Casinomeister's Forum - Our Amazing Community
When I left the Army, I went on a number of career paths one of which brought me to the Internet. I remember the old BBS days (circa ‘93 – ‘96) – how you could communicate with people in the next State over – sometimes even from Canada. Some of these cool BBSs were named “The Coffee Room” a black screen with different colored text – no graphics because there just weren’t any. Yep, the beginnings of a real World Wide Web.
When I launched Casinomeister in June 1998, I didn't have a clue about anything concerning online gambling. I was a webmaster, an English teacher, and someone who thought that the Internet was an amazing place that was full of potential that would connect people. I knew that the magic of the Internet was to connect people. And this was truly needed for Casinomeister because I didn’t know much about gambling online. I would use the forum to gather information.
So that's what I did - I used html script - like your old time "sign our guestbook' sort of thing. And voila – we had a forum – and amazingly enough people started joining and began to post.
I began to hone my webmaster skills and actually began to brand the site with a logo and images that meany of our members began to become familiar with.
We ran this forum until 2003 when it was hacked for the first time. So we switched to vBulletin in December 2003 – it was then that it began to take off. We had a few hundred members, and on a good day about 40 people would log in.
As time went by, the forum grew – and grew. We were creating an awesome community – and one way this was happening is via our policy of respecting one another. The early days of online gambling was full of nut cases (many from the States and “down unda”), who were able to go apeshit in our competitor forums. People began to tire of the unneeded troll stress and began to understand that Casinomeister’s forum was about sharing information and solving problems.
One thing that set our forum apart from the others was our iGaming Representative community. There were many of these folks who were sharing profound information on how games work, the inner workings of slots – both online and offline, the nuances of player issues, how to properly market casinos – do’s and don’ts for affiliates. Amazing stuff, and our membership truly evolved into a forum that is taken seriously by the entire industry.
And many of us have become like family. Our forum has brought people together – MatchMeister – people have met and gotten married, and I’m sure there have been a number of trysts that have gone unmentioned. But that’s cool. Each year we get together in London for the Meister Meeting. It is always held at an Irish Pub – and we eat and drink and are merry. We have done this since 2007, and all members are invited. It’s that simple.
Explanation about sections
The forum is massive – there are nearly 800,000 posts in 68,000 public threads. The quality of the subject matter cannot be rivalled anywhere in any online gambling forum. And since we have a diverse audience, we have a number of active sections of the forum.
Information & New Members Area
Section where we make announcements about our forum, receive feedback from members, and new members can introduce themselves. We also announce our webcasts, and charities.
Announcements and News
Casinomeister Warnings and Casinomeister News is posted here.
This is our most popular section where people discuss online casinos and slots. We also post industry news here as well as online poker issues.
There is also a spot for online casino promotions and exclusive promos for our members only.
This is the forum for our members who are collecting information about online casinos that we use in our reviews and other reports.
The Amazing World of Online Live Casinos
This is one of the newer forums that is focused primarily on Live Games. It’s a new revolution in online gaming thanks to proper streaming.
Online Casino and Poker Complaints
Yay! Train-wreck city! This is where our members post their complaints. Many of these are solved there on the spot – others are escalated to our PAB system. And sometimes it's just a bash fest for the rogues.
A place for our Swedish cousins.
This is where our members can post their videos – game related, poker related, live gambling, dance contests, and more!
Land Based Casinos
This is the section that covers player experiences in land based casinos – North American, European, Asian casinos.
Bingo and Skill Games
Not so popular. Warning - yawnfest.
And our sports fans have a home away from home.
Probably one of the most popular sections – screenshots. Winner screenshots, screenshots that suck, screenshots for low rollers, high rollers and everything in between.
Here you can ask me anything you want.
This is our section for webmasters and affiliates. Marketing issues, content thieves and evil affiliates, marketing questions, SEO and all sorts of web-masterly stuff.
The Meister's Attic
All the goofy stuff that goes on (and some serious) that doesn’t pertain to anything above. Computer geek communications, political rants, jokes, Happy Birthday wishes, and other meanderings.
We have many, many music fans. Myself included. Concerts and bands, music videos, etc.
If you want to quit gambling but not quit the website, here you can still choose to be a part of the forum. People who join this user group can only see this section and the non-gambling sections like the Attic and Music sections etc. There is advice on how to quit, or just cut down a bit.
Here you can post help wanted ads or things you want to sell (like domain names).
Ye Old Archives
These are the archives going back to the very early days of this forum. Enter at your own risk.
When you first sign up to our forum - you become a Newbie member. Newbie members are allowed to post just about everywhere and have pretty much full access to the site. But a newbie is a newbie - newbie accounts have many limitations.
Once you have been a member for at least 90 days and have made over 50 posts (or have more than 50 reputation points), your account is promoted to Full Member.
Full membership allows you to join our secondary groups (like Meister Minions, or Webmeister - which will be explained later). Also many casinos offer their promotions to only Full members or above. So in this sense it pays to be active.
Once a Full member has been a member for a year and has either 200 reputation points or 100 posts, the account is promoted to "Experienced". You are showing us your dedication to the site and you will have a few more permissions.
Then there are our Senior Members - these members have 1000 reputation points or 500 posts and have been registered for at least two years. These members receive special promotions as well - some really awesome ones - ad of course you have more privileges in the forum.
Meister Member: these members are exalted since they have "meister" in their user group name. These members have at least 5000 reputation points or 1000 posts and have been active in our forum for at least four years. Meister Members are meisterly awesome.
And then once a member has been registered for seven years, has over 5000 reputation points or 1000 posts - one becomes an "Über Meister Member". Über Meister members are über alles - they are above all and are given the most privileges outside of being a moderator. They are also automatically invited into our Casinomeister Advisory Group (or CAG for short) who are the ones who vote on the Best Casinos of the year, are used to review new functions of the site, and who are consulted for a number of issues that involve the website.
Additional User Groups:
Meister Minions: Meister Minions are those members who volunteer to gather information about the casinos listed at Casinomeister. Payout times, withdrawal methods, terms and condition discrepancies, and other things used to rate casinos listed on the site - they in sense are our secret shoppers. Meister Minions receive perks like Amazon gift certificates, and other prize drawings like for tickets to the Oktoberfest in Munich. It pays to be a Meister Minion. This is for Full membership and above.
Webby: - anyone can join this user group. This is for those persons who are interested in webmaster topics and want to participate in our Webmaster Corner - a place for our webmaster members to share information. You can join this group in your profile under Group Permissions.
Webmeister: this is for Full Members and above. Webmeister's have access to the webmaster corner and can use URLs in their signature. They have to abide by the Casinomeister Affiliate Policies (will not promote casinos listed in Rogue section, etc.). This is a user group that you need to request to join.
Casinomeister Advisory Group: this is a group of about 35 or so members who are either Über Meister members or who have shown their aptitude and dedication to the Casinomeister website to be brought in as an advisor. They are the members who vote on the best casinos of the year, who are consulted when we are changing something on the websites, or asked for advice when it comes to a number of very important issues. They are also used to beta test casinos on occasion.
iGaming Representatives fall into several categories. iGaming Rep (CEOs, product managers, player managers, software developers, etc.), Accredited Casino reps (there are our representatives for the Accredited Casinos), and Affiliate Managers for Accredited Casinos, and then just your normal day-to-day Affiliate managers.
Quit Gambling: sometimes people have just have had enough of gambling - they want to quit the activity, but don't want to quit the community. One can join this user group and you will only have access to the non-gambling sections (like the attic, video sections, and other non-gambling forums).