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Tony G slam dunked

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Happier times

It’s being reported that the gaming firm set up by Tony G won’t be cashing in on EuroBasket 2011 as much as he had hoped. The professional poker player had signed an agreement that would see his licensed bookmaker TonyBet pay to sponsor the Lithuanian basketball team in the tournament. That now won’t be happening.

When EuroBasket 2011 tipped off earlier today, there was no sign of the logo adorning the country’s jerseys. Tony G’s firm still sponsors the team though and as such will continue to see the sponsored shirts at games outside the country.

Not known to back down from a confrontation, the “G” man is likely to get his own way in one way or another. The country’s gaming commission has banned the logo from TV ads as well as the team’s shirts although if the sponsorship remains, that is one shred of encouragement to the poker pro.

Tony G’s firm agreed to sponsor the team in advance of the FIBA World Basketball Championships in Turkey last year. That tournament saw the team come third and meant the firm getting exposure on the world stage. Lithuania itself doesn’t allow gambling industry sponsorship on its soil despite the fact that the firm is licensed to operate in the country. The original deal that he brokered to sponsor the team involved his company and PokerStars both paying close to €150,000 in sponsorship fees to the National Basketball Federation. His firm, a brand of Strategic Gaming Group LLC, operates both online and offline. Its turnover in the first half of this year was €3.6m with gross gaming revenue standing at €410,000.

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