About 150 players of the Russian Poker Tour are experiencing the critical situation that Ukraine is living at the moment. The news keep bringing every day new images of protests and riots, and the clashes between the protesters and the armed forces are escalating in both dimension and violence.
Director of the event, Oleg Udovenko declared that their concern is not only to guarantee the safeness and security of all tournament participants and staff members, but also to show their support to all Ukrainian society, hoping that the situation would be solved soon, for the best of the country and its people.
Asked about what is the organization plan, he said there is not much they can do other than waiting until the situation calms down a bit and then provide all possible help to the participants to return to their home countries. He declared that the club has shut their doors, so no one can come in, and no one is allowed to leave. Participants have taken the measure as something necessary and they are cooperating. Some of them even continue playing.
Udovenko declared that participants are starting to be really tired about the situation, but the security comes first, and they have got the recommendation of not letting anyone out.
According to the last news, at least 25 people have died, 9 of which would be policemen. UE is starting to show some moves and has called Ukraine government to stop the violence and find a peaceful solution to the clashes, if they don’t want any punishment. Barack Obama also made a call for peace to Ukrainian prime minister.
One UEFA Football game which was supposed to be played today in Kiev has been moved to Nicosia, in Cyprus, because the necessary security around the game couldn’t be guaranteed.
Some of the players now complain about the decision of bringing the tournament to Ukraine, because the political tension has been on for a while now. However, no one forced them to attend the event, so I don’t see any reason to complain.
Even if sports gambling is not legal yet in many States in the US, some of the biggest sports teams have found the way make profit out of it. Sometimes it’s very important to know the laws in order to go around them in your own benefit. That’s what have done the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils. Both teams signed an sponsorship agreement with one of the major sport betting companies, Bwin Party Digital Entertainment.
The relation between sport franchises and betting companies has just started, but many experts see it as the future of sponsorship in the sport field in the U.S. The sum hasn’t been made official, but the rumors say that is one of the biggest sport sponsorships ever.
But why this 2 teams? Well, the reason is simple. Both teams are owned by the same person, Josh Harris. They are not top teams, but still Mr Harris managed to get a pretty good deal. Bwin expects to get a huge publicity and visibility, and they decided to pay a good price for it. Mr Harris always proved to be a pioneer and entrepreneur, and has taken the lead in this matter.
Besides these 2 agreements, Mr Harris also got Bwin to become main sponsor of the Prudential Center, the stadium where New Jersey Devils play their home games. Advertisements of all the gambling activities of Bwin will be held in the arena.
It’s still too soon to predict what’s going to happen next. If we take a look at the European model, experts could say that betting companies will take over and get a big presence in the main sports in the U.S. This is what happened in Europe, where some of the best football clubs are or have been sponsored by betting houses, like Real Madrid, Milano, Sevilla, Juventus…This led to some curious situations. For instance, there was a muslim player in Sevilla who refused to show advertisement of a gambling house on his shirt, and he agreed with the club not to. Or some clubs were not allowed to show the publicity in certain countries during the European competitions.
We all know that U.S and Europe is very different, so we can not import a model like this. Also, some states in U.S are very conservative and restrictive, so its hard to make the whole picture.