Gambling across borders

A blog about the productive life of risk

Online mahjong is surging

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I remember how, when I was doing fieldwork in London among Chinese casino players, Ahmei, a Chinese woman from the North of Mainland China, liked to play mahjong online to kill time. She had come to the UK to work and finance her daughter studies. Once her daughter graduated this meant her mission was accomplished and she didn’t need to work so hard anymore. She found herself utterly bored and didn’t know how to occupy her time in this country she didn’t belong to. When she didn’t go to the casinos near London’s Chinatown, she would play mahjong online which was a convenient and familiar way to fight her boredom.

It was thus no surprise to me to read in an article posted by BGBC that online mahjong is surging with an estimated 700 millions of players. Let’s not forget though that the remote gambling industry is not just quick and ‘agile’ at picking up on those cultural trends, it also participates to their creation. Land-based casinos near London’s Chinatown have long understood this as clearly illustrates the new entrant operator in that vicinity, the Hippodrome, which is due to open sometime this year. The Hippodrome will offer mahjong table games and is building a room specifically dedicated to Chinese customers, in the like of a community centre, to make them feel more at home.

The popularity of mahjong in China, which has an estimated 500 millions players, and beyond in Asia will certainly make it a serious contender to online poker.

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Written by Claire Loussouarn

April 19, 2012 at 3:12 pm

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