PokerStars, the largest online poker website in the world has collaborated with a number of leading poker professionals and poker celebrities to serve as brand ambassadors who will promote the PokerStars brand and tournaments. UK celebrity and poker pro Victoria Coren served as a brand ambassador for PokerStars but decided to terminate her partnership in December, due to the fact that PokerStars has decided to also roll out casino games.
Coren said that when she signed up to be an ambassador with PokerStars she did so because she believed that poker was a game of skill and did not fall under the category of gambling.
Now that PokerStars has decided to roll out casino games, Coren does not want to have anything to do with the company as she does not believe in promoting gambling nor does she want to encourage individuals to embrace a gambling lifestyle.
Coren has won over $2.5 million in career prize money and has also won the European Poker Tour. She has been a PokerStars brand ambassador since 2007 and had no plans of leaving the PokerStars network as she was happy being a brand ambassador. Coren has been a huge poker form and her partnership with PokerStars gave her the ideal platform of promoting the game she loved and the monetary benefits from her PokerStars partnership was extremely beneficial.
However, Coren will not allow herself to endorse casino games as it goes against her professional and personal beliefs. In a statement, Victoria Coren said
Although PokerStars assured me I would not have to actively promote the casino arm, I know in my heart that continuing in my current role could risk helping to send people to a place where they would encounter something I think is dangerous. That’s not the way I want to make a living.
PokerStars has is yet to release an official statement about the departure of Coren from its brand ambassador network. Coren’s sudden exit has sparked a debate on poker forums and social media with a number of poker players condemning her stance on casino games. Daniel Negreanu, one of the biggest names in the poker industry and an ambassador of PokerStars wasted no words in describing how he felt about Coren’ s exit writing in his Full Contact Poker Blog.
Negreanu felt that there was no difference between poker and casino games as both promoted gambling. Negreanu believes that it is hypocritical to promote poker but then feel bad about promoting casino games, as at the end of the day you win and lose money playing both games, which is what gambling is all about.