NHL goaltender Roberto Luongo is being criticized for his role in advertisements for the BC Lotteries online poker service.
Critics charge that Luongo, who plays for the Vancouver Canucks, is a role model for children and he should not be endorsing gambling. Canadian television network CBC states in a report that the ads "showcase Luongo playing poker, with the suggestion that if you go online at Playnow.com, you might get to play against the Canucks’ top goaltender."
Candace Potter, an anti gambling advocate told the CBC that "He's endorsing something that is potentially dangerous. People don’t take this seriously enough. It is potentially dangerous. He may as well being saying to people, to kids, ‘Sure, go and smoke.'"
Luongo did not back down from his endorsement of the poker service, saying: "It's poker, it's one of my passions. It's a great endorsement and this site is licensed by the government and so it's really exciting for me."
In the past, Luongo has appeared in several charity poker games, and has spoken of his passion of the game of poker, although he doesn't get to play as much when the NHL season is under way as he is extraordinarily busy.