[toc]The new chief operating officer of Monster is taking the online poker world by storm – if he can pull it off.
According to Digital Trends, Fred Khalilian, a businessman with a storied past in both gambling and business, will place his bets on a new tribe prior to Dec. 15. PokerTribe.com. Khalilian explained the new venture to the publication.
“I think I have it figured out, and I’m going to be the first in the world. And I’m going to be a multi, multi billionaire, without arrogance. I probably could be as big as Uber, if not bigger.”
Gathering a PokerTribe
After multiple failed attempts, including a lost Apple and Beats deal, run-ins with the FTC on telemarketing vacation packages, and a gambling deal gone sour with the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes of Iowa, Khalilian will focus on taking online gambling global.
And Monster could use some gambling revenue to bring in more cash flow – on and off the reservation.
“He’s found his niche, he’s worked his way through the government, through the Federal Trade Commission, through all of that, with a strategy that’s built around the American Indians,” said Monster CEO Noel Lee.
Along with Iowa Tribe in Oklahoma, Khalilian will launch PokerTribe.com. He is banking on the fact that Indian reservations have more freedom. When it comes to online gambling in the U.S., that’s largely a new grey area, so this is a loophole that Khalilian will take advantage of.
For Indian reservations, the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act allows:
- Class I games like Snow Snake
- Class II Games like bingo
- Class III games like poker (requires a special license and compact)
Engaging reservations and making use of loopholes
The federal government then comes in to approve the deal.
With $10 million, plus a similar legal battle of revising the state’s compact, Khalilian has his work cut out for him. Even so, he has other plans.
He will take his business worldwide, starting with Isle of Man. So far, PokerTribe is absent from the country’s list of operating gambling servers.
An exercise in image recovery?
Khalilian has roadblocks to overcome, for sure, but his bad-guy image may be the greatest of all. His past trials with Paris Hilton and his first try at this same endeavor in 2011 were lost efforts.
Khalilian came away from them with a tarnished reputation, a host of accusations, and a personality that speaks for itself.
“I’m telling you the truth and nothing but the truth, I swear to God,” Khalilian told Digital Trends. “I didn’t do anything wrong. It’s just when anybody Googles me they really think I’m this bad guy.”
Only time will tell if Khalilian will be successful in launching this endeavor with a new tribe.