Breaking Down the Action:
  • Market Leaders Take Pole Position Ahead of New Season
  • What the Respective Brand Owners Are Saying
  • Could PokerStars Return to the Netherlands?

5 Minute Read

PokerStars and Red Bull are partnering up ahead of the new Formula 1 season, but will this move bring Dutch players back to the track?

In big news for both Formula 1 and poker, the reigning F1 championship-winning team Red Bull Racing has partnered up with PokerStars in a move that has wowed the worlds of sport and poker alike.

The reputation of Formula 1 as a sport with both an established fanbase and the possibility for exponential growth mirrors that of poker. PokerStars remains the market leader despite growth from other operators. Is the partnership an aligning of natural bedfellows, or could the alliance have more pitstops than DRS zones?

Market Leaders Take Pole Position Ahead of New Season

In many ways, both poker and Formula 1 are currently revving their engines on the cusp of a vital new year in their respective histories. Poker was in a transitionary phase for over a year as the pandemic meant new protocols needed to be followed to host live events. That, of course, has happened and live poker returned in 2021 with the World Series of Poker resuming in Las Vegas. Poker will be looking to grow in 2022 both live and online.

Formula 1 experienced its most popular season of action yet in 2021, as Dutch Red Bull driver Max Verstappen secured a stunning victory at the expense of Lewis Hamilton on the final lap of the final race in Abu Dhabi back in December. The backdrop of that stunning last-lap drama will see millions of new fans joining in the F1 circus this year as the drivers return to the grid in March.

Both Red Bull Racing and PokerStars will be positive that growing audiences in both markets are sure to have huge crossover appeal. The average age of a Formula 1 fan in a 2021 survey by autoweek.com showed that 32 years old is the sweet spot. The average age of players at the 2019 World Series of Poker was 41, but that number accounts for a whole generation of much older players such as Doyle Brunson, with younger players now more prevalent than ever. Those key demographics between F1 and poker are closer than Verstappen and Hamilton’s tires were on The Yas Marina Circuit.

What the Respective Brand Owners Are Saying

The next 12 months are going to be exciting for both brands, with PokerStars branding about to be emblazoned on Red Bull Racing’s drivers’ race suits and of course the two cars which will be driven by world champion Max Verstappen and Sergio ‘Checo’ Perez. It’s an announcement that Christian Horner, Team Principal, and CEO of Red Bull Racing is excited about, to say the least.

“Following last year’s blockbuster Formula One season, I am delighted to kick off 2022 by announcing PokerStars as a new partner,” he said. “In our sport, we see constant evolution, not only applied to cars but also to new technologies that are focused on reaching the sport’s global fanbase to provide new and interactive experiences for them to enjoy. We are pleased to welcome PokerStars to the Team as F1 enjoys a period of growth in new and existing territories and look forward to getting the 2022 season underway together.”

PokerStars are just as happy with the deal, with the CEO of Flutter International, the company that own PokerStars saying:

“Red Bull Racing is an ideal fit for PokerStars because it’s not just about what you offer fans and players but the ethos and vision behind how you offer it. Part of our vision for PokerStars is to create the world’s most epic casino, built on player experiences, giving our community moments they’ll never forget. Red Bull Racing’s phenomenal success is built on their bold, innovative, and passionate ethos, which has led to incredible success both on the track and in becoming one of the world’s most popular sports brands. We’re looking forward to working with the Team and sharing further developments as the 2022 season approaches. We wish the Red Bull Racing team all the best for their new campaign.”

Could PokerStars Return to the Netherlands?

If there is one area which will possibly frustrate many crossover poker players – and Red Bull fans – it is that Netherlands players don’t currently the ability to play online at PokerStars. Dutch players were temporarily banned from the online poker market on November 1st last year, with lawmakers in the Netherlands passing the Remote Gambling Act.

That law brought to a close any unregulated gambling in the country, and its not as simple as the license immediately being returned. This ‘cooling-off period’ could last as long as a year, or even into 2023. Cases are often heard before that period, however, with October rumored to be a month in which similar cases against other operators will be up for appeal or review.

With partypoker having partnered with McLaren Racing in May of last year, PokerStars will be hoping that this latest foray into Formula 1 puts them – and Red Bull Racing – in pole position before the brands’ respective seasons see ‘lights out’ as both put their heels to the steel in pursuit of glory.

Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller is a veteran casino writer with decades of experience writing online casino reviews and game guides. His betting strategy articles, and gambling news updates have been a fixture in the industry since 2004.

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