This weekend, we ran a story about PokerStars soliciting feedback from its players about their sports betting habits. The survey as asked was a pretty clear indication that Stars is seriously considering expanding their product offering to take casino and sports bets from their avid poker playing base.
We were surprised to find out today that PokerStars is distancing themselves from their survey. PokerStars Head of Corporate Communications Eric Hollreiser gave a statement to PokerFuse.com claiming the survey was not one of their current customer surveys, saying it was sent to players in late 2011, he gave a very PR answer by saying PokerStars, “regularly survey customers on a wide array of subjects to better understand their attitudes and activities.”
To his credit Hollreiser didn’t close the door on the possibility of PokerStars taking casino and sports betting from their European players telling PokerFuse that Stars is, “always open to new business opportunities that could strengthen our offering to players,” but said their focus right now is on the relaunch of Full Tilt Poker and expanding their two brands.
What Hollreiser says makes a lot of sense on the surface because their focus should be on their bread and butter product until they get both brands clicking. Although, right now I’m thinking of a word that rhymes with fire, perhaps PokerStars has a legitimate reason for distancing itself from the email survey sent on August 31 to a member of the CalvinAyre.com staff (image below).
The only strong reason we can think of that they would try to distance themselves from this story is because of Isai Scheinberg’s impending deal with the New York Prosecutors. If Stars were to open a sportsbook and casino, his sweet deal could sour. If that’s the case, we respect their decision to backtrack on the contents of the PokerStars sports betting survey.
We’re still big fans of how Isai Scheinberg runs the privately held Poker goliath. We’re confident when they do go forward with their sports betting and casino plans, they’ll run those channels with the same class as their poker operation.