of poker tournaments on offer which we believe has restricted the growth of poker not only in Macau but also in Asia. Given the incredible growth and following for poker from Mainland players, more professional tournaments are needed. The APT is an established and well respected brand in Asia and viewed by many as the best poker tournament organizer in the region. We are delighted to start this long term relationship to establish a very strong presence in Macau.”
Since it’s launch in 2008, the APT has hosted over sixty poker related events across the Asian continent, and it’s efforts in promoting poker as a sport have made them pioneers in the region. Despite having already organized 8 poker events in Macau, CEO of APT Jeff Mann looks forward to even more progress on the Macau poker scene:
“Put bluntly, for our next stage of growth and expansion, APT now needs a permanent base in Macau; APT needs to be a very active participant in what is the gaming hub of the World. We are delighted with this new partnership with MBP and our joint vision of what is possible for the Macau poker scene moving forward,” added Jeff Mann, CEO of Asian Poker Tour.
The first poker event in Macau that will result from this exciting partnership between two of the region’s biggest poker organizations will be the APT Finale Championships Macau 2017. Babylon Casino will be hosting the event, which spans across 12 days anhd includes the Game of Champions, the APT Finale Macau Main Event and APT Finale Macau Championships.
While the leading gambling spot in the region, Macau may see some rivalry to that top position now that Japan has finally legalized gambling nationwide. While talks of casino legalization in Japan started nearly ten years ago, the most recent legislative decisions support the government in trying to use casino tourism to boost the economy. What this means for the future of the Asian casino market remains to be seen as new players enter the market and former cash cows begin to up their game.