Since the late 60’s Eolis International Group has been a proponent of legalized gaming, with specialized services to commercial casinos and tribal gaming properties in the United States and overseas. And since the 90’s, when Eolis International Group CEO Wendeen H. Eolis served as Senior Advisor to Governor George E. Pataki on gaming issues in New York State, we have supported the need for consumer protections, endorsing licensed, taxed, and regulated gambling activities.
Noting the potential services that the government could provide from the influx of significant tax revenues into the economy as well as a commitment to civil liberties, Ms. Eolis has in recent years been a champion of federal legislation that would allow adults to play poker in their favorite cyberspace card room.
Since 2006, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act has undermined civil liberties by insisting that Uncle Sam should be the arbiter of responsible gaming–attempting improperly to pigeon hole poker into a game of chance to dangerous except in the confines of brick and mortar casinos where it is routinely offered side by side with other adrenaline-filled games in which chance is the more dominant factor.
Like any responsible company that serves the gaming space, EOLIS is concerned about underage gambling, and opposes gambling operations that disregard the need to offer assistance to addictive gamblers, but history shows that a commitment to responsible gaming is better than the underground gambling that is inevitable when prohibition is the law.
Over the past five years since the passage of UIGEA, EOLIS has counseled casinos on the likely prospects of almost instantly doubling their revenues by the introduction of online gaming. Not surprisingly in recent months, we have been consulted by casinos and investment banks and other potential purchasers interested in cooperating with online gambling sites–poised to snap up huge customer bases and turn key operations as soon as Congress sees the light at the end of the tunnel–huge $$$ signs in licensed, taxed and regulated online gaming.
At the Monaco iGaming conference of 2010 in Monte Carlo, Ms. Eolis forecasted an inevitable shift in the perception of poker from a game of chance to a pursuit of skill, and the demise of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006—but not as a prospect for 2010.
While many lobbying groups predicted that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would push through favorable legislation that would unhinge poker from the grip of UIGEA, Ms. Eolis insisted Mr. Reid’s support of online gambling remained superficial awaiting further unification of the powerful casino operator constituents in his home state of Nevada.
Now, there is obvious growing unity and the machinations to move online gaming front and center are brisk at the state level with Nevada legislation underway and judging by the loud noises inside the Beltway, Republicans traditionally opposed to online gaming are rethinking their positions–John Kyl and Spencer Bachus, the new Chairman of the Financial Services Committee, among them. A Washington D.C- based gaming lawyer says, “They are both reportedly moved by the evidence of poker as a game of skill.” Could the prospect of bipartisan support for online poker, loom larger than ever on the horizon?
Wendeen Eolis says for the first time in years, the excitement in the poker community has a solid foundation, predicting now that it is only a matter of time, not a question of whether or not online poker will be treated as a legitimate activity by the United States Department of Justice.
In recent weeks, Caesars Entertainment Corp. has cut a deal with 888 Holdings PLC and Wynn Resorts Limited has cut a deal with PokerStars that looks to a level of cooperation that is likely to produce windfalls not only for the casinos that Ms. Eolis predicted last fall would benefit in the coming years, but also for online companies that have taken bets from American players including PokerStars, the most aggressive online gambling company in the world. All we need now is amnesty for companies that have flown in the face of the U.S. justice department’s negative views, so as to allow adults in America unimpeded freedom to play poker at their computers–in pajamas if they wish.