Endorsements Headline Sports Agents Sports Business

How Will Black Friday Affect Poker Agents?

Friday, April 15th, 2011 is known as Black Friday for online poker players.  It was the day that the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) charged a group of online poker owners, including the founders of Full Tilt, Poker Stars, and Absolute Poker with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, illegal gambling offenses, and money laundering.

While the action was a huge disturbance and inconvenience for millions of online poker players who had money in their online playing accounts, I wondered if it would affect poker agents who represent the best poker celebrities with regards to their marketing and endorsement opportunities.  People like Lars Kollind.

Kollind has already dealt with government action in the past.  His formerly successful poker club was shut down when Swedish legislation was passed, which disallowed the operation of such establishments.  From there, Kollind went on to start Vegas Group, which began as a small agency for Swedish poker professionals.  Vegas Group turned into Poker Icons, which is now the largest poker agency in Europe.

How will Kollind and Poker Icons adjust to the hit that many poker sites just took via the DoJ?  These sites contribute to a large portion of Poker Icons’ revenues based on the money they pump into the company’s poker clients.  What will fill the gap that will undoubtedly be left when many sites have to spend less on marketing.

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.