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Harrah's Bans Ads of Online Poker Sites Serving US Players at World Series of Poker
Sun, Feb 25th, 2007 @ 12:00am
Harrah's Entertainment, organizers of the World Series of Poker, announced that some dot.net advertising will no longer be allowed at the giant annual poker event, in order to avoid any legal entanglements with the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).
World Series of Poker spokesperson Gary Thompson said that Harrah's is banning ads for dot.net sites which are affiliated with real-money online poker rooms that still accept U.S. players. Popular poker rooms Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars, who sent hundreds of players to WSOP last year immediately come to mind.
However, Thompson noted that media web sites and player-promotional sites can still advertise all dot.net addresses.
"As a gaming company licensed in more than a dozen jurisdictions in the United States and abroad, Harrah's must follow the guidance of federal law and gaming regulators in conducting its business," Thompson said.
He added, "In this regard, the 2007 World Series of Poker venue will not contain advertising from dot.com sites that allow access to U.S. residents, nor ads from dot.net sites affiliated with those entities."
Thompson also added, "We expect to post the 2007 WSOP rules and registration procedures on our website next week that will contain a new logo policy allowing players to wear apparel with dot.net logos, as well as multiple and larger logos."
This leaves opportunity galore for players to arrange sponsorship deals and to sell space on their body and clothing for endorsements, and to cash in on deals made if they make it to the final table.
Last year some players and family members of players reported being offered upwards of five figures to wear a hat or shirt from a particular site while they played on a televised final table.
Banning advertising from online poker sites still supporting US players could decrease those sites willingness to go overboard holding satellites to the WSOP, as they would not get the marketing benefit from sending players if their logos get no visibility during the WSOP.
That in turn, could cut down on the number of players at WSOP, as last year it was estimated that the online sites sent as much as 2/3 of the players to the event. Phil Gordon and Nolan Dalla speculated that the WSOP Main Event could shrink to 2003 "Pre-Chris Moneymaker" attendance levels with the impact of UIEGA and resulting bans.
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