Online poker might be riding high right now, but Partypoker is fighting to help its network of freelance dealers.
With live poker on lockdown due to the new coronavirus, thousands of casino workers have either been furloughed or made redundant. While many who have full-time employment have a potential way back into work, self-employed dealers have been hit the hardest.
In addition to a lack of poker events, freelancers have no guarantee of work when things eventually do return to normal. To help, Partypoker is aiming to raise £200,000/$244,000.
Ante Up for Those Suffering Through Coronavirus Pandemic
Partypoker’s Grand Prix 4 Dealers will run online from April 26 to May 3, 2020, and carry a $55 entry fee. All of the registration fees collected will be distributed evenly among Partypoker’s network of freelance dealers.
David Cook of Partypoker’s parent company, GVC Holdings, said the aim is to help those that make its live events possible. With live tournaments canceled or postponed, the aim is to keep dealers afloat until normal service resumes.
Independent contractors are used for almost all of the Partypoker Live festivals, as well as partner events such as the WPT and Triton Series. Anyone on the books as a dealer will receive a one-off payment in the coming weeks.
Specifically, the aim is to raise $122,000 through the online MTT. If that target is reached, Partypoker advisor Rob Yong has pledged to match it.
As the owner of UK card room Dusk Till Dawn, Yong knows the struggles dealers are facing right now. With his donation, there will be $244,000 going to those unable to work during the coronavirus pandemic.
Partypoker Contributing to Relief Efforts
As the pandemic continues, governments are finding ways to help both full-time employees and freelancers. In the UK, Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled a $385 billion stimulus package on March 18.
A component of the emergency budget is a guarantee to furloughed employees that 80% of their salary will be covered. At the end of March, Sunak added to the measure by promising payments for self-employed Brits.
Dubbed the coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, Brits can get up to $9,120. The payments are based on a person’s average monthly profit and capped at $3,040 per month for three months.
According to job site Indeed.co.uk, the average wage of for a casino dealer in the UK is $10.44 per hour. For private dealers, the average is $18.15 per hour. However, these payments don’t take into account tips and bonuses.
The same is true for dealers across Europe. This could mean some freelancers receive lower-than-expected grants if tips aren’t included in their annual tax calculations.
With online poker activity surging, Partypoker is aiming to give something back. Through its Grand Prix 4 Dealers and a Just Giving page, a vital subsection of the community will receive help at a tough time.
To enter the tournament, visit Partypoker. To make a direct donation, visit the JustGiving page.