|Local authorities in the booming southern China gambling enclave of Macao have given the island’s giant casinos permission to offer Texas hold 'em poker for the first time.|
According to the Associated Press news agency, the Government of Macao issued a ruling approving the popular poker variation earlier this week, which will allow the house to collect a commission of between three and five percent of the betting pool for each game.
The Grand Lisboa, the flagship casino of magnate Stanley Ho’s Sociedade de Jogos de Macau (SJM) operation, is to be the first venue to take the plunge after inaugurating four new tables dedicated to Texas Hold'em.
'We are confident that Texas Hold'em will become very popular here,' said Louis Ng, Director and Chief Operating Officer for SJM.
“It is popular in Europe and in the US and there are international Texas Hold’em poker tournaments every year.'
Interest in Texas Hold’em has grown over the past few years in the United States and in Europe due to television exposure, fashion trends and big money tournaments. This interest has made its way to Asia with the Asian PokerStars.com Poker Tour hosting a leg in Macau at the Grand Waldo Hotel and Casino in November by special permission. The event attracted 352 poker players from around and built a prize pool worth $809,600.