Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks recently started working with PlayNow.com, promoting the online gambling website’s poker offerings. The campaign got off to a successful start, but the general public has criticized his decision to endorse online poker.
The campaign encouraged Vancouver gambling fans to log on to PlayNow.com in order to have a chance to play head-to-head against Luongo. An avid poker player, Luongo was a natural choice for the marketing campaign, which saw a great deal of success after its launch.
Psychological Councillor Candace Plattor stated that a public figure such a Luongo should not be endorsing a gambling activity. She calls poker a potentially dangerous activity and believes that people should take the issue more seriously.
Luongo has defended is appearance in the online poker ad. He enjoys playing poker as a pastime and does not believe that he is endorsing a dangerous activity. He placed in the final table at one of Poker Stars 2009 tournaments and will be hosting his own charity poker tournament sometime in the near future.
“It's one of my passions”, he says. “It's a great endorsement and this site is licensed by the government”.