“Duhhh, I like poker! Franks and beans!”
Online gambling company Full Tilt Poker was once a major MMA supporter, sponsoring many fighters and promotions, including Strikeforce. But the legality of such sites was always pretty questionable, and the shit hit the fan back in April when they were seized by the FBI and charged not only with illegal gambling, but bank fraud and money laundering to boot. All this just when they were poised to get even bigger in the MMA scene, having just partnered up with the Fertitta Bros’ casino biz (who were/are also backing a bill to legalize online gambling), and were on the verge of a huge deal with the UFC.
They quickly disappeared from the MMA world after the bust, and don’t expect them back any time soon, because the dudes behind Full Tilt Poker have apparently ” target=”_blank”>been caught stealing from their own players/members. Yesterday, federal prosecutors amended the money laundering charge to include allegations that money from players’ accounts was used for “company expenses”, to “pay” the owners (legendary pro players themselves), and “loaned” to certain others. Certainly not good business practice, especially when the company didn’t maintain anywhere near enough cash to repay the player accounts. It became a full tilt Ponzi scheme when they started crediting the accounts of winning players with money that didn’t actually exist, in the hopes that they’d keep playing and not cash-out.
The company claimed a few weeks ago that its inability to pay out its players was due to government seizures totaling $115 million US, plus a $42 million rip-off by one of its payment processors. Sounds reasonable… except that it turns out the player accounts are short by over $300 million, so yeah, that shit don’t quite cover it. I hope “Jesus” and “The Professor” enjoyed their coke n’ whore yacht parties while they lasted.