Same Buzz Different Game

Published Sunday, February 15, 2009 -

Hockey great Mats Sundin, playing hockey, seems quite natural but when you see him playing poker flogging aces and scooping up the winnings where does that image take us? According to some viewers of the latest ads on TV showing us just that, people claim something is just not right.

Mats Sundin is promoting a free, only for entertainment gambling website called "Same buzz, different game," the commercial exclaims. The obvious connection between hockey and poker is not exactly clear, other than enjoyment can be had from both games.

The National Hockey League uses the argument that there is no money involved while playing on the Web site, giving Sundin the green light to do this sort of promotion.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly, told David Baines, of the Vancouver Sun, "The NHL has no objection with Mats having a relationship with and endorsing the free, educational website," Mr.Daly also said, "many of our Clubs have similar relationships." (The Toronto Maple Leafs, for one, have a sponsorship arrangement with Keeping in mind the fact that internet gambling is illegal in Canada and the USA Daly goes on record as saying, "We do not allow endorsement or sponsorship relationships with 'for money' gaming websites of any kind."

Founder and editor of, Chris Costigan, a Florida based news source for online gambling proclaims the obvious, that the free sites are there to promote the cash sites. serves as the introductory site for, where real time gambling takes place.

"Once people are on their dot-net site, the operators hope they can pull them into the real-cash poker site and get them to deposit real money." Costigan says.

PokerStars, both the dot net and dot com versions are based on the Isle of Man. A distant jurisdiction seemingly far away from rules governing online gambling in Canada or the USA. The moral question is there, whether a great hockey star like the Canuck's Mats Sundin, a role model for many of our youth, should be promoting gambling in any way shape or form.

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