A recent crackdown by China on online poker applications has hit Chinese online games developer Boyaa Interactive hard, with the company revealing a 34.4% year-on-year fall in revenue for the three months to 30 June 2018.
The decline has been attributed to three main factors, the most notable being the effect of “Policy Risk Factors” after Chinese authorities issued its online poker applications ban in April and declared that poker would no longer be recognized as a competitive sport.
An Apple Inc rectification of applications launched on its system and a decrease in revenue from its web-based games were also behind the fall, however Boyaa pointed to a 22.2% decline in revenue compared to 1Q18, mainly due to “the effect of regulatory risk regarding the market rumor of the implementation of the ‘Administrative Measures of Online Chess and Card Games’ by the Chinese government aiming to shut down Texas Hold’em poker games and prohibiting the operation of Texas Hold’em poker games starting from 1 June 2018.
“Although such policy has not yet been implemented, certain platforms have removed relevant products, which affect our revenue to a certain extent.”
Boyaa said the number of players playing its mobile games had fallen from 1.6 million in 2Q17 to 573,000, with revenue derived from its Texas Hold’em Series declining 30.7% in the same period.
As reported by Inside Asian Gaming in April, the Chinese poker crackdown ban required all apps offering any form of social poker game to be shut down and removed from app stores by 1 June. Social media channels such as WeChat have also been banned from promoting any form of Texas Hold’em product.
The crackdown came almost three years after Chinese authorities raided and shut down the PokerStars APPT Nanjing Millions – a high-profile live event co-hosted by PokerStars and Beijing’s Star Poker Club that had attracted 2,359 players in April 2015.