MELBOURNE—Retired Aussie Cricketer and future Elizabeth Hurley-hubby Shane Warne is trying his best to pour cold water on the sudden controversy over ads for poker website 888.com that have wended their way onto a porn site. The media has been stoking the flames of controversy all weekend, prompting promises by Warne's manager, James Erskine, to look into the matter.
"No, Shane nor I were aware of the 888 Poker Site appearing on porn sites,'' Erskine told The Sunday Telegraph. "Thank you for informing us; we will look into it.''
The paper also reported that Warne's brother, Jason, who is general manager of children's charity The Shane Warne Foundation, said that he would inform his board members. of the placement of the ad to an
Though it's likely that the ads wound up on the unnamed porn site through an ad network that rightly figured the offerings would appeal to a similar demographic, recent high-level deals being made in anticipation of a friendlier environment for online gambling in the U.S. suggest a compelling reason why 888 might want to disassociate itself from equally controversial adult entertainment.
According to a press release issued Feb. 17 by Canadian-poker, "Successful live poker tournaments are aligning with online poker operators: Caesars Entertainment, sponsor of the World Series of Poker, recently partnered with a branch of the same company behind 888 Poker; similarly, the World Poker Tour is part of bwin.Party, the company behind Party Poker. In recent interviews, both Caesars and WPT have confirmed the important role of online poker in their future."
Canadian-poker spokesperson Leon Daniels added, "888 Poker is our readers' first choice for online poker. While playing 888 Poker tournaments online, it's also possible to win a seat at a [World Series of Poker] event. Along with an excellent reputation and unmatched technological innovation, this puts 888 at the top—no wonder Caesars chose to partner with 888."
In light of that, it's also no wonder Warne was so quick to disassociate the gambling company from the porn site, but it's still a shame. Sex and gambling go together like soup and sandwiches.