Virtual Casino Group - On Probation
Software provider: RTG
The Virtual Casino group casinos:
The Virtual Casino Group...
...infamous by all standards in the online casino industry. During the first decade of Casinomeister, they were our nemesis - the anti-thesis of an Accredited Casino. During the early years, complaints streamed in - some of them being pretty damn awful. There were moments of surreal marketing campaigns and player experiences that bordered on hilarity they were so bizarre. They were the recipients of the Worst Casino Group Award three times, and Cirrus Casino received Worst Casino of the year 2007. They even made an attempt to be removed from the Rogue pit no less than two times - which were failures. That was then - this is now.
Even though this casino group has been in the Rogue pit for more years than I can remember, I have been in direct contact with their General Manager since 2002 and even though we have had differences of opinions at times, we have worked together to square away players who had legitimate complaints. Most complaints were from bad management practices - which in time began to abate, others were from badly written promos or just sloppy customer service. Even though they were in the Rogue section, we made an exception to assist any players who had problems with this casino group. Both Max and I have met up with the GM several times and have been communicative. I can say for the record, there have been two PABs in the past year pertaining to the Virtual Group - both resolved.
And to give credit due when it's warranted, the Virtual group has been adamant on taking care of any past issues. In February 2011, we emailed our entire database of CM members requesting anyone who had any outstanding complaints to come forward. Not only did we send this email out, but so did CAP, and the GPWA. There were only a handful of players that came forward with valid complaints. I should also mention that the Virtual Casino group emailed their entire database as well.
So here we are. I'm placing the Virtual Casino Group on probation. And if they make it through the next six months without a crapload of unresolved complaints, then I will be putting it up for a vote by our forum membership.
If there are any issues, please post them here and you can also contact their casino rep here.
Further Information From Greedy Girl...
For those who may not know me, I'd like to give you a quick bit of background, followed by a rundown of my involvement with Virtual and Ace. I believe it will help answer many of the issues brought to light in this thread.
I've been working in this industry more than 13 years, beginning with my involvement with GoneGambling (GG). I was with GG for 5 ½ years and then moved on to other things, including working with the Club World Group, Casino City and now back managing GG. What I've kept very quiet through the years is my work with various casinos who've suffered from poor decisions, to clean up their acts and move on to a better path. This is the case with Virtual and Ace and to date, my greatest challenge, but one I believe to be the most valuable for the online gambling community.
For many years, I'd been approached by the management of Virtual, asking me to be involved with their company. I declined time after time, not trusting their motives. While in London for the LAC, in January, 2010, I was once again approached and asked to meet with their management team. I reluctantly agreed and sat down for a meeting to discuss their situation. At the time, I had just begun working with Casino City (owned by the same folks as Gambling Portal Webmasters Association…GPWA), so I asked the owner, Michael Corfman to join me for this meeting. In this meeting, it was discussed that Virtual had a real desire to make good on the mis-deeds of the past and they were asking that I help move them forward in this. Initially, I wanted nothing to do with this, but our meeting had me wondering if perhaps they were truly willing to do everything necessary to A) make good to those harmed in the past and B) operate ethically, going forward?
The few weeks following that meeting in London, I was contacted repeatedly by the Virtual/Ace management. It was this sort of persistence that I'd not seen from these folks before. I decided to toy with them a bit, by giving a list of demands-a laundry list of things Virtual would have to agree to do, if I were to become involved. I never believed that they would agree to this list, let alone follow through with everything.
These demands included:
To my surprise, they agreed to all terms and a strategy was put in place to assist in achieving these objectives. Clearly, the greatest challenge would be addressing the unresolved player issues. To this, Marty Davis was selected as the public face for Virtual, responding publicly to any questions. An email campaign was conducted to reach out to the 'dead player' database-those former players who'd not returned to the casinos under the Virtual umbrella. It would be those 'dead players' that would have likely had unresolved issues with the casinos that needed to be reviewed. Virtual invited anyone who felt they'd not had a fair shake with their casinos to voice their situation and have fresh eyes review and resolve these issues. An entire, new department was created at Virtual, whose sole responsibility was to do just this. From all accounts, this department operated in a swift and effective manner and countless claims and unresolved issues were finally, successfully resolved. This resolution process resulted in hundreds of claims being resolved with literally millions of dollars paid out to players.
- Resolving the many unresolved player issues of the past
- Revising their terms and conditions to become fair and transparent
- Allowing the Central Dispute System (CDS) to step in with any unresolved issues, where necessary
- Become responsive in player and affiliate forums
We also addressed the issue of terms and conditions, making things much clearer and fairer for the players. While the fairness of terms and conditions can be subjective (depending on what side you sit on), what IS important is that they be stated clearly. I will be candid-I've not recently had a chance to review the current T&C's for both Ace and Virtual and I will be reviewing these, in short order to ensure everything is as it should be. I can say confidently that both companies are in agreement that the terms and conditions need to be written in complete, transparent terms and this is a priority. When we review the T&C's over the coming days, anything found to be transparent or exaggerated in any way will be corrected, immediately.
It has been keenly important to Virtual and Ace that not only they get on the right track, but also to begin earning trust. Obviously, they needed to complete these first goals (which they have), but also they needed to show a track record. When I first went to my closest friends/industry leaders with the news that I had involved myself with these companies to the extent I had, I was laughed at-no one really believed that these companies would turn 'right' and accomplish these goals. Further, once these goals were realized, would these companies continue to operate in an ethical manner? Bryan Bailey, the Casinomeister himself, was at the top of that list of hard-core skeptics.
After the first two years of Virtual proving to keep their word where my strategy was concerned, Bryan and his right-hand PAB'man, Max, begrudgingly agreed to take any PAB's regarding Virtual. You may recall that for several years, Bryan refused to address any PAB's where the Virtual casinos were concerned. Bryan made the re-opening of Virtual PAB's publicly known and in these past two years, the proof really is in the pudding: Only a handful of PAB's pointing to Virtual brands. Of these, two PAB's involved players trying to pull off scams (yes…shockingly, there ARE seedy players!) and the other few PAB's revolved around processing issues. These processing-related PAB's were made by U.S. players, and were not unlike any other U.S.-facing casino processing issues-these issues were quickly resolved. Beyond that, I believe you'd be hard-pressed to find any meaningful complaint involving fair treatment of players with the Ace and Virtual brands.
To further buttress this, Ace and Virtual have now been embraced by many affiliates who quite publicly attacked these brands in the past. It is a 180-degree turn-around in thinking, brought on by these two companies very real commitment to change and the actions to make those changes happen.
I know that both Ace and Virtual will be making themselves available to speak to any concerns you may have. In addition to this, they will be re-opening their resolution department to anyone who may still have unresolved issues. For issues involving the Gambling Wages brands, please contact: email@example.com For issues involving the Ace brands, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I realize this has been an exceptionally long read and I appreciate anyone managing to get through it. I also realize that there will be many who will still be critical and skeptical-it's perfectly understandable. I'd just like to ask that you look at this OBJECTIVELY, with an eye placed on these past few years. I believe if you do, you'll understand that this has been a tremendous effort and turn-around in management thinking and operating by these companies.
Debbee Silverman, aka 'greedygirl'
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