INDUSTRY SPECIALTY EXPERTISE
Wendeen's introduction to the gaming industry came early, as a waitress in a private gaming club and soon thereafter as a proficient card counter at blackjack tables while on her way to her BA degree from NYU with a double major in philosophy and psychology.
In 1967, Wendeen established her legal recruiting business and unexpectedly met Ken Uston, Vice President of the Pacific Stock Exchange and a new client--at a blackjack table in London. Uston was already an expert blackjack card counter. They teamed up and visited casinos hither and yon. Wendeen prospected for gaming clients on these trips and nailed a few legal consulting assignments, while becoming more capable at counting cards.
By 1969 wendeen was taking her legal recruiting and consulting company--the first in the world--more seriously. One of her assignments arising from connections she made while playing 21 at Caesar's Palace was the the General Counsel opening with Caesar's World (now Caesar's Entertainment).
The successful retainer-based placement project put her in the C-Suite and when Caesar's became a public company, in its board room as an advisor on special counsel selections . Her associations with Caesar's as a customer and as a services provider schooled her on the difference between luck and skill--long before she was taking down pots at poker tables against the very best players in the world.
In 1986, while engaged for a Caesar's matter, Wendeen took her poker hobby up a notch. Competing at the World Series of Poker, she became the first woman in the history of the WSOP main event to earn a piece of the purse.
By 1990, she was assisting multiple casino boards in their complex legal affairs management objectives; Caesars, the Dunes, the Riviera, and the Sands properties in the United States and the Victoria Sporting Club and Coral Leisure Group, among them. In a spare moment, Wendeen competed in the biggest poker tournament in Europe. she became the first woman to win a "big -buy-in Europe.
In the mid-nineties Wendeen turned her career advisory role to lawyers-into another side-step with key roles in New York City and then New York State government. As a New York State government official, Wendeen's portfolio included commercial and tribal gaming issues and thereafter her clients included tribal gaming companies and partnership prospects with the likes of the biggest hospitality company in the Catskill Mountains--the Concord Hotel--which had been her training ground to learn the basics of poker.
In the early oughts, Wendeen's legal consulting business expanded to include representation of gaming entrepreneurs in selection of counsel for their special events. She worked with casino executives around the world--from Las Vegas to Amsterdam and onward to India. During breaks from her professional activities, she continued to compete and set records for women in poker competition. Her mantra, born of experience in business, politics and poker rooms, was "Bluffing is an over-rated strategy, and women win more by bluffing less!
In 2007, Wendeen was elected Vice Chairman of the World Poker Association, and elevated to Chairman in 2008, a post she held until that summer when she passed the baton to take on vetting projects related to the presidential elections of that year.
Wendeen Eolis brings to the table multidimensional knowledge of the gaming industry; as a legal consultant, attorney search specialist, counsel reviewer, insider with corporate boards, and consultant to casino operators on legal affairs crises.
She has counseled gaming industry clients on legal talent acquisitions, counsel costs, and board director prospects drawn from the legal profession for five decades.
She has prepared “white papers” for law firms advising federal and international agencies.
An internationally recognized lecturer at gaming conferences, from Las Vegas to Vienna , Wendeen has been a keynote speaker, moderator and panelist at numerous gaming events, including an engagement at Sportel in Monte Carlo, at the invitation of Prince Albert, on the future of i-gaming in America.
Wendeen is a supporter of licensed, taxed, and regulated gaming with suitable protocols to protect the integrity of the games 2) controls that effectively exclude minors from the gaming tables and 3) active programs to discourage addiction and encourage responsible gaming.
Gaming Space Thought Leader
Nominated as Leader of the Year at the Women in Gaming Awards, in 2014, Wendeen was at the forefront of the i-gaming debate in America following its crash in 2011. America -based i-gaming was paralyzed by federal legislation to curtail it and the Justice Department's aggressive prosecution of the biggest violators.
As a result of her counsel selection activities on behalf of i-gaming companies, Wendeen learned much about this business and the legislative process needed to revitalize it. Her unique expertise and experience in the gaming industry has been sought for legal affairs articles and speaking engagements. She is currently working on a book that traces her diverse experience in the gaming world.