Harrah’s And Everest Poker Dispute Leaves The WSOP Without A Sponsor

In the ongoing battle between Everest Poker and Harrah’s Entertainment Inc, the World Series of Poker (WSOP) brand has denied any breach of contract regarding their $22.5 million sponsorship agreement with the online poker site.
Everest secured their deal with Harrah’s WSOP back in 2008, and as part of a lucrative sponsorship deal, were assigned sole poker privileges at the event including prominent logo positions on the table felt. In return Harrah’s received $6.2 million in 2008, $7.9 million in 2009 and were to receive $8.4 million in 2010.
However, Everest Poker owners Ultra Internet Media S.A. (UIM), are now witholding this year’s final fee for next month’s WSOP event after a television network RTL9, broadcast the tournament in France but electronically changed the Everest Poker logo with that of competitor Full Tilt Poker.
UIM have now pulled out of their commitments for the 2010 WSOP and are holding Harrah’s responsible for any loss of profits, and erosion of goodwill and business reputation.
In court on Friday, Harrah’s have vehemently denied any breach of contract and said that UIM’s primary objective of the deal was to gain exposure in the US. The papers filed by Harrah’s goes on to state:
“In 2008 and 2009 the WSOP was broadcast by ESPN and parties with whom it has contracted in over 170 countries, including the United States, collectively to over 250 million households, for over 6,000 hours. Thus, UIM has certainly gained all the exposure for the everestpoker.net website that it could have hoped for, and more.”
In addition, the papers go on to say that; “At the time of the negotiations, UIM did not have an online gaming license recognized by French authorities. It was broadly observed that poker programming was not distributed by French television stations unless tournaments were sponsored by a French licensee.”
The court case is only just hotting up and in the meantime, with the WSOP set to get underway next month, it will interesting to see who will decide to jump into the $8 million gap left behind by Everest Poker.

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