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binary128
binary128
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June 17th, 2013 at 10:15:52 AM permalink
My Closing Thoughts

As we all know ... For so many years (think back to 2000 and the formation of the Online Players Association) the primary source of "regulation" that has been applied in controlling runaway casinos (and software providers, and affiliates) has been the pressure arising from, and/or applied by, the various casino/affiliate forums - "bad press" appearing in a Google search, the threat of being "blacklisted", a voluntary "behind closed doors" mediation process, and so forth. (BTW - think back to 2002 and the death of the Online Players Association.)

Time after time it became obvious that this whole mechanism was one leaky boat. The "damage value" of being blacklisted was determined by the casinos themselves - if the casinos didn't care, the damage value was zero. The mediation process had to be "behind closed doors" because (apparently) this was the only way that the casinos would cooperate. Most of the time the only data available for these "secret discussions" was the data that the casinos wanted to disclose (or admit to).

Although all of this was happening "behind closed doors", occasionally the data, the discussion, and the criteria became available to the public. This exposure showed that the parties involved in this mediation process all too frequently did not possess the knowledge (technical or otherwise), the experience, the data, or the criteria to make an accurate decision regarding many of the problems with which they dealt. "Robot users", "pattern bettors", "bonus abusers" all became nothing more than dumping grounds for "we don't want to pay". The "mediation services" transformed into marketing tools.

In my opinion, a "case in point" example is the following forum thread. The ONLY thing that saved this particular player's ass (and their many thousands of Euros) was the PUBLIC presentation of the otherwise "secret data" on another forum, and the PUBLIC exposure that the "secret analysis" of this "secret data" was so completely wrong. In my opinion, every leak in the boat was exposed here.

(My reference example occurred several years ago. In the interim there have been many, far too many, other examples.)

"Player Advocacy" (the Wizard and a few others excluded) wound up becoming a network of people (an "old boys' club") who were making "secret decisions", using "secret data", possessing inadequate knowledge, applying ill-defined criteria - all of this affecting tens of thousands (hundreds of thousands? more?) of player's dollars/euros/pounds. In addition, once the decision exited the "closed back room", that was it. There was no appeal process.

So yes, there was pressure on the casinos, but the casinos exercised 90% of the control over the result of any dispute. In general, there never was a lot of real horsepower in that engine.

Over time, one simply became hardened to the reality that the inmates were running the asylum. Acceptance of mediocrity became the norm. Although publicly ridiculed, the "silent membership" of the "tin foil hat club" began to grow.

When this Betfred/Finsoft/GGC issue first presented itself, and the subsequent data (hard data, clean data, reproducible data) began to really pile up, I became excited at the possibility that one of the "major" online regulatory agencies would finally show some teeth. At that time I simply did not see anywhere for the casino(s), the software provider(s) or the regulatory authority to hide.

I became excited at the possibility that not only would we not have a leaky boat anymore, but that the solution was NOT to patch the leaks but to buy a new boat. I became excited at the possibility of some quantitative, positive, and lasting change happening here. I also considered the ripple effect that would arise as other regulatory organizations began to follow the example. The size of the opportunity for positive change here was, in my experience, unique.

And I don't think that I was alone - I think that a lot of people who had been hardened by the industry's history of failure in dealing with these problems also let down their guard a bit and allowed themselves to become hopeful.

And then ... days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months. Hope faded. What little hope remained was smashed on the rocks by the recent "so bad they do not even rise to the level of wrong" publications of the GGC.

Fundamental change was pushed off even further into the future. Membership in the "tin foil hat club" continues to grow. The expectations of those hardened members of the online community became, if anything, even more hardened. The magnitude of what the software providers, and the casinos, and the regulatory agencies simply got away with here is really stunning.

That, to me, is probably the worst aspect in all of this - a truly unique opportunity for implementing lasting change in the effective management of the online casino industry, an opportunity that does not come along all that often, was completely wasted.

Chris
Caruso
Caruso
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June 17th, 2013 at 4:34:56 PM permalink
It wasn't bad at all. In a sense Eliot is right, though probably not as he intended it: after the earlier days, we had the Closed Shops of the likes of Bailey's marketing-ploy-masquerading-as-mediation-service, with the "regulators" gaining sway throughout that time. Things were better before, when things were splashed all over the place and a degree of rude democracy ruled. As of now, every regulator has been shown to be failed. Players can only be worse off now. This GRA (GGC) fiasco has only highlighted that fact, but it was ever so.
4ofaKind
4ofaKind
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June 20th, 2013 at 7:01:11 PM permalink
I think itís important to recognize the three people listed below that are presently hands on operators in the online gaming field.

The president of Jacobson Gaming is Dr. Eliot Jacobson, who holds a Ph.D. in mathematics. For 25 years, Dr. Jacobson has held positions as professor of mathematics and professor of computer science. With dozens of research articles, publications and media appearances, Dr. Jacobson is widely recognized as one of the world's top experts on casino table games and casino game mathematics.

Christopher Colby President and Chief Technology Officer of Galewind Software.
BS Chemistry, University of Connecticut, 1978

The Wizard of Odds is Michael Shackleford, A.S.A., a professional actuary who has made a career of analyzing casino games.

Their efforts and intentions to better the online gaming community and willingness to put their own reputations and livelihoods on the line for the benefit of everyone involved is unheard of in this rogue online gaming environment.

These men realize how much brighter the future would be if the online gaming business was run similar to the present and proven Las Vegas of today. Instead, itíll remain running similar to the early mob controlled Vegas years. This could only mean that where the money comes from; and since the option exists in the first place, this is exactly how they prefer it

Unfortunately, the online gaming industry needs a country and a government to step in for their piece of the pie, but at least regulate it properly making it one hundred percent safe for the player. For some reason everyone keeps saying this will come with a cost to the player. As long as the play is exactly the same as being in Vegas, and a regulator I could talk to if I have a problem, Iím not sure what the cost complaints would be. Paying taxes on winnings at the end of any given year is a welcome problem I'd look forward to.

Itís now obvious to all that the online regulations that are presently in place are nothing more then a business tax for whatever countries they reside in. One could only now conclude that any regulation enforcement obviously was never intended and whatever that privilege cost the casinos and software companies could only mean itís worth it.

The only reason online casinos have so many different rogue options to utilize, (which covers a lot of ground) always just at their fingertips and get away with it is because the regulators let them.

I understand most governments are corrupt, some worst then others. But, if you bring me Vegas into my house with the same all around safety, I really donít care how it got there.

The biggest disappointment with this recent hope for change disaster was the no voice of Casinomeister. His voice might have helped change this pathetic outcome, but like Caruso said above, heís just operating a ďmarketing-ploy-masquerading-as-mediation-service.Ē These words speak for themselves, along with Casinomeisterís obvious collusion. His actions throughout could only mean that this is how he too prefers the industry to remain. He made it perfectly clear that real regulation enforcement is something he wants no part of.

Like I said over and again, the only hope for real change is the U.K. or the U.S.A. involvement.

These are the unfortunate facts, and the present online gaming fairness case is closed.
teliot
teliot
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June 21st, 2013 at 9:16:52 AM permalink
The sobering point that Chris made is one that saddens me the most -- the expectation that at the very least, Phill Brear and the GRA would conduct a professional investigation and issue a final report that itemized the issues addressed, the information discovered, the culpable parties and the reparations, if any. Instead, we got a diatribe split across several posts that was full of red herrings, arrogant incoherent rambling, thinly-veiled threats and outright incompetence. It was beyond shameful.

The sadness is not that this incident occurred. Lots of these things happen in the Online casino industry. That's why there are rogues and black lists. And, we assumed, that's why there are regulatory agencies. What is particularly sad here is that when given the opportunity to shine, the GRA chose the path usually reserved for scumbag lawyers defending a rape case -- attack the victim and attack anyone who defends the victim.
Caruso
Caruso
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June 21st, 2013 at 11:01:52 AM permalink
Quote: 4ofaKind

The biggest disappointment with this recent hope for change disaster was the no voice of Casinomeister.



I don't think Herr Bailey uttered a single word at the end. From when Phill Brear started issuing his diatribes, I don't think he made one single, solitary comment. I think this was unique in all the commentators - everyone put in some version of their ten cents' worth, save him. When you think about it, it's flabbergasting: what was that "watchdog" stuff about?
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
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June 21st, 2013 at 12:43:45 PM permalink
Quote: 4ofaKind

Their efforts and intentions to better the online gaming community and willingness to put their own reputations and livelihoods on the line for the benefit of everyone involved is unheard of in this rogue online gaming environment.

That "rogue online gaming environment largely consists of those who do not listen to the voices of the honest and hard working in the wilderness.

Quote: 4ofaKind

Instead, itíll remain running similar to the early mob controlled Vegas years.

Whoa, no matter what you say about skimming, leg breaking, blackmail, etc. the one thing the mob always wanted was for the games to be kept honest. The mob just skimmed the money afterwards. Vegas was founded by professional gamblers, they knew that the public soon wises up to rigged games. The public had to have a decent chance to win and occasionally to win really big. The Mob knew that.

Quote: 4ofaKind

Itís now obvious to all that the online regulations that are presently in place are nothing more then a business tax for whatever countries they reside in.

Yes. Rubber Stamps cost money, but rarely too much. But a "rubber stamp" is only a good as the person who accepts that rubber stamp as a valid and potent entity. Most players know the various commissions are mere Rubber Stamps created by the crooks. There are people who may argue about it forever and ever but its obvious when its mere window dressing on the crook's website.
4ofaKind
4ofaKind
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June 22nd, 2013 at 6:28:15 AM permalink
Quote: teliot

The sadness is not that this incident occurred. Lots of these things happen in the Online casino industry. That's why there are rogues and black lists. And, we assumed, that's why there are regulatory agencies.



I disagree with some of your comments in your last post quoted above.

It is pathetically sad that this incident can even still occur after 15 years. Itís also pathetically sad that lots of these things are still happening in the online casino industry, and should be expected and accepted. Then the fact that rogue lists need to exist at all blatantly places this industry at the bottom of a cesspool.

Now that we know for fact that there is no meaningful regulators willing to protect the online players, what now?

Proven and exposed rogue casinos out number the ones that allegedly are good operations or just havenít been caught yet. With that being said, what good did those rogue lists do anyhow after fifteen years? The list is bigger then ever and still growing and all still operating.

Most players donít know where to play and only find out after theyíve been screwed. Then they still have to fear if the recommended casinos they play at donít decide to execute a rogue tactic, since that is always a free option for any present online casino with no fear of any regulation enforcement since itís been confirmed that it donít exist at all.

The present online gaming industry sucks, and will continue to suck. Where else could a business steal billions of dollars from its customers and get away with it for over 15 years and still going strong?

http://wizardofvegas.com/forum/gambling/online/14229-online-casino-options/#post247913
binary128
binary128
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June 22nd, 2013 at 12:54:48 PM permalink
Quote: Caruso

I don't think Herr Bailey uttered a single word at the end. From when Phill Brear started issuing his diatribes, I don't think he made one single, solitary comment. I think this was unique in all the commentators - everyone put in some version of their ten cents' worth, save him. When you think about it, it's flabbergasting: what was that "watchdog" stuff about?


Actually, I found Casinomeister's introduction to the three "posts" from Mr. Brear to be very revealing. The thread started with the heading:

Quote: Casinomeister

Announcement from the GRA concerning Hilo and ReelDeal games


which was followed by Casinomeister's introduction:

Quote: Casinomeister

I've just received the statement from the Gibraltar Gambling Commission concerning the Hilo and ReelDeal games.

Please bear in mind that commenting is to be expected, but members who chose [sic] to turn this into a self-serving forum circus will be dealt with appropriately. I am out this week, but the moderators will be monitoring this for any questions or valid comments. Thanks!


In my opinion he makes it quite clear - "Be careful what you say, because we'll be watching."

Realizing that he has ...

1.) started a discussion thread by first issuing a "warning" (hardly conducive to an actual discussion).

2.) chosen words which imply that the previous, and extremely valuable, thread (which he decided to lock) was "a self-serving forum circus".

... he needs to then use "softer words", words which wind up making absolutely no sense:

Quote: Casinomeister

... the moderators will be monitoring this for any questions or valid comments.


Won't the moderators be monitoring this:

1.) for "members who chose [sic] to turn this into a self-serving forum circus" (whatever that means, especially given the aggressive and threatening content of Mr. Brear's first "post")?

2.) such that these members/posts can be "dealt with appropriately" (again, whatever that means)?

IMO, in total this wonderful introduction by Casinomeister becomes the dictionary definition of a "veiled threat". (I won't go into the continuation of these threats contained within Mr. Brear's document.)



The second post from Mr. Brear was introduced by Casinomeister with the words:

Quote: Casinomeister

As some of you may have guessed, I'm on the road at the moment, but I have been in touch with Mr. Brear. here is a follow up comment that he requested for me to publish.


The part of this introduction which I find the most interesting are the closing words "he requested for me to publish." Clearly Casinomeister uses these words to document the process of distancing himself from Mr. Brear's statement.



The third post from Mr. Brear received the following introduction from Casinomeister:

Quote: Casinomeister

Final Word

Here is a final word from the commissioner. Posted by his request:


1. We are then left to wonder - who decided that this was the "Final Word"?

2. Once again, we have the "distancing words" "Posted by his request".


The fact that there were no posts in this thread from Casinomeister I believe speaks volumes concerning his stance on this entire issue. I believe that Casinomeister actually had quite a bit to say here.

Chris
Caruso
Caruso
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June 22nd, 2013 at 3:31:54 PM permalink
Quote:

The fact that there were no posts in this thread from Casinomeister I believe speaks volumes concerning his stance on this entire issue. I believe that Casinomeister actually had quite a bit to say here.



I don't disagree with the opening comments, but for a minute there I thought I'd miss-clicked onto his forum, reading that latter bit.

I'm not talking about what you can painstakingly infer in his favour from his silence. I'm looking for opinion from self-proclaimed industry leaders. He is perfectly capable of giving a reasonable appraisal without fear of a backlash. The fact that he couldn't muster one sentence of comment speaks volumes. Even my old oppo Jetset stepped up to the plate, to his credit. And everyone else. Mein Host: nada. Not even "I don't agree with Phill Brear's stance". You think Gibraltar's lawyers would have set about confiscating his site on that basis? Million dollar libel suits? Phooey, no chance. Not if he'd even done an actual forensic analysis, like the rest of us.

Your opinion there doesn't stand up to scrutiny. He said nothing, and he did thuswise because he had nothing to say.
binary128
binary128
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June 22nd, 2013 at 4:13:56 PM permalink
Caruso,

What do you infer I am saying with the words - "The fact that there were no posts in this thread from Casinomeister I believe speaks volumes concerning his stance on this entire issue."

Chris

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