Following the earthquake’s destruction in a country already struggling under the weight of crushing poverty, organizations have been scrambling to raise money, medicine, food and volunteers to help Haiti begin its long road to recovery. So far, help has come pouring in from an unexpectedly diverse group of people and organizations from around the world. So, it should hardly come as a surprise that the online gaming community is getting involved in the relief effort as well.
One of the online gaming sites trying to raise the much needed money is Millionaire Casino. They have offered to help raise money for much needed repairs and medical supplies need in Haiti by donating to the Red Cross relief fund. The money is being donated from their VIP rewards fund and users can choose to donate more of their VIP points if they wish.
Seeing the potential for online gambling to make a contribution Bodog founder Calvin Eyre posted pleas on his blog for more companies and individuals in the online gambling industry to contribute to the relief effort. So far, he has personally donated 10,000 pounds to UK charity Oxfam and in an effort to get others to make donations has promised that his foundation will match any and all donations from people within the industry up to $1,000,000.
Heeding the call the popular Casinomeister site managed to collect $20,000 before closing their donations due to difficulties in paying through PayPal. Since Casinomeister hadn’t registered the charity collection with PayPal (this process can take weeks and this was an emergency relief collection) the site forced them to stop collecting money using the service.
However, it’s not only the online casinos that are busy collecting money though as the poker industry is hosting a number of tournaments and charity drives as well. The popular PokerStars site has set up a relief fund which will match all the donations players make and then donate it to the Red Cross fund. So far, the site has raised about $475,000 for the relief effort thanks to the generous contributions of its players. PokerStars will make a matching donation to the Red Cross effectively doubling the amount raised.