China places approvals ban on poker and mahjong games

Online poker and mahjong games will no longer be approved under new rules aimed at giving minimizing gaming addiction harm and give the government more control over what content goes out to the market, Tech Crunch reports.

During a gaming conference held by the country’s State Administration of Press and Publication on April 10, it has been revealed that the government will be placing a cap on the number of games allowed on the market annually.

There will also be certain genres of games that will no longer be eligible for approval, such as poker and mahjong, or games inspired by China’s imperial past.

The move follows a wave of earlier government crackdowns over concerns that poker and mahjong titles were a gateway to illegal gambling.

However, the new rules are expected to affect small developers rather than the entrenched players, as the restrictions only apply to new applicants.