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PokerStars Says ‘No’ to ‘Free Gaza’ and Other Political Messages

Written by:
Nagesh Rath
Published on:
Aug/23/2014
PokerStars Says ‘No’ to ‘Free Gaza’ and Other Political Messages

Following the EPT Barcelona €50,000 Super High-Roller event of this past week in which WSOP One Drop winner Dan Colman wore a “Free Palestine” shirt and his backer Olivier Busquet wore a “Save Gaza” shirt, PokerStars has put an end to so-called political statement apparel during tournament play.

“Our tournaments are designed to promote poker and poker competition and not as a platform for political statements. Players have many channels to express their views on world politics, but our tournaments are not an appropriate place. We will refuse entry to any player displaying political statements of any kind.”

While some in the poker community have cried censorship, WickedChopsPoker.com suggests Stars is doing the right thing, and there is also a business reason for taking this stance (i.e. Amaya). 

International corporate entities like PokerStars can set whatever standards they’d like for what they feel is the best interest of their brand and profits. PokerStars’ founder, Isai Scheinberg, and CEO pre-Amaya acquisition, Marc Scheinberg, are Israeli. A sizable swath of their customer and employee base are Isreali.

If they don’t want to alienate that customer and employee base, they have the right to do so.

Further, PokerStars is now owned by Amaya, a publicly-traded company (AYA:Toronto). PokerStars doesn’t just have to answer to customers and employees, they have to answer to shareholders as well.

Relive the EPT Barcelona €50,000 Super High-Roller below.

- Nagesh Rath, Gambling911.com

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