League Supports Sundin’s Poker Deal
By Staff
In Canada, the National Hockey League (NHL) has defended player Mats Sundin and his promotional activities for Isle of Man-licensed free-to-play online poker site PokerStars.net.

According to a piece in The Vancouver Sun newspaper, offering online gambling services for real cash is illegal in Canada and the United States but the NHL has released a statement supporting Sundin’s activities.

The television commercial in question has been airing in Canada over the last few months and shows the Swedish player enthusiastically shooting a puck and decking opponents interspersed with shots of him competing at poker under the strap-line ‘same buzz, different game’. Sundin was not signed with any NHL team when the advert was shot after he left the Toronto Maple Leafs but has since become a member of the Vancouver Canucks.

'The NHL has no objection with Mats having a relationship with and endorsing the free, educational website PokerStars.net,' said Bill Daly, Deputy Commissioner for the NHL.

“Many of our clubs have similar relationships. We do not allow endorsement or sponsorship relationships with 'for money' gaming websites of any kind.'

The newspaper pointed out that several land-based casino operators have sponsorship arrangements with NHL teams and it gave the Canucks and its deal with Richmond-based Great Canadian Gaming Corporation as an example. In addition, the Maple Leafs also has a sponsorship arrangement with PokerStars.net.

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