An Open Letter to Michael Staw - CEO of Realtimegaming


Forum Cheermeister
Staff member
Jun 30, 1998
This was sent to Michael Staw earlier this evening:

Dear Michael,

It's been a while since we last exchanged any emails, and perhaps we should have been more communicative over the past several months. As you are probably well aware, players come to me when they are having difficulties with online casinos. Since our meeting last October in Vegas, I have been anticipating the changes that I was hoping to see concerning the behavior and attitude of your licensees, and I have been anticipating the commitment to player interests that were reflected in our discussions. I have not seen these changes, and it seems it's getting worse, a lot worse.

To refresh your memory, you mentioned a number of things pertaining to the conduct of your licensees and what role RTG was presumably going to take. Specifically to handle disputes via a dedicated service page. This page has become a running joke amongst frustrated players since they rarely receive a response from anyone in "disputes". So in other words, this isn't happening. You also mentioned that all Danish players were paid their deposits back from the Vegas Strip casinos. I still have record of some that have still not been paid. And you also discussed how your licensees would be more sensitive to player issues. I was very pleased with our meeting, but looking back I feel I was lied to.

Since then, I have been receiving more than an acceptable amount of complaints that concern RTG casinos. Other software providers have had their share of problems with licensees who screw up, but they (the rogue licensees) are straightened up right away. If I have a problem with a Microgaming, Boss Media, or Playtech casino, these issues are dealt with in a swift and professional manner (in most cases). When I receive a complaint concerning an RTG casino (which is sometimes as many as three per day), I have either referred them to your disputes page, or have handled it myself. In many cases, the responses from RTG casinos have the arrogant language of "case closed - we will not respond", or from some CS rep struggling with pidgin English.

I hope you don't live in a vacuum and aren't privy to a number of issues that I've had with RTG casinos in the past. Besides Vegas Strip, some of the cases concern the Virtual Casino Group (who were awarded worst casino group of 2002 at Casinomeister), the actions of Windows Casino's licensees (Egaming Commission, OCMA, etc.) Safebet, and now the Angelciti Group. I could go on, but that's not the intention of this email. These are all documented at Casinomeister.

My intention is to bring your attention to the actions of Angelciti's George Gutierres. If you recall, there was a player who had won approximately $28,000 at Welcome to Our Casino via three Royal Flushes. She was told to "go play your tricks at someone else's casino. Your account with us is permanently closed." Yet she received a message from RTG via Mike Craig at the OPA that "The underlying issue is that WTOC was relatively new when the player hit 3 royal flushes in a short period of time. They were concerned that there may have been a bug in the software that allowed the player to manipulate the results. However, I am relatively sure that this is not the case." This was in November.

She contacted me a couple of weeks ago, stating that she hadn't heard of anything since then. I wrote George when I received it, yet it wasn't until last night that I received the message "She purportedly received 3 Royal Flushes over the course of 7,591 games of Double Jackpot Poker and Double Bonus Poker. It strains the odds and belief that a person could get that many Royal Flushes in such a short period of time. She was paid out $4,000 on a $50 deposit during the term of her play. Upon the occurrence of the 3rd Royal Flush we closed her account due to suspicions of foul play."

So in other words, George still feels that either your software is buggy, or that she manipulated the play somehow. Regardless, he is making this decision on a hunch and not by any certain facts. As you would probably agree, this doesn't cut it in this industry.

I've placed the entire Angelciti Group in Casinomeister's rogue section and you should read what I have to say.

I am also considering asking all of my members and visitors to boycott all RTG powered casinos until a considerable change is undertaken. This would be unfortunate, since I only have recently taken Crown Vegas Casino as a sponsor at Casinomeister. But as everyone knows, I am not motivated by money; I am motivated by what I feel is right.

I will also be in Toronto in May if you feel you want to discus any of these issues in depth.

Best Regards,


That letter was excellent and brilliantly written. If Straw doesn't get the full picture of what is actually going on at these rogue RTG casinos, there should be a boycott as you so succently put it. As a member of this forum, I am behind you 100% in a protest of all of Straw's casinos and affliates. It is about time players take a stand not to tolerate the practices of these rogue casinos when we use our hard earn money for entertainment or recreation while the players are being mistreated and not paid their winnings. If the actions of Casino affliates of Mr. Straw do continue and no form of protest, action or sanction is taken, other faudulent and rogue casinos will follow the same practices knowing that nothing will be done in these situations. Bryan, I wish you the best and I hope you are successful in resolving the problems with Mr. Straw for us players and know that you do have our full support.
2 days & no reply?

Write Spearmaster & he answers within 24 hours every time.

It is a simple process.
Patience is a virtue...the email was sent on Saturday. I would not be expecting Mr. Staw to be reading work related emails on a weekend (I rarely do). And being Monday, there are probably a pile to get through before mine. I seriously wouldn't expect an answer for another day or two.

But it has been posted here so everyone (players as well as casino operators) can see where I am coming from.
"I'm stewing on it, deciding what course to take"

Uh oh, sounds like you didn't get the response you were looking for Bryan.

Is a call for a boycott of RTG near?
Today's newsletter covers most it.

To summarize the response: not much has happened since our meeting in October 2002.

I've been talking with them over the phone and certain actions are being taken against some of their operators. They know me and want my input.

Presently, I am calling for everyone to not patronize the casinos listed in my rogue section, or that fall into this catagory:

Virtual Group

Angelciti Group>,

Vegas Strip Group

Windows Casino

Any Safebet Casinos

Any Egamingcommission Casinos

I will also refuse to handle or negotiate any more casino complaints concerning RTG powered casinos.

I will be proactive in discouraging the promotion of RTG casinos. Namely the groups listed above.

I will also provide consistant coverage of these activities via my contacts throughout the industry and press.

I'll be meeting with some of the RTG executives in Toronto next month, and hopefully by then there will be a noticeable change in the way their operators operate.
Wouldn't it have been easier to list the ones we should patronize? ;)

Are there any left that aren't in the 'you suck' category?

I agree with all that you have said and will not be patronizing any RTG casinos until they are off of your blacklist.

I had a "pitch a bitch" that I had sent to you prior to your cutting off all RTG negotiations. Are you still planning on looking at them (not that I was holding my breath) or should I (we) prepare other options? I had been holding back at dragging this particular casino through the mud as I had not heard many specific problems other than that they were RTG. If you aren't looking at the older RTG complaints then I guess the gloves are off.

Hi hip hop,

I'll take a looksee and determine if I can help. Obviously there are a few outstanding cases; I won't just drop them and I'll take a look at those recently submitted. But no new ones will be accepted.

Sorry folks.
Totally understand, nice written letter, this is the first ive seen it. By the way, how many people have bought you gifts off amazon? Just curious. With all the money you've helped people collect you must get something in the way of gifts right?
Hi Pokeraddict,

It can be a thankless (self appointed) job. I helped one guy out several weeks ago recovering over $1000 that the casino considered was a "case closed." I reopened the case, gave the software provider and casino further evidence that he should be paid, AND GOT HIM PAID!

Not even a thank you from the player.

But I do get a lot of fan mail, and lots of thanks. Nevertheless, every so often a secret admirer visits my "Wish List" and gets me something. In fact, some super nice person bought the Godfather Trilogy for me the other day. And another player purchased Apocolyse Now!!

Thanks guys!!
Good day Brian,
I am so sorry that I have not been in touch with you, it took some time before I got paid, but no excuses for not contacting you.
I will thank you for your great job and I will visit your wish list and get you something nice.

Again thanks for your great job kicking "MEGAPLAY" casino for the 1000$ they have had on hold for nearly a whole year.

Have a great day.

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