Robbie Williams Gambles Big On Poker SiteFebruary 4, 2012 1:17 pm
UK singer-songwriter Robbie Williams may have gambled both with his health and career over the years, but the 37 year old has now decided to well and truly embrace his gambling side by launching his own poker site called Robbie Williams Poker.
The former member of pop group ‘Take That,’ is estimated to be worth around £100 million, but admitted to having a “self-destructive character” and battling many a personal demon throughout his life, including substance abuse, alcoholism and depression.
Having overcome his addictions, Williams says he still allows himself the odd game of cards with the wife and friends and so, to Robbie, starting his own card room may seem to be a logical progression.
Giving his troubled background, however, the launching of Robbie’s poker site has already received a cool reception from anti-gambling campaigners, most notably Lib Dem MP Tessa Munt, who said:
“Robbie Williams of all people should be sensitive to the problem of addiction. I don’t believe there is anything harmless about gambling in this way. The problem is escalation, and he must know what this is like… It directly targets his fans, including a new generation of children.”
Robbie Williams Poker claims to be the “new home for free fun poker” where players can compete for a whole range of prizes including the chance to win Robbie Williams related merchandise, concert tickets and a chance to meet their idol in person.
However, despite expounding that its “great to play and be social,” it also appears players will have to pay for certain tournaments, with the site stating that:
“Many tournaments require a buy-in to participate…because if you aren’t risking anything then why are you playing!?”
The new site has also drawn similar criticism from Robbie fan forums, who seem to believe it is a strange thing for a recovering addict to endorse. It is further seen as potentially damaging to the singers reputation, with the site appearing to condone gambling in order to encourage fans to get closer to their idol.
As Lib Dem MP Tessa Munt concludes: “I hope he puts every single penny he makes from it into addiction charities or to help victims over this kind of problem. I’m very surprised he is doing this. I think it is awful.”