A few months ago, I wrote about the work my team does to keep our players safe at our online tables. If this topic interests you, you can also hear me talk about our methods in more detail than we ever have before in a discussion I had with James Hartigan on the Poker In The Ears Podcast.
One question which didn’t come up in that discussion was how Game Integrity works with our Live Events team to ensure that we remain a leader in the industry across both realms – live and online – when it comes to providing the best and safest playing experience possible for our players.
Live events specifically are something we have been looking at closely. We have decided that it is an area where we can strengthen our commitment to our players.
Previously, certain players who were barred for their online activity were also told they were not welcome to play at our live events. However, we have decided that policy was not as comprehensive as it should be and are currently taking a deeper look.
Our mission is always to ensure our communities have the best experience, whether that is at our online tables or live, and a part of that is protecting our players from those who seek to damage the poker community, either financially or reputationally.
We are working to ensure that any player barred from PokerStars for Game Integrity reasons will not be welcome to play at any of our live events. This will be true even if their online offences would not be replicable in a live environment.
We will no longer look at whether the reason for the bar makes the player a threat to the live event itself, but will take the view that if a player’s actions led to their account being closed for a Game Integrity reason, then none of our players should have to face them again, be it online or live.
It’s something Scott Goodall, Commercial Director for PokerStars supported, when he said,
“We are open to finding ways to work with other live operators, where it is possible, and with our players and ambassadors, to set an industry standard on this topic. Our ultimate goal is to deter those who do not have the pure love of our game at heart from sitting alongside those who do, by creating an environment that makes it impossible for malintent to exist. PokerStars has always been the reference point for offering a fair and safe game, and we will continue to ensure we keep the bar as high as possible.”
Francis Lincoln is Head of Game Integrity at PokerStars.