Antonio Esfandiari remains a staunch advocate of online poker in the United States, despite rumblings from traditional casinos about potential job losses in the sector.
Earlier this week an editorial on Forbes.com called online gambling “fool’s gold” and claimed the industry would lead to lost jobs and underage gambling.
Three-time WSOP bracelet winner Esfandiari, who is a brand ambassador for the recently-launched Ultimate Poker, feels differently.
“I believe online poker creates jobs and it gives people a bigger marketplace,” Esfandiari said while on break at the 2013 WSOP.
“You can play in the comfort of your own home when you’re chilling out with your family or you can go down to the casino when you want to do that. It’s not really taking anything away.”
Groundbreaking Ultimate Poker Has Created Jobs in Nevada
Ultimate Poker dealt its first hand in 2013
Esfandiari estimated that Ultimate Poker has already created 70 jobs since it launched in Nevada. He also disagrees with the opinion that legal online poker will lead to more reckless gambling.
“Degenerate gamblers are the ones sitting at slot machines for two days straight,” he said.
“You’re talking about a game of skill. I don’t understand how people that promote slot machines could say that online poker creates degenerate gamblers. I don’t get it.”
In addition Ultimate Poker has numerous security features to eliminate underage gambling.
“It’s a concern but we have every possible security check in place to make sure you are who you say you are and you’re located where you say you are,” he said.
“You have to be in the state of Nevada and you HAVE to be 21. You have to prove it.”
Ultimate Poker is the first real-money online poker site on the market in Nevada with several others expected to launch in the coming months including WSOP.com.