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An Open Letter to Casino Operators and Software Providers

Discussion in 'Online Casinos' started by SlotsWizard, Jul 24, 2007.

    Jul 24, 2007
  1. SlotsWizard

    SlotsWizard Dormant account webmeister

    Occupation:
    I currently work for the Wizard of Odds
    Location:
    North of Antarctica
    Okay, so it's not really a letter, but I decided to put together a list of things I love, things I hate, and things I would like to see, when it comes to gambling online.


    CHAPTER 1: CASINO SOFTWARE


    1. Full Screen Mode - Make the option available, but do not make full screen mode the default option after installation. It's a pain in the neck having to wait for it to switch screen sizes and dink around (slowly, because it's loading and doing other things), only to have to switch it back.


    2. Sound - When I select "No Sound", I actually want NO SOUND! Several software brands (including Microgaming) still play sounds even when the sound option is turned off.


    3. Casino-launch and game-launch movies - I see you put a lot of work into them and they're real cute and all, but could you either eliminate them or add an option to disable them? I don't like waiting the extra 30 seconds it takes to load the movie before loading the casino lobby or game.


    4. Gratuitous win sounds and congratulatory messages - Please do not make a gigantic fanfare which would be better suited for a jackpot win, on pathetically small wins. I could also live without the "WHAT A FANTASTIC SPIN!" messages at the top when I hit three 9s. Did you know that these are actually considered insulting on small wins? On the flipside, however, I prefer these types of things on large wins for 3 reasons: (1) to have enough time to realize what I just won, (2) to prolong the glory of having hit a large win, and (3) to delay the game (if AutoPlay is on or if I'm click-happy) so that I can take a screenshot.


    5. Bonuses, wagering requirements, restricted games - Just make the software force the player to comply with the terms and conditions of the bonus they are playing. You and I both know that it can be done with a little extra programming. Just think of all the time and headaches you would save for yourselves, your customers, casino watchdogs, gambling community members, etc. It would also be nice to see the remaining wagering requirement in smaller (but legible) print below the balance itself.


    CHAPTER 2: CUSTOMER SERVICE


    1. 24/7 Support - If you accept deposits and wagers at 2:54 AM on a Sunday night/Monday morning your local time, you should also have staff available to help your customers. This should go without saying if you have customers spread across multiple time zones.


    2. Read the entire email - Don't stop reading a customer's email as soon as you have pieced together the first part of what they are talking about, and then reply only to that part without reading the rest. In situations where a customer is replying to another staff member, forward the email to the original staff member if possible; otherwise, read the chain of emails - from the bottom up - in their entirety so that you can grasp what is going on before you reply to the customer.


    3. Live chat - Always a plus. It's better than email, and your chat software should be programmed to automatically email the customer the transcript when the chat is finished. Don't ask them if they want it emailed to them, just send it - and keep it on record with their account so they can access it from the web site at a later date too.


    CHAPTER 3: BANKING


    1. Reverse withdrawals - Let the player choose whether or not to have a reverse-withdrawal period, and if so, how long (1 - 24 hours only). Again, with a little programming effort, you can retain a lot of loyal customers that way.


    2. Forward withdrawals - Pick up the pace. Deposits are instant. While most withdrawal methods cannot possibly be instant, they can certainly be processed quicker. Several casinos have met the ideal threshold, but there are still others that just don't seem to get it.


    3. Transaction history - I can't think of any casino that doesn't offer this, but the banking history functionality is limited in most software brands. A search feature should be made available using date, time, method and amount. Ideally, the user should be able to access any and all transaction records - even if they go back 11 years or more.


    CHAPTER 4: KEEPING TABS


    1. Problem gambling - A link to Gamblers Anonymous and the occasional small donation to a charity does nothing to help problem gamblers. When I got a little carried away and blew my $20,000 in winnings several months ago - at an eCogra casino - I didn't even receive an email saying "Thanks for giving it all back." I consider myself lucky because I learned a VERY valuable lesson and moved on, but I worry about those who could be getting themselves into a lot of trouble while the casinos they are supporting do nothing to stop or help them. A claim of being aware of and helpful to problem gamblers should be backed up with a little action - even if it's just an email saying "Are you okay?". Yes, everything is ultimately the player's responsibility, but for all the casinos who claim to have state-of-the-art controls in place to detect and prevent problem gambling, where is the proof of these controls in action?


    2. Game payouts - All casinos should have these, for every game category, updated on a monthly basis. I understand the reports will take quite a while to run, but it's good information for your current and future players.


    3. Win/Loss statements - Either a monthly email or an option in the software/web site should allow the user to see their net win/loss for any given time period.


    4. Game logs - Should always be accessible from within the software/web site, and available in more than one format. Excel, text and CSV formats should be made available, in a summary or detail level.
     
    42 people like this.
  2. Jul 24, 2007
  3. Christoff

    Christoff Experienced Member

    Occupation:
    Media Auditor
    Location:
    Spain
    Fantastic post - if only operators read this!

    Another point to add is that casino operators need to be very transparent regarding their bonus terms & conditions.

    Many of them are confusing and should be written for the player, not for mathematical geniuses
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Jul 24, 2007
  5. Pinababy69

    Pinababy69 RIP Lisa

    Occupation:
    Crusader
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario - Canada
    SJ, I am so glad you brought this up. Ever since that thread with LetItRide a couple months back, this issue has been on my mind. And I have done "some" digging into it, albeit not alot.

    I'm not feeling 100% right this second Slots, but when I get back up to snuff, we should talk about this. I think that it concerns you just as much as it does me.....and maybe together we can shed some light on the subject. I think we first met back on the JPF stuff last year. God help them if two Tauruses take up the cause.....ha!! :thumbsup: :laugh:
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Jul 24, 2007
  7. Palace Group

    Palace Group Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Customer Support
    Location:
    Online
    Good post

    Hi,

    Great post.
    I'll go through these points as the feedback is awesome.

    Will try post in a few days with an update.

    Regards,

    The Palace Group
     
    7 people like this.
  8. Jul 24, 2007
  9. Casinomeister

    Casinomeister Forum Cheermeister Staff Member

    Occupation:
    Homemaker
    Location:
    Bierland
    They do.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Jul 24, 2007
  11. Simmo!

    Simmo! Moderator Staff Member

    Occupation:
    Web Dev.
    Location:
    England
    Nice one SJ - totally agree.

    Smaller downloads (or shared game directories) from certain operators would be nice too ;)

    And I totally agree aboutthe Reverse Pending time :thumbsup:
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. Jul 24, 2007
  13. Christoff

    Christoff Experienced Member

    Occupation:
    Media Auditor
    Location:
    Spain
    and acted on it I forgot to add :)
     
  14. Jul 24, 2007
  15. SlotMonster

    SlotMonster SoftSwiss Representative webmeister

    Occupation:
    Manager
    Location:
    Somewhere in eternity
    Wow! I'm so impressed!

    This is the best complain to casinos I ever heard! :D
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. Jul 24, 2007
  17. Mousey

    Mousey Ueber Meister Mouse CAG

    Occupation:
    Pencil Pusher
    Location:
    Up$hitCreek
    Excellent!!

    The only thing I could add to the wishlist is that downloading all casino games not happen automatically (MG) -- for the the software to be set up so the player can choose whether they want a particular game(s) on his/her computer.
     
    4 people like this.
  18. Jul 24, 2007
  19. PurpleZelda

    PurpleZelda Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Marketing Assistant
    Location:
    London
    Thanks SlotsJunkie - a very useful and comprehensive list of comments and suggestions. It's always good to hear players views - we operators do read what players have to say. I will be taking your suggestions to my team meeting tomorrow for everyone to look at and discuss...
     
    4 people like this.
  20. Jul 24, 2007
  21. SlotMonster

    SlotMonster SoftSwiss Representative webmeister

    Occupation:
    Manager
    Location:
    Somewhere in eternity
    Please keep us informed about your meeting minutes! :thumbsup:
     
    1 person likes this.
  22. Jul 24, 2007
  23. RobRival

    RobRival Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Technical Support
    Location:
    Canada
    Speaking to the software, as that's my dept.

    1) This is a matter of preference for the player. I personally prefer full screen myself. Maybe a poll on this could shed more light?

    2) I hear ya. Rival software does turn off all sound when "no sound" is selected.

    3) Exactly! Why don't all movies have a skip button? (Ours do.)

    4) I can't say anything on this right now. I really want to. But I can't. :)

    5) A lot of casinos make money off of crazy, hard to understand bonuses. Some of them probably would like to make it easier for the player, but the software provider can't keep up or it's not technically feasible. It's my opinion Rival makes playing with (or without) bonuses the easiest. (All but one operator uses the Rival Powered cashier which provides this functionality.) Restricted games have bet limits modified. All the terms are shown up front when claiming the bonus.

    As for the rest of your comments, I've forwarded this thread to the operators. I like the idea of enhanced player game logs and reports, and that's something Rival could definitely offer. I'll take it up at the next team meeting.

    Cheers

    Rob
    Rival Technical Support


     
    8 people like this.
  24. Jul 24, 2007
  25. Addisyn

    Addisyn Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Underground Sewer Access
    Great post SlotsJunkie! I concur with all your points.

    If you are taking a poll about widescreen versus small screen. I vote for small.
     
    1 person likes this.
  26. Jul 24, 2007
  27. SlotsWizard

    SlotsWizard Dormant account webmeister

    Occupation:
    I currently work for the Wizard of Odds
    Location:
    North of Antarctica
    Thanks for the feedback Rob. And it is true that the Rival software does respect the sound settings.

    My issue with the pre-game movies isn't resolved with a Skip button (you can skip the movies at MG as well). It's the extra resources used by loading and playing the movie in the first place. I'd rather the slot game play a little faster because it didn't load the movie.

    While Rival's movies are less resource-intensive than MG's, the games are resource hogs and run slow to begin with. MG slots are very fast. Basically, the pros and cons of both brands cancel each other out, leaving them in the same boat... a lobby option to disable the movies altogether would be better than the ability to skip them after they have loaded and started playing. :thumbsup:
     
    1 person likes this.
  28. Jul 24, 2007
  29. blaqpoet

    blaqpoet Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Software Engineer
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    Great and 'on point' suggestions there SlotsJunkie :thumbsup:
     
    1 person likes this.
  30. Jul 24, 2007
  31. aka23

    aka23 Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Technical
    Location:
    Planet Earth
    It is a good that you are looking into SlotJunkie's quality suggestions to casino operators. However, I disagree with you about Rival offering the easiest bonuses. My biggest problem with Rival bonuses is that the terms often aren't listed on websites. And it has been my experience that support reps may give incorrect information about the missing game wagering information in live chats. For example, the home page at You must register/login in order to see the link. lists a $350 welcome bonus. If you click on promotion terms and conditions, there is no mention of wagering requirements or game restrictions for this bonus. When I asked a live support rep about wagering terms today, he gave different numbers than is listed in the cashier when I log in. Perhaps different players/countries have different wagering requirements? I think it would make things clearer, if the bonus wagering requirements and game restrictions were listed in writing on the website.

    Having said that, I am quite impressed with Rival listing the expected payout of all their games in the corresponding help files. This is an excellent addition that I wish other softwares would also make. I also like how Rival has improved the payout of several table games by modifying rules and/or paytables from the standard.
     
    2 people like this.
  32. Jul 24, 2007
  33. RobRival

    RobRival Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Technical Support
    Location:
    Canada
    Hi, I'll let the managers know. The support staff should refer players to the casino cashier, or get the player's account information to access the relevant promotion. Rival maintains the information in a database which isn't accessible by the operator. This prevents changes, and allows the terms to be displayed for each user. Yes, terms may vary depending on factors such as the player's country. (Some operators choose to increase wagering for certain countries). Having this information in one localized area means it's always the same, and it's always consistent (vs players having to track down terms on various parts of the website). We think it's worth the trade-offs having the player log into the cashier to get the info.

    Thanks for your comments!

    Rob
     
  34. Jul 24, 2007
  35. ace4suited

    ace4suited Dormant account

    Occupation:
    various
    Location:
    scotland
    I am really pleased with the interest that this thread has received. I do think that some of the things are as they are because ultimately, however frustrating it is for players they are that way because it is profitable for casinos to have it that way (confusing bonus terms, reverse withdrawls etc).

    There does however seem to be a unique oppertunity Slots wise for a software provider to focus their promotions not on bonus incentives (which will either draw in abusers, be a loss leader for the site or ultimately look no different to the casual reader than the terrible and useless bonuses that some unscrupulace sites use.) but rather on offering best odds and lowest house edge to the player.

    I really enjoy quite a lot of slot games (not the very basic ones but ones with decent graphics, variety and bonus games) but without bonuses the often huge house edge eats into profits. Having a House edge off 0.01 or less (on a $1 bet) could still be profitable, could avoid all need for welcome and retention bonuses and would truely set one site from all the rest.
     
  36. Jul 25, 2007
  37. winbig

    winbig Keep winning this amount.

    Occupation:
    Bum
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I have to add an item here, and that's the "bug" in MG software that eats away at your processor until it's using 100% of it, if you play for awhile.

    This "bug" has been around for well over a year, and they never address it.
     
  38. Jul 25, 2007
  39. KasinoKing

    KasinoKing WebMeister & Slotaholic.. CAG MM PABnonaccred webmeister

    Occupation:
    House-Husband and Casino Advisor
    Location:
    Bexhill on sea, England
    Just my 2c on your first 3 points:

    "1. Full Screen Mode - Make the option available, but do not make full screen mode the default option after installation."

    I'm pretty sure all of the casinos I have downloaded this year have defaulted to 'windowed mode' - certainly all MG's have.
    It was a pain before, but they seem to have changed this. (Or is it casino-specific?)


    "2. Sound - When I select "No Sound", I actually want NO SOUND! Several software brands (including Microgaming) still play sounds even when the sound option is turned off."

    A matter of personal preference I know - but I love the sounds! There's only a few MG slots where I turn off the 'background' sound, which can get irritating after a while. But you can turn off everything if you want, can't you?


    "3. Casino-launch and game-launch movies - I see you put a lot of work into them and they're real cute and all, but could you either eliminate them or add an option to disable them? I don't like waiting the extra 30 seconds it takes to load the movie before loading the casino lobby or game."

    They can be skipped, so no problem for me.


    The rest of your excellent post I 100% agree with, especially:-

    "4. Gratuitous win sounds and congratulatory messages"

    I was playing Witches Wealth yesterday, and had several crap bonus rounds ending in "Well Done! (you won 7/8 of the cost of your spin!)" :mad:


    Absolutely the best point you made! :notworthy


    If Crypto can do it - why can't all the other softwares...
    They can, but obviously they don't want to. What are they trying to hide???


    Great post SJ! :thumbsup: :cool:
     
    1 person likes this.

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