The Asian Poker Tour canceled the last two days of its APT Hanoi Billions series in Vietnam. It came after allegations that it broke local gambling laws. Also, the APT said that it would refund players who paid entry fees for the remaining tournaments of the Hanoi series.
APT canceled without specific reasons, citing “extenuating conditions” despite best efforts.
Experts of pay per head solutions found that law enforcement officers searched the National Convention Center to apprehend individuals associated with VSOP Entertainment Company, the local affiliate of the APT. It seems the cops threatened to return the next day, although who or what they spoke with is unclear.
According to Friday’s local media, a resident complained to the Hanoi People’s Committee about VSOP Entertainment Company holding poker and Bridge competitions without proper authorization. VSOP received official approval to proceed from the Hanoi Department of Culture and Sports on November 13. Unfortunately, this has not become a reality. According to sources, VSOP only possessed one of the two permits required to host the event.
APT Hanoi Billions Canceled
Natural8, an online poker service that sponsored the tournament and offered online satellites, was allegedly the source of several complaints against the event. The branding and signs of Natural8 were prominently exhibited around the arena. In Vietnam, GG Poker’s Asian affiliate, Natural8, has no legitimate business status.
It is known that earlier in the week, the APT was aware of problems and attempted to resolve them: On Tuesday, the organizers informed the participants that they would deal only flop games as they canceled the remaining mixed games. The organizers discontinued the use of foreign currencies for buy-ins on Wednesday. On Thursday, the stadium covered or removed all merchandise stalls and signs advertising Natural8.
The APT confirmed to IAG on Saturday that they had not left Vietnam after the police arrived, dispelling claims to the contrary.
Casino pay per head reports stated the APT could not ensure the safety of its employees and players as the series lasted, which was a factor in the series’ abrupt cancellation.