Regulatory Issues Halt Hanoi World Poker Tour Series

The World Poker Tour (WPT) event scheduled to begin today in Hanoi, Vietnam, has been abruptly cancelled due to missing government approvals. This marks the third major poker series in Vietnam to be scrapped or shortened in the past six months.

The Crown Poker Club in Hanoi, which was set to host the WPT Vietnam Passport to the World Championship 2024, announced the cancellation on social media. The event was planned to run from May 14 to May 27.

“Due to technical reasons and with the best intentions for all athletes, we regret to announce the cancellation of the series,” the Crown Poker Club posted. They emphasized their commitment to safety and quality in tournaments. “This decision was difficult, but we prioritize safety and improving tournament quality.”

They also expressed hope for understanding from their partners, customers, and players.

Government Intervention

The reasons behind the cancellation were unclear to WPT representatives. However, local media outlet Dan Tri reported that the Chairman of Hanoi People’s Committee, Tran Sy Thanh, ordered the cancellation. The Hanoi Department of Culture and Information and the City Police were tasked with ensuring proper procedures had been followed.

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Reports suggest the series lacked necessary approvals from the Hanoi Department of Culture. Authorities were instructed to “strictly handle” those involved if evidence of “disguised gambling” was found.

The WPT Vietnam Passport to the World Championship was set to include 63 trophy events, over $2 million in guarantees, and 10 packages for the WPT World Championship in Las Vegas in December.

Not a First

This cancellation is part of a recent trend affecting major poker series in Vietnam.

In December of last year, the Asian Poker Tour (APT) cancelled the final two days of the APT Hanoi Billions. This decision came amid allegations that the series breached local gambling laws and that the approval of the series violated regulations. Players that were still in the running in ongoing tournaments, including the main event, received reimbursements based on chip counts.

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Casino & Sports

Similarly, in April, an Asian Poker Festival series planned at Royal Poker Club in Hanoi with Top Joy Poker Tour was also cancelled under similar circumstances.

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