The world’s largest online poker site, PokerStars, today announced a partnership with the New Jersey chapter of Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. Through its Corporate Giving Programme, Helping Hands, PokerStars will become a Premier Sponsor of Autism Speaks, supporting ongoing research, advocacy and awareness efforts during Autism Awareness Month in April – and beyond.

In March, PokerStars re-entered the United States by launching its platform in New Jersey and is continuing to show its dedication to the state by bringing awareness to autism research through one of the causes’ largest champions: Autism Speaks – New Jersey Chapter. This cause is especially important to some of the Team PokerStars Pros, particularly Chris  Moneymaker, whose life has been affected by autism.

“Today, autism is a complex and often misunderstood disorder that affects 1 out of 68 children and millions of families, including many of those within the PokerStars family,” said Eric Hollreiser, Vice President of Corporate Communications for Amaya Inc. and PokerStars. “We are eager to partner with Autism Speaks New Jersey to help raise funds and awareness for this important work.”
The brand will kick off Autism Awareness Month by participating in Light It Up Blue, an international, annual campaign led by Autism Speaks, which sees thousands of iconic landmarks, skyscrapers, schools, businesses and homes across the globe unite by shining bright blue lights on April 2nd, in honor of the millions of individuals and families affected by autism. The colour is in reflection of the Autism Speaks logo, which is blue because boys are four times more likely to be affected than girls – with 1 in 29 boys diagnosed with autism. PokerStars will play its part in the day by changing its striking red spade logo to blue, to help raise awareness. PokerStars’ fundraising efforts will be further supported through various campaigns and events throughout 2016 – culminating with the Autism Speaks black tie gala in Spring 2017.

“We are thankful for the generous support of PokerStars and their commitment to raising autism awareness and promoting inclusion and acceptance by leveraging their global platform,” said Heather Hays, Executive Director, Autism Speaks New Jersey. “During the month of April and over the next few months, we will be announcing exciting fundraising initiatives and events with PokerStars NJ and Helping Hands to further engage with local communities and encourage friends, neighbors and families to support autism awareness.”

“My family and I were delighted to learn of PokerStars’ commitment to Autism Speaks New Jersey, which – in turn – will raise funds and awareness for research and advocacy across the country,” said Team PokerStars Pro Chris Moneymaker. “Our family has been and is currently affected by this disorder, and as a dedicated member of the PokerStars family, I am personally touched by the brand’s decision to support a cause near to my heart.”
To learn more about PokerStars and Autism Speaks New Jersey or to donate to this important cause, please visit http://www.pokerstarsnj.com/about/charity/autism-speaks

About Autism
Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders – autism spectrum disorders – caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by communication difficulties, social and behavioral challenges, and repetitive behaviors. An estimated 1 in 68 children in the U.S. is on the autism spectrum.

About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. It is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Since its inception, Autism Speaks has committed more than $570 million to its mission, the majority in science and medical research. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit AutismSpeaks.org.