Professional poker player Daniel Negreanu, who was the guest of honor at the 190th episode of the Peste Prajit (Grilled Fish) of PokerNews Romania, spoke to hosts George and Julian about PokerStars’ decision to launch online casino games all over the world and to increase rake for some games.
Talking about his sponsor’s decision to increase rake, he said that increasing prices of products “is what happens in every industry.” He also pointed out that PokerStars still remains the cheapest online poker room despite the rise in rake. Urging people to consider the facts that the online poker world has undergone a number of changes, he said that poker operators have to pay new taxes and deal with new limitations. He also said that PokerStars needs the extra money to launch marketing projects designed to attract more casual players and retain professional players who need casual players to make a living out of playing poker.
Regarding his sponsor’s decision to start offering online casino games, he said: “PokerStars always comes up with some kind of innovations. They came up with Home Games in the past, and now they have launched the Spin & Gos, which were planned long before Amaya came around.”
Admitting that PokerStars’ innovative games didn’t always succeed as planned, he said that the Spin N Go’s became too popular, but do not deserve the criticism of PokerStars’ grinders who complain that they were now finding it difficult to achieve the Supernova Elite level because of these games. Negreanu opined that operators need to offer what people want irrespective of what a small section of their customers feel about it.
Victoria Coren Mitchell decided to part ways with PokerStars because it had decided to start offering online casino games too. But Negreanu said that he is perfectly ok with people playing what they like online, be in poker, craps, or any other online casino game. Pointing out to the fact that several poker players are perfectly ok with people developing an addiction to poker games simply because they play poker and make a living out of it, Negreanu said, “Poker is gambling. Exactly as backgammon is gambling. When you play for money, you are gambling – you can either win or lose. Poker is a form of gambling you can beat, just like sports betting, but it is gambling. To say that we want to distance ourselves from gambling, it would be dishonest.”