A major player in the world of MMA sponsorships may have just come to an end.

Federal indictments were handed down on Friday naming three major poker sites: PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker, and the companies’ executives.

The legality of online gambling in the U.S. is a hotly contested issue with several gaming sites finding ways to work around the quagmire of laws on the topic, but the Federal government cracked down on the aforementioned sites on Friday. According to a report from the L.A. Times, the affiliates involved with the sites were charged with bank fraud and money laundering with several arrests already made.

“These defendants concocted an elaborate criminal fraud scheme, alternately tricking some U.S. banks and effectively bribing others to assure the continued flow of billions in illegal gambling profits,” Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, said in a statement.

The poker sites have been shut down by the government, and while some people may still be able to access them currently, it will only be a matter of time before they are shut down completely and inaccessible.

In the MMA world, poker sites had become a major sponsor of fighters and promotions over the past several years. One manager speaking to MMAWeekly.com on Friday stated that many of the poker sponsorships rivaled the money of what any two or three other sponsors could offer, and the poker sites considered it ‘chump change.’

Full Tilt Poker, who had been a major sponsor of many fighters in the UFC, have been banned from sponsorships in the organization for the past two years. While speculation ran wild that the UFC kicked Full Tilt Poker out for being a competitor to Zuffa owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta’s own casinos, sources have indicated it was for a different reason altogether.

Independent sources confirmed to MMAWeekly.com that one of the major reasons the UFC banned the online poker site had more to do with the company wanting to avoid dealing with a sponsor who was allegedly doing illegal business. The Federal government has long sniffed around the online poker industry. UFC officials read the writing on the wall, choosing not to do business with companies in that industry.

Prosecutors in the case are looking to shut down the sites permanently, send their executives to jail, and recover over $3 billion dollars from the companies.

Bellator Fighting Championships had also banned the online poker sites from sponsorships, but companies like Full Tilt Poker remained in place as sponsors of fighters in Strikeforce.

It’s unknown at this time how fast the money currently owed to some fighters might get pulled or paid out. The company websites had all been shut down and seized as of Friday night, but it’s unclear what business will be going forward in regards to sponsorships for fighters.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.
From Around the Web

Related News

Ronda Rousey: New York is 'most dangerous place in the U.S. to do MMA'

  • 24 days ago
  • 10 views

From Yahoo Sports: Rousey met with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other politicians to make a case for MMA legalization. The question is: will it matter? read news >>

Kurt Angle on Why He Chose Not to Be an MMA Fighter, Despite Offers from the UFC

  • 28 days ago
  • 77 views

For years, Kurt Angle teased the notion of attempting to see how far his wrestling prowess could take him in mixed martial arts. But the thought never materialized on account of the fact that the for read news >>

UFC Fight Night 62 Medical Suspensions: Ryan LaFlare Could Be out 6 Months

  • 28 days ago
  • 0 views

At UFC Fight Night 62, Ryan LaFlare suffered his first MMA loss in a bout with Demian Maia. Following the event, LaFlare received more bad news. Apparently, the up-and-coming welterweight contender i read news >>

Bellator 135 preview: Ryan Couture, son of a UFC legend, looks to make his own name in MMA

  • 28 days ago
  • 10 views

Former Strikeforce and UFC fighter Ryan Couture is currently working his way up Bellator's lightweight rankings after a successful debut last September. The next challenge ahead is Dakota Cochrane on read news >>

Full Metal Dojo 5: 'Made for Thailand' confirmed for May 9 in Bangkok

  • 28 days ago
  • 0 views

Thailand's top mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion, Full Metal Dojo (FMD), returns on May 9th with a card consisting of three amateur tournaments. All of which will be settled in one night and involve read news >>

Is New York finally about to legalize MMA, paving way for UFC at the Garden?

  • 28 days ago
  • 0 views

Could the state of New York finally be read to legalize MMA? After years of fighting, the end of the ban could come soon.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>

Ronda Rousey's latest fight is for the legalization of MMA in New York

  • 28 days ago
  • 6 views

It looks like the UFC and MMA are finally on the verge of success in the state of New York, and Zuffa is sending one of their biggest stars to try and move the agenda along. The failure of MMA to bec read news >>

Brazilian Athletic commission ‘can’t change the result’ of Drew Dober vs. Leandro Silva

  • 28 days ago
  • 3 views

The COO of the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission (CABMMA) revealed that they are unlikely to change the Dober/Silva result due to a technicality in the rules. After featuring one of the most bizarre read news >>

Ronda Rousey heads to Albany to push for legalization of MMA in New York

  • 28 days ago
  • 0 views

The UFC women's bantamweight champion will visit Albany this week and speak with Governor Andrew Cuomo and members of the State Assembly to push for MMA becoming legal in the Empire State. Ronda Rous read news >>