Sponsorship Casualties Of US Online Poker CrusadeApril 21, 2011 4:25 pm
Almost one week after America’s online poker Black Friday, a clearer picture of the blow struck by the Department Of Justice against the multi-billion dollar industry has begun to emerge.
As well as having now lost up to 15 million US players who either played recreationally or relied upon the game as a source of income, the industry has now begun to see its funding dry-up. As Poker Royalty industry expert Brian Balsbaugh explains:
Click here for the poker rooms still accepting players from the USA.
“When Pokerstars, Full Tilt and Absolute Poker left the US market, 95 percent of the market share for US poker players absolutely disappeared and with that so did $200 million worth of marketing money and advertising money.”
Consequently, the fate of various TV shows and tournaments have now been affected, mostly due to their affiliations with the two biggest poker rooms in the world, namely Pokerstars and Full Tilt.
For instance, it has been announced that Pokerstars sponsored shows the “Million Dollar Challenge” and “The Big Game” have already been dropped by the Fox network.
Sports giant ESPN also used to receive millions of dollars from the three sites recently indicted by the FBI, but have now removed all poker advertisements from their channel, and seem to have withdrawn from the PokerStars sponsored North American Poker Tour (NAPT).
In addition, Full Tilt Poker has announced the cancellation of its recently organised Onyx Cup Series, while its sponsored “Poker After Dark” show is another likely victim of Black Friday.
Looking even further a field, the World Series Of Poker Main Event will now face a sharp drop off in its attendance levels as in previous years around 60% of its entries came through online poker rooms.
Between 2003 and 2006, for instance, attendances at the WSOP Main Event soared from 839 to 8,773, but then began to tail off after the UIGEA was introduced in 2006. The recent online poker shut-down in the States will now likely have an even profounder effect on the tournament, with Brian Balsbaugh predicting only around 2.500 entries in 2011.
With the final nails now being added to America’s online poker coffin, for now it appears the industry is blindly heading from a golden era to a new dark age. How long this unsatisfactory situation is allowed to continue remains to be seen.