Gary Loveman Supports Online Poker

Good prospects for legalized online poker in the United States, says Loveman. In an interview with Josh Wolfe in the Forbes/Wolfe Emerging Tech Report this week, Caesars Entertainment CEO Gary Loveman again voices his support for legalized online poker, and gives his views on the likelihood of the concept becoming reality.

The views of this former associate professor at the Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration, who has been at the helm of Harrah's-Caesars for the past 13 years, makes for interesting reading, covering his philosophies on promotion on merit, fact-based decision making and real time interaction with gamblers at his venues.

Loveman is one of the most influential chief executives in the business, and was recognised as the gaming and lodging industry’s best CEO by Institutional Investor magazine for four consecutive years. He is the past chairman of the American Gaming Association and serves as a director of Coach (COH) and FedEx (FDX).

During the interview, Loveman talks about his company's interest in online gambling, saying that it is important to distinguish between online poker, online casino games, and the broader world of online gaming.

“In the younger crowd, online gaming may not refer to gambling at all,” he points out. “We are increasingly active in social gaming, where the underlying game is casino-related (such as the Texas Hold’em games on Zynga), but our company focuses on online poker—we own the World Series of Poker.

“When online poker was legal in this country, it was a huge and very profitable business. We are pressing very aggressively for the US Congress to legalize online poker, and I think we have a very good shot.”

However, Loveman is not so sanguine about online casino games and online sports betting, which he does not feel are likely to be legal in the United States in the foreseeable future.

Later in the interview, Loveman talks in more general terms about specific games, noting that poker is a great game because it has an element of fortune, but it’s principally a game of skill, combining a behaviorism element with an analytic element.

“I think interactive games have a very bright future,” he adds. “A few slot manufacturers are creating episodic slot machines with games like World of Warcraft or even Farmville.

“While the game has the same random monetary results of a slot machine, the context of the game advances like an online game. These use high-definition visuals, compelling audio, and multi-player schematics.” Loveman singles out one new game about to launch in the land sector, based on the board game Clue.  He reveals that this will be played on large high-definition screens and is destined to be a hit.

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