Poker news | Feb 14, 2020
Tesla Using Poker to Sell Cars in China
By RTR Dennis
Tesla has announced plans to install poker games in its cars being sold in China. The American car manufacturer will add a software update that includes two in-car poker games.
These efforts are part of a deal with Tencent Holdings, a Chinese company that specializes in various tech-related businesses. The deal will also include cartoon streaming and a Mahjong game.
Car Must Be Parked
Tesla would put themselves in hot water by allowing the poker games to work at any time. After all, drivers could be distracted and wreck while playing.
Therefore, the software will only allow drivers and passengers to play when the vehicle is in park. This aspect may diminish some of the fun for the front-seat passenger. However, it’s a necessary safety feature that ensures people aren’t driving and playing poker.
Why Is Tesla Offering Poker in Its Chinese Cars?
Real-money poker is illegal in mainland China. Nevertheless, the game is experiencing a boom of sorts in the Sleeping Dragon.
Many residents are illegally playing online poker on grey market sites. Meanwhile, land-based tournaments that don’t accept buy-ins are also being held in the country.
The Chinese federal government must lighten laws for companies to truly capitalize on real-money poker. Tesla, on the other hand, isn’t looking to run a poker site or tournaments. Instead, they’re just offering free in-car games that may motivate avid players to buy their cars.
China has banned free-play poker apps in the past. As a result, they’ve limited the number of options that players have for enjoying Texas hold’em, Omaha, and more. Tesla is both helping to fill a need and boost the chances of selling more cars to poker fans.
Will the Tesla Poker App Spread to Other Countries?
Again, Tesla is likely targeting China with this software update due to the budding poker boom. The carmaker fully realizes that they could interest some players with their in-car poker games.
But will they apply the same concept to other countries? This remains to be seen. However, I don’t see most other nations being interested in such software.
Many large countries already have access to poker apps and even real-money sites. Nations like France, Italy, and the UK, for example, feature regulated online poker. Those living in these countries won’t be impressed by playing a free poker game.
Tesla may install the software update to cars they sell in other countries anyways. Then again, this deal could only apply to China.
Again, Chinese poker players face limited options. They can’t even enjoy the broad range of free poker apps that people in other nations do.
Therefore, it makes total sense when Tesla is targeting China with this upgrade. The carmaker wisely considered China’s poker interest and limited options when choosing to launch the in-car software.