Pokerstars advertisement banned for promoting “socially irresponsible” gambling

Thu / April / 2018

 

The latest Pokernews included the announcement of Sugal and Damani’s partnership with Poker stars for the launch of Indian Website. The poker gaming industry was thus looking forward to shifting in the Poker dynamics in the near future thus enabling the game to exert positive vibes among the players and the newcomers in the industry!

Poker stars and launch of a website for real money:

This news was huge and worth celebration since this came just after the shutdown of Khelplay that was operated by Sachar Gaming that was a part of Sugal and Damani Group. This closure was witnessed on 15th March 2018.

The number one website of Poker gaming – Poker stars also announced that they are set to offer real money to the majority of the population in different states of India.  The website in question was to be launched on 17th April this year along with an offering of Indian money to the online players. the game variety included – Omaha and no limit Texas Hold’em. The PokerStars.IN was also due to hold a localized version of the events and branded series that would include Sunday Million and World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP).

Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and Poker Stars:

Pokerstars were rebuked by the ASA for making of a “socially irresponsible” TV advert. The advertisement was first aired in October 2017 and includes a voiceover that tells a man playing poker with his friends –

“ if you can bluff yourself, you can bluff anyone.”

A complaint was filed against the company saying that the ad portrays gambling in an irresponsible manner. The review was followed and thus the complaint upheld under the authority’s statement –

“in the context of recklessness and in a manner that could lead to financial harm.”

The ASA was also spotted saying –

“excelling at poker required a combination of strategy, skill and luck and that, in order to regularly succeed at bluffing opponents, players would need to have an understanding of all these aspects in addition to the real game experience.”

The final decision and Poker Stars Contest against it:

The ruling ensures that the advertisement will not appear on the television anymore! Instead, the company has to promise promotion of future adverts in a way that gambling is not referred to!

Poker Stars placed their own verdict as – “no reference to or suggestion of any financial reward or inducement to play and no money was shown during the ad.” The company contested that bluffing forms an integral part of Poker gaming and that this term is understandable even by the novice players. the company continued to contest the ruling bringing in front a fact that they weren’t suggesting that Poker was easy to play and the company also conceded that they had not considered that the advert many exploit the beginners or newer players!

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