PokerStars is currently running its Dream Team Collection promotion, which features three soccer star ambassadors: Neymar Jr., Christiano Ronaldo and Ronaldo Nazário de Lima. However, due to advertising restrictions in the United Kingdom, the online poker room was forced to substitute Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu for Neymar Jr.
According to PokerStars, the Dream Team Collection is the site's largest ever marketing campaign and will give one lucky player a chance at instantly winning $1 million in an all-in shootout. The campaign requires players to complete challenges such as playing a certain amount of Spin & Go's or winning hands with pocket jacks in order to earn a puzzle piece and a random prize.
"No one who is, or seems to be, under 25 years old may be featured gambling or playing a significant role."
Neymar Jr., aged 23, is unable to be featured in gaming-related advertising in the UK due to his age. Advertising rules for gaming companies in the UK are clearly outlined on the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) website and states: "No one who is, or seems to be, under 25 years old may be featured gambling or playing a significant role."
PokerStars will have to wait two years before it can consider promoting Neymar Jr. in the UK. While there are exceptions to the UKGC rule, none would apply to a sports stars promoting poker to residents in the United Kingdom.
In addition to substituting Negreanu for Neymar Jr. in the Dream Team Collection promotion, PokerStars has informed its affiliates to cease using Neymar Jr. in any UK-facing advertising.
While it's certainly a minor setback for PokerStars substitute one of its sponsored poker pros in the soccer-themed promotion, Negreanu and the two remaining soccer superstars are still likely to have a significant impact in the UK.