Lee Davy takes a look at the recent decision by PokerStars to release a video that takes their customers on a tour of their headquarters in the Isle of Man, and how it’s a great way to allay any security fears that new players may have about playing online poker.
It’s time to eat some humble pie.
I recently wrote an opinion piece for PokerListings where I questioned the work that online poker rooms were putting in to allay the fears that new players may have when it comes to playing online poker for real money.
The piece was born out of years of local casino action where there is an underbelly of people who refuse to play online poker because they believe that (a) it’s rigged, or (b) it’s unsafe.
Then this came across my desktop.
It’s a video that takes you deep into the heart of PokerStars H.Q, on the Isle of Man, and it’s quite clearly designed to do exactly what I complained was lacking in my opinion piece, and that’s to educate people that playing online poker at PokerStars is safe and secure.
PokerStars have been in operation since 2001 and in that time they have accrued 65 million registered players. Head of Corporate Communications, Eric Hollreiser, states in the video that the founders of PokerStars always referred to customer service as being the core of what was going to make them successful—the need to communicate with their players and be very transparent were crucial.
Opening their doors on this MTV Cribs style way is being as transparent as they can possibly be. You even get a peak at the Server Room. One of the most secure data facilities in the world, with each server protected with a passkey and fingerprint identification system.
Gary Hill, Director of IT Operations, tells you that they have some 800 servers, and the Random Number Generator (RNG) is based on a photon approach, where they fire photons at a small mirror, and the direction to which these photons come off the mirror determines what cards you have. The randomness of this system cannot be reproduced or interfered with.
I don’t know about you but I feel a whole lot better knowing Scotty is looking after our RNG.
The video also touches on game integrity and how PokerStars embraces personal continuous improvement. Their aim is to teach their staff to identify fraud before it’s even reported. Employees are even trained to detect potential money laundering practices.
Finally, the Director of Treasury Donna Crellin talks about the customer ethos to look after players and the importance of ensuring that player’s funds are completely separate from their own operational swag.
“We always have funds available; liquid cash every day so we are able to meet the demands of the players,” says Crellin.
This is all good stuff…and there’s more.
There were 71 comments at the end of the video and the positive ones received a reply from a PokerStars representative who directed them to the PokerStars Corporate Blog, Customer Support Blog and Security Blog, to get more detailed information on the RNG system and how players funds are protected should Vladimir Putin one day decide to bomb the Isle of Man.
Everything you need to feel safe and secure is there. So why aren’t people finding it?
Only 21,317 people have seen the video that you have now seen. I owe my living to poker, and companies like PokerStars and so I have a responsibility to push their message to as many people as I can. This is why I have written this and I urge you to share this article or the video with as many people as you can.
People are lazy. They won’t go looking for these things. Our choices and decisions are born out of age-old beliefs and values, TV news reports and newspaper headlines.
Poker needs to sell its security because players won’t go looking for it.
I will end this piece with wise words from Eric Hollreiser that I think encapsulate the message I am trying to convey on behalf of poker.
“The culture has changed along with the growth and needs of the company. At the same time, the values have stayed the same. And it’s that focus on being authentic and true to your word.”
I believe him and that means others will believe him too, now instead of putting the message in a bottle and casting it into the sea in the hope that someone will find it, let’s thrust this video in front of the breakfast cereal bowls of every one of our potential new customers by sharing it today.