U.S. Government Seizes Several Poker Sites That Were Big On MMA Sponsorships


  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit

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 >>

Related News

  • 27 days ago
  • 71 views

[autotag]Chael Sonnen[/autotag] remained a fixture in the world of MMA news when the UFC and FOX released him on Monday following a second failed drug test. On Tuesday, UFC President Dana White spoke about the decision he and the UFC were faced with after learning of Sonnen's second failed test. more

  • 27 days ago
  • 35 views

No women's competitor in the world can beat Ronda Rousey. Not even Alexis Davis, Rousey's opponent at UFC 175. Rousey-Davis will co-headline the event along with the bout between Chris Weidman and Lyoto Machida. For those looking for a back-and-forth contest from Rousey and Davis, you'll be left wanting more by the time the match is over. Rousey is going to dominate. It appears as if she's already attempting to intimidate Davis, as pointed out by Damon Martin of UFC.com: Rousey's latest display more

  • 27 days ago
  • 47 views

One of the hottest free agents in MMA is not a man but a woman. That woman is former pro boxing champ and undefeated mixed martial artist Holly Holm. Holm, who is 7-0, is currently mending a broken arm suffered in April. However, she should be ready to go in the coming months, and the UFC has been pursuing the WMMA star actively, Shaun Al-Shatti of MMA Fighting reports. In the event that the UFC does sign Holm, who should she debut against? Let's take a look at four possibilities for her eventua more

  • 23 days ago
  • 36 views

From Yahoo Sports: The must-see UFC champion finally has Anderson Silva in the rearview following his successful title defense against Lyoto Machida. more

  • 21 days ago
  • 20 views

After a big weekend of MMA, MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at noon ET (9 a.m. PT) with guests Matt Serra, Ray Longo, Eddie Gordon, Chris Holdsworth and Jeff Cain all in studio.Filed under: News, UFC more

  • 21 days ago
  • 28 views

World Series of Fighting (WSOF) lightweight champion Justin Gaethje has every reason to be confident in his skill set. The 25-year-old fighter is 12-0 with 11 finishes, including his latest second-round knockout of the previously undefeated Nick Newell. After his fight with Newell at WSOF, Gaethje talked with Ashley Luther of MMA Mayhem about his upcoming challengers within the promotion, and he made a bold statement about his place in the 155-pound ranks. "I owe anybody the shot, and if Melvin more

  • 20 days ago
  • 31 views

With three major shows in two days, it was a weekend of both the happy and the sad watching fights. Reality struck Nick Newell and B.J. Penn, Chris Weidman was tested like never before, and Ronda Rousey showed that her ability may have exceeded her hype. Emotions ran the gamut the past few days in what was the biggest weekend of the year for MMA in the United States. We got one of the fastest championship fights in UFC history followed immediately by one of the year's best fights on Saturday. Bu more

  • 20 days ago
  • 44 views

A collection of MMA related stories from June that may have slipped under the radar. If you think keeping up with just the MMA events held by the UFC, Bellator, WSOF, Invicta FC, One FC, and others can prove too much to follow, try keeping up with all the mixed martial arts related news. To help those that don't want to spend their hours perusing the web, here is a roundup of the stories that most MMA media sites seemed to have missed. From Emily Miller and Erika Pesantes of the Sun Sentinel, a more

  • 21 days ago
  • 4 views

Middleweight contenders Tim Kennedy and Yoel Romero meet in the Fight Capital of the World this fall. more