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Rumor file: PokerStars Macau to move to City of Dreams?

Written by Andrew W Scott

Following the postponement of the 2012 Macau Millions (see related story “Pokerstars future at Grand Lisboa in doubt“), World Gaming has been contacted by industry sources who claim the signing of a deal between PokerStars Macau (PSM) and City of Dreams (CoD) is imminent. It’s already been rumored that PSM is moving to Lisboa and Galaxy Macau (neither of which we believe has closed a deal), and we were even told the poker room at the Venetian Macau had been closed! It hadn’t. We were also told the cash tables at Grand Lisboa had closed, but actually they were moved to a nearby pit, with the former cash game area looking very lonely and empty, as of late last night.

Clearly there are moves afoot and the future of Macau poker is uncertain. After hearing the latest CoD rumor, we contacted Pokerstars Macau for comment, but were told there is nothing to add to their press release of last Thursday, which in its entirety read as follows:

PokerStars Macau has announced that the 2012 edition of the Macau Millions has been postponed indefinitely.

“Our current agreement to operate PokerStars Macau events and tournaments at Casino Grand Lisboa will expire in March.” said Danny McDonagh in a statement. “As a result, the Macau Millions will be postponed for a later date.”

McDonagh, the PokerStars Director of Live Operations in Asia-Pacific, added, “The Macau Poker Cup: Red Dragon will take place as planned from February 18 to 26th. We will provide an update on Macau Millions and live poker tournaments in the near future. In the meantime, we look forward to welcoming players to the MPC February and continue to deliver the best live poker experience in Asia.”

Live poker in Macau has grown exponentially over the last three years, and many local players want to know if their beloved game will continue.

World Gaming understands the three-year agreement between Grand Lisboa and Pokerstars Macau expires at midnight on March 8. Could the Macau Poker Cup from February 18 to 26 be the last ever tournament series held at Pokerstars Macau at the Grand Lisboa?

Other industry sources tell us none other than SJM Director Angela Leong herself has been asking when the PSM floor space will become available. The sad fact is that Macau poker, which would be considered a raging success in any other market, is under threat from the wider success of Macau. Macau baccarat is booming and with poker tables considered gaming tables for the purposes of the Macau table cap, every cash poker table means one less baccarat table, and that costs casinos some serious coin.

We wish PokerStars Macau all the best in securing a new venue or re-signing with Grand Lisboa. PSM is a wonderful success story and has contributed greatly to poker in Asia. Macau needs a vibrant PSM and we here at World Gaming would be very sad to see it go.