Online casino portals have been deemed the current "cash cows" of the Internet. They are herded into the webmaster's cyber coral and happily slaughtered. Unfortunately, too many online casino marketers, promoters, and online casino portal webmasters are attracted to these "cows" simply for the money, no matter what the cost. They promote the wrong casinos for the wrong reasons, and this is not a good thing.
It is a sad truth: the online casino industry is unregulated and full of crooks. Fortunately for webmasters, most of the crooked casinos don't have a high profile except for the publicity that they receive from some of the leading player message boards and forums.
Do Your Homework:
Check the pulse of the industry by visiting a few of the popular online casino message boards:
Affiliate Guard Dog
Lurk for a while and see who is complaining about whom or what. Online gamblers are quick to point out who the rip-offs are, but sometimes have a knee-jerk reaction to bad experiences. Sometimes a shill or two will appear. Take all comments with a grain of salt, and when in doubt, take a look at who the webmasters are promoting. Some of these portals will have their advertising criteria posted. Shoot the webmasters an email for their recommendations. Most of these webmasters are helpful, frank, and honest.
Look at the casino website with "player" eyes. Would you play there? Does the casino give a fair amount of information concerning who they are, and whom to contact if you have a problem? Download the software and give it a test drive (most online casinos have a "play for free" mode). Call the customer support's toll free number (what, no number? move on) with some bogus problem to see how they react. Once I called a Microgaming casino and explained I was color blind and couldn't tell the difference between red and black in the roulette game. The CSR actually took the time out to describe the number and color of each position. Thumbs up for these guys. And the important thing is, you want to experience what your referred players experience.
With whom or what does the casino associate themselves? You can get a good feel for this by checking out the logos that are flapping in the breeze on their main page. The bare minimum would be links to their software provider, licensing entity, and ecash provider. If a casino doesn't state somewhere on their website who their software provider is, perhaps they are being secretive for a reason. Bear in mind, there are a number of very good casinos that develop their own software which is not available for licensing (proprietary), and they will normally state this. Logos that are linked to third party "watchdog" organizations should be checked out. Go back to some of the message boards and see what has been posted about any experience players have had with some of the organizations. There are a number of fake "watchdog" sites that have been set up by groups of casinos. In a nutshell, beware of sites that provide disinformation.
Ethical Concerns of Portal Operators
Well why should you care? What's the big deal by throwing a few banners up on a website and promoting whomever? Because it is wrong. Webmasters must be accountable and responsible towards their referred players. That's the crux of the matter: accountability and responsibility.
This industry is more or less unregulated
You are the information provider
You should strive on building a good relationship between you and the player
Trust is a must
Don't be blinded by affiliated greed.
The bottom line for most people in this industry is to make money = profit. But when failure or scandal occurs, it’s usually the result of a profit driven philosophy. The bottom line should be "the player". Without the player there is no industry. Focus on the player (not the profits) the profits will come.
Since affiliates or portal operators refer players to these operations (good or bad), there is a certain level of responsibility that portal operators must assume.
Safety – they need to know that their private information is private
Dependability – they need to know that the casino operation will be there tomorrow.
Honesty – the casino needs to do as they say and not use deception to attract players.
Fairness – games are fair, promotions are fair, terms and conditions are clear, and when there are problems…the outcome is fair.
Players Can Be Problematic. If you receive player complaints, bear in mind that player fraud is rampant.
Treat any posting in message boards with a grain of salt. Many posters are attempting to blackmail casinos. Be careful who you align yourself with. When in doubt, feel free to ask me for assistance.