POKER

Asian poker industry growing like never before

TAGs: apt macau, Asia, asian poker tour, Bodog88, jay tan

Whether it be nose-bleed cash games in Macau or sitting at home on a PC, poker is, right now, seeing tremendous growth in the Asia-Pacific region. Perhaps one of the easiest places to see this being the case is the Asian Poker Tour (APT), which has seen an uplift in numbers at each new event. The last event was its visit to the most lucrative gambling destination on the planet, Macau, and the StarWorld Hotel & Casino.

Earlier in the year Bodog88 decided to start preparing themselves for growth in the Asian market with the news, in March, that their product was available in Asia. This led to satellites being opened up for the aforementioned APT and, as the video, produced by Bodog’s Manila-based team, shows, Charles Dun is one of the first to benefit. He got a free seat to the APT Macau along with a five-star experience that comes with being a part of the Bodog88 team for eight days.

It was Dun’s first time in Macau and he was given the star treatment as soon as he got off the plane with a limo waiting to take him to the hotel. For a product that’s in its infancy in this part of the world, it’s vital that players are treated in such a way that they’ll continue to come back and paint a good picture of poker to their colleagues. When he got to his room he gushed that he was “just too happy for words” and that was before he got to ride around in a limo with one of poker’s hottest girls – Bodog pro Jay Tan – the following day.

Whilst riding around in luxury, Dun revealed: “I knew about poker and how to play the game after watching this film [Rounders]. However, at that time, we didn’t have online poker game platforms so I didn’t have the chance to play poker.”

Since then, he has been introduced to games and online poker and by his own admission he’s “hooked” on the poker bug. Companies like Bodog88 and others have been responsible for this growth and it goes to show why analysts are so buoyant about the gaming industry as a whole in Asia.

Elsewhere in the region, Australia has seen poker account for 60 percent of all gaming revenue and it’s clear parts of Asia could go the same way. An interview carried out by PokerUpdate.com with OneWorks’ Tom Hall back in March showed that online poker accounts for 4 percent of the region’s gaming industry and it goes to show if it’s introduction is handled well there’s huge potential for growth.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) released an oft-quoted report on the industry late last year where they identified that annual growth between 2012 and 2015 would be 9.2 percent. More interesting than that were comments made about Asia that gave a huge kick-in-the-balls to most of the European-facing publicly traded firms related to there being “little incentive” to licence the region’s online gambling industry. It means they’ll be left looking through large Perspex windows staring at the piles of cash that Asia brings to private firms.

As for Dun, he didn’t get where he wanted in this year’s APT Macau – a victory. You have to remembers this was his first live tournament though and next time we’re sure he’ll be back with a few more tricks up his sleeve to take on the best.

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