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HAS POKER 888 BITTEN OF MORE THAN IT IS PREPARED TO CHEW WITH SUAREZ?
Online poker operator 888poker is reportedly considering the future of its brand ambassador, Liverpool football star Luis Suarez, only a month after signing him up.
The reason is sprawled across most mainstream media this week - the discipline-challenged soccer star faces allegations that whilst playing for Uruguay against Italy in the World Cup he bit opponent Giorgio Chiellini.
Suarez has been the subject of public betting following previous incidents on the field which include chomping down on Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic when playing for Liverpool in a Premier League match last year.
These infringements have unfortunately marred a brilliant playing career, which recently included scoring two goals against England at the World Cup, and the controversial player now faces a FIFA investigation and possible bans.
888poker has confirmed that it is considering its options regarding Suarez, saying in a statement:
"Following the allegations made against Luis Suarez in regards to his behaviour during Uruguay's World Cup match against Italy, 888poker is seriously reviewing its relationship with the player as we will not tolerate any unsporting behaviour."
In related news, one Norwegian football fan won GBP 1,700 on a 175 to 1 bet that Suarez would commit a third biting offence at some point in the World Cup.
24-year-old Richard Helmersen said his winnings would help finance trips to the UK to watch other matches this season.
UK football legend Paul Scholes took a more serious view, commenting on his Paddy Power blog that Suarez was an embarrassment despite his considerable talents as a player.
He will feel terrible tonight, and the entire incident is such a shame because hes a tremendous player. But people will remember Suarez now for his biting antics at this World Cup rather than his supreme footballing ability."
ISLE OF MAN GEARING UP FOR MAJOR ONLINE POKER TOURNAMENT
The Isle of Man, home to many online gambling operators and software companies, is gearing up for an influx of an anticipated 600 poker players in October this year.
The cause of the excitement is the fourth and penultimate round of the Pokerstars UK and Ireland Poker Tournament, which will be held on the island between October 31 and November 4.
The Pokerstars headquarters are based on the island, which is situated between Ireland and England in the Irish Sea.
Players will battle it out over four days in the Villa Marina entertainment complex in a competition which has guaranteed prize money totalling half a million pounds.
This year's UKIPT tour started in June in Marbella, moving to Galway, Ireland in August, hence to London and then to the Isle of Man. The grand final will take place in Nottingham, UK at the end of November.
NEW YORK INVESTMENT FIRM LAUDS POTENTIAL FOR ONLINE GAMBLING
The New York investment company MGT Capital Investments put its corporate toe in the online gambling water this week, announcing that it is about to take a controlling interest in an established fantasy sports betting operation branded FanTD LLC.
Commenting on the announcement, Robert Ladd, MGT's president and CEO, said that a subsidiary, MGT Sports, Inc., has signed an agreement with the owners of the Fan Throw Down.com website, adding:
"It is hard to overstate the potential we see in legal online gambling, both now and in the near future, as states continue to relax prohibitions in pursuit of tax revenue. Betting on fantasy sports is legal in nearly all states and has a preferential carve-out on the Federal level under the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.
"Today's announcement is part of MGT's comprehensive strategy to add other games of skill over the next several months, with an emphasis on mobile applications and secure technologies. We look forward to providing investors an update via conference call within the next two weeks."
A statement from the company described the new venture as an initial move into "...the online and mobile gaming and wagering space."
On its website, FanTD hosts a socially interactive destination where users can participate in free or real money daily fantasy sports contests.
Users select a roster of athletes across all popular sports, and winnings are determined by the same-day performance of these rosters. Daily fantasy sports compress the betting timeframe of traditional fantasy sports from multi-month seasons into 24-hour periods. FanTD generates revenue through a rake of the total amount bet.
MGT's latest mandatory financial reportage shows that the company has a debt-free balance sheet with approximately $5.5 million of cash.
The company expects to issue 627,500 shares of restricted common stock plus $200,000 in cash to acquire a 65 percent ownership interest in FanTD LLC, with the deal closing within the next two weeks.
One of the company's subsidiaries, MGT Gaming owns U.S. Patent No. 7,892,088 relating to casino gaming systems. In November 2012, MGT Gaming filed a patent infringement suit against Caesars Entertainment Corporation, MGM Resorts International, Inc., WMS Gaming - a subsidiary of WMS Industries, Inc., Penn National Gaming, Inc., and Aruze Gaming America, Inc. The litigation continues.
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