New Venture, Same Faces: PokerTribe.com ‘Monster Deal’ a Monstrosity?

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The Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma has sold the online poker site pokertribe.com to the California audio company Monster Products Worldwide for an undisclosed sum.

Just last week, Gambling911.com reported on the murky legal issues surrounding pokertribe.com, much of which focused on the software developer.  

Monster Technologies claims to have purchased the assets of Entertainment Group (UEG), which included the pokertribe.com website and its Isle of Man license.

The pokertribe.com has been plagued with issues even before it officially launched, but last week received some welcome news after the Isle of Man announced it would be licensing the venture.

Last month, Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes Gov. Eddie Hamilton filed a lawsuit in a tribal court in Concho, Oklahoma against Universal Entertainment Group (UEG) owner, Fereidoun ‘Fred’ Khalilian.

From CalvinAyre.com:

In 2012, the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes inked a deal with UEG to launch PokerTribes.com, an online poker site catering to international gamblers. Despite the tribe investing $9.5m, the project never got off the ground, and the tribes pulled the plug in 2014 following elections that brought Hamilton’s administration to power.

The lawsuit accuses Khalilian and UEG partners Isaias Almiras and Tatiana Vlasenko of engaging in “deceit, greed and utter disregard for the laws and economic well-being of the tribes.”

The lawsuit claims UEG didn’t actually own the poker software it sold the tribes, based on the fact that Khalilian was successfully sued in Georgia by a former business partner who claimed ownership of the software, although this judgment was subsequently overturned.

The new partnership with Monster will bring legitimacy to the project, Bobby Walkup, chairman of the Perkins-based tribe, said in a statement.

"Collaboration with a company having the reach and impact of Monster is a perfect marriage that will help us bring legitimate online gaming to players and enthusiasts worldwide," Walkup said. "It's the beginning of something truly 'Monstrous.'"

So what’s wrong with this picture?

You guessed it, the man accused in the lawsuit of engaging in “deceit, greed and utter disregard for the laws and economic well-being of the tribes” has been named Monster’s COO.

"I put the deal together, that's all," Khalilian said. "I thought it was a great idea and they looked into it and it was a perfect fit."

Monster CEO Noel Lee, who has frequently appeared on Khalilian’s various social media feeds, had this to say about the deal:

“This corporate expansion into gaming is a natural fit with the Monster philosophy and demonstrates just what can be done with the Monster brand when it comes to creating excitement, mystery and anticipation of adventure,” Lee said.

Khalilian says he will not benefit financially from the deal.

- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com

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