A poker site?
No one has accused the Fertita’s of being stupid. They are good business men, spart enough to put the right people in charge and they keep a sharp eye for opportunities.
Their newest venture has me scratching my head. UltimatePoker.com. It makes all the sense on paper, online gambling is big business, BIGGER MONEY and goes hand in hand with the UFC/Zuffa and Station Casinos. My problem is, it brings undue scrutiny on the Fertita’s and by default, the UFC/Zuffa. We are talking about combat sports, one of the largest parts of a sports books revenue. If Golden Boy started a gambling website, people would go nuts, citing a litany of reasons why it was a bad idea, starting with corruption and fight fixing. I’m not saying that’s what would ultimately happen, but the accusations would be there.
MMA has a tougher road it’s traveling on, the Culinary Union is on constant attack, Senators still view it as ‘barbaric’ and dangerous, states are trying to tax it into non existence and the general ‘uneducated’ fight fan already thinks some of the fights are WWE style fixed matches. Throw in online gambling and it’s a recipe for disaster.
Currently you are not able to bet on Zuffa events in any of the Station Casino locations, a good move by the Fertita’s. Will it be the same for the online site? So far it’s being marketed as a ‘Social Gambling Site’ for poker fans. I am unaware of any plans to add a sportsbook but you never know. Also, advertising the poker site on the Octagon™ seems strange to me also, something I didn’t think Fox would be comfortable with, maybe they didn’t care all that much back when they started the UFC deal, it appears now, that banning poker sites was a calculated move to get rid of the competition in the advertising part of UFC’s model.
See, I said the Fertita’s were smart.