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PokerStars Faces ASA Criticism on “Socially Irresponsible”

Source:sites edit:casino time:2018-04-04

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) scolded Isle of Man-based Stars Interactive Ltd trading as PokerStars for two issues related to a TV commercial seen on October 26th 2017.

The ad included a voice-over, which suggested that players should take advantage of their talent and bluff when playing poker, as sometimes that was the only way to win.

A complaint against the above-mentioned PokerStars TV ad was filed, with the complainant challenged whether the commercial exploited inexperienced poker players by making a suggestion that thy could become exceptionally good at the game and generate large winnings. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), on the other hand, also challenged the ad, saying that the commercial portrayed gambling making it look reckless.

PokerStars Response to Accusations

PokerStars responded to the issues which ASA found concerning, saying that the TV advert was intended to depict gambling in small, relaxed environment, as it showed a man playing a game of poker with some friends at home. According to the gambling group, no suggestion of the financial rewards amount or of reckless gambling was made in the ad. PokerStars further explained that the voice-over statement that bluffing was the only way for a player to win a game of poker referred only to the context of the ad and was not meant to suggest such a thing to every game of poker.

What is more, the gambling operator insisted that bluffing was commonly-known as an integral part of poker games and as a skill related to poker player’s success. PokerStars also insisted that bluffing is not only associated to the game of poker, but to other card and board games, as well. The company further explained that bluffing an opponent while playing such games should be a personal and well-calculated decision.

ASA Investigation and Position on the Issues

The Advertising Standards Authority investigated on the two issues mentioned above.

The advertising watchdog, however, explained it considered that consumers could interpret the advert in a way that they could become proficient in poker by bluffing, and could also use bluffing in other real-life situations depicted in the TV commercial. According to the ASA, consumers could be misled by the ad, as the latter hinted of large winnings that could be generated by making big “all in” bluffs even without any experience in the game of poker.

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