Guess what? There are still some dweebs out there in cyberland that believe that spam is an effective marketing tool. It's laughable but true. And what is even more astonishing is that there still are online casinos that condone this activity. Why? Because in most cases they define spam differently than most of us do.
(1) the recipient's personal identity and context are irrelevant because the message is equally applicable to many other potential recipients;
(2) the recipient has not verifiably granted deliberate, explicit, and still-revocable permission for it to be sent.
Spam is an issue about consent, not content. Whether the UBE (Unsolicited Bulk Email) message is an advert, a scam, porn, a begging letter or an offer of a free lunch, the content is irrelevant - if the message was sent unsolicited and in bulk then the message is spam.
So in short, the argument that if there is a "unsubscribe" link in the message, then it is not spam is false. People subscribe to magazines, or to newsletters. It's called a subscription. No one (at least no one I know) subscribes to spam listings. The "subscribe" term is a misnomer, thus it should not be applied to spam mails. "Unsubscribing" is irrelevant.
The CAN-SPAM ACT is nothing but a license to spam. Casinos who rely on this policy are doing the entire industry a disfavor. For one thing, this act is a US act, it has nothing to do with Europe, Asia, Africa, or any other place besides the US. To rely on this is pure laziness on the casino's part. Also, the CAN-SPAM Act is exactly that - spammers are allowed to spam unsolicited bulk email addresses. They CAN SPAM.
What really irks me, is that responsible webmasters pay for these a-hole spammer tactics. My newsletter is reaching less people because of this. Even though I use a third party for sending this out (topica.com), it gets blocked by many servers - including my own. That's right, I don't even receive my own newsletter.
Before signing up at a casino, open a Hotmail or other "free" email account and name it firstname.lastname@example.org (or something to this effect). When you start receiving spam - you know who has sold your email address. If you post on message boards, do not post your email address. Your email address will be harvested - that's guaranteed.
Note to Casino Marketers and Affiliate Managers
Abide by the spam definitions presented by SpamHaus.org and NOT by the US CAN-SPAM Act. Produce a concise and exact anti-spam policy and ensure your affiliates obey its rules. Be vigilant in dealing with affiliates who spam. Spam not only damages your client's reputation, it damages the image of this industry as a whole. Do not be lured into a notion of making a quick and easy buck. Players hate spam. Responsible webmasters abhor it. US lawmakers relish it. And with enough complaints, your servers will be shut down.
Email marketing should only be allowed by webmasters who have "Closed-Loop Opt-In" mailing lists. In other words, the recipient has verifiably confirmed permission for the address to be included on the webmaster's mailing list. "Opt-In", "Double-opt-in", etc., is spammer speak for email lists of people who have not opted-out, therefore they are "opt-in." This is spam. Don't do it. More information here.
What can be done?
As a spam recipient, please do the following: DO NOT IGNORE THE SPAM - INSTEAD, COMPLAIN ABOUT IT! Do not click the "unsubscribe" link. This will only confirm that your email address is functional and you will (in most cases) receive more spam. Contact your ISP. Most ISPs have instructions on how to report spam to them. Send them the full header of the spam mail. Your ISP should be able to take care of submitting abuse complaints to Spamcop.net and other online spam reporting groups. Please bear in mind, most online casino spam is sent by evil or misguided affiliates, and their affiliate managers need to know about it.
Report the spam to the appropriate affiliate manager. In most cases, affiliate managers will nip this in the bud and either chastise or cancel the affiliate's account. DO NOT PATRONIZE CASINOS THAT CONTINUE TO SPAM. This is serious stuff and casinos need to be sent a message that using spam as a marketing technique is unacceptable.
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