Announcement from the GRA concerning Hilo and ReelDeal games

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jetset

RIP Brian
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
I found this post from Betfred

Hi all,

The investigation into the complaint raised here in regard to the Reel Deal game has started yielding results, and as promised before they will be disclosed in this thread. The below is confirmed by Finsoft – the supplier through which Betfred receive Realistic Games products.

Analysis has revealed that Reel Deal was indeed returning at 96%, despite being advertised at 100%. Finsoft’s review revealed that this was the result of an administrative error on the game’s deployment to Betfred, where the wrong help file was attached to the game.

While mistakes do happen, Betfred realise this is not acceptable. Neither Finsoft or Betfred would purposely mislead players, and will therefore actively compensate players on losses derived from the game over the last 6 months. The amounts should be in accounts by next Tuesday. Claims beyond 6 months will be accepted and honoured, too, but must be submitted individually.

The remaining items brought up in this thread are still under investigation by our suppliers; they are:

1. The suggestion that the game in question’s RTP is adaptive
2. The suggestion that the game performs differently in fun and real modes

It’s been suggested here that the parties involved have blocked Eliot’s investigation. This is simply not true. However, it is possible that some people contacted directly were away over the Holiday period or were not in a position to comment on confidential information to none permitted individuals. Let me assure you that all concerned take this matter very seriously, and I hope this was conveyed in the game being removed and in the compensation now offered.

If you have a claim for losses on Reel Deal then please email [email protected] and we’ll process the amounts in cash and in full to your Betfred accounts ASAP.

Kind regards,
Aaron



Can you tell us where this was posted and on what date please?
 
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sfcat

Dormant account
Joined
Mar 18, 2013
Location
Chicago, Illinois, United States
A simple solution, without offense

Mr Brear:
I believe your words illustrate the issue for the players- and you are replying to a player site- quite clearly:
"liability isn’t split, it is multiplied – everyone in the supply chain has to take responsibility, not just the writer, not just the intermediary and not just the front end operator. They have all taken a hit from this."

It seems very clear that the people who really feel hit are the players. What liability is there, truly, for the developers and the operators when a game, which you described as low use, is not working as clearly advertised? The game may have been pulled, but the people who played it especially those few who played regularly, feel cheated. Now, in response to your statements, and the sense of uncaring nature, the players feel even more betrayed and unimportant. No one likes to feel like a cash cow, but that's exactly the feeling that's been engendered in many of the regular players and members.

The casinos will have records of the players, the other legitimate players, who followed the t&c; they should offer some kind of recompense, and as you described, it should be split between the contributing parties. If they are afraid of losing money, offer a series of free chips with a WR.

Problem solved, everyone is happy, and a lot of cynical players feel hope and a renewed sense of trust. That's where we all want to be, right?

Best,
C Pryde
 

Pinababy69

RIP Lisa
Joined
Oct 15, 2004
Location
Toronto, Ontario - Canada
Just got Bryan's PM and of course I signed. I haven't been all that involved in things of late...but if there's anything that anyone would like me to do, emails to be sent, soapboxes to preach on, etc....please drop me a PM. I've never been one to back down from a fight, be it online or in person. I'd be glad to help, and can be quite resourceful when I put my mind to it. Some have likened me to a pitbull, or a dog with a bone, lol....compliments all.

Thx for the PM Bryan. :thumbsup:
 

manuels58

manuels58
Joined
Mar 10, 2012
Location
Portugal
Just being Devil's Advocate, but SHOULD the GRA's report and downgrade impact the rating of solid casinos? I mean, the GRA is not doing its job, but 32Red is 100% solid; isn't that rather like saying a land based casino's less 'good' because the city's mayor's a dick?

K, analogy sucks, lol, fair enough. So any casino licensed in the area should pull out then, and move shop?

Well, both your thoughts are not reasonable, because not in accordance with reality.

The process is quite simple: there are Standards to be accredited and a specific Rating System was implemented by CM. That system MUST be applied to all the properties wanting to be part of the accredited list, otherwise what credibility would have that list?

If any of the casinos included in the accredited list is not comfortable with the consequences of this decision from CM, either they will come in and specifically state their disagreement with the GRA "declarations" (and if so, they might decide to move to a different jurisdiction), or they maintain their situation, hoping it won't create them any prejudice and, once again, assuming the consequences.

You see, the several criterions have different weights for each of us: for some of us the payout time is the most important, for others the customer support is the main choice, and so on... but for some of us, the credibility of the jurisdiction is really the most important when it comes to obtain the necessary UNBIASED and PROFESSIONAL support to solve a problem "till the last consequences".
In view of the two "declarations" from the GRA' President, this last criteria can't be guaranteed anymore.

One of the most important things that life has taught me is that someone (or some entity) is respectable until... stop being like that.
 

manuels58

manuels58
Joined
Mar 10, 2012
Location
Portugal
The missing impulse!

Bryan's PM and subsequent recent posts were definitely the pieces that set the petition going.

Thanks again Bryan for your courage. :notworthy
 

jetset

RIP Brian
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
https://www.casinomeister.com/forums/threads/finsoft-spielo-g2-games-issue.54475/ (Post #78 if my link doesn't work (my setting = 30 posts per page))
Jan-4th.

KK

Ah - I see....I thought GOCC's post was perhaps referring to a more recent disclosure than January this year, which is when post #78 is dated.

Still interesting admissions, though...and the following post from Eliot is worth re-reading, although at that stage I don't think we yet knew that the Realistic Games product had been "adjusted" by Finsoft-Spielo.
 

GOCC

Banned User - violation of <a href="http://www.cas
Joined
Jul 19, 2005
Location
UK
Ah - I see....I thought GOCC's post was perhaps referring to a more recent disclosure than January this year, which is when post #78 is dated.

Still interesting admissions, though...and the following post from Eliot is worth re-reading, although at that stage I don't think we yet knew that the Realistic Games product had been "adjusted" by Finsoft-Spielo.

Sorry Jet, I knew that Betfred had said they would pay once the GRA had concluded its investigation which it has.
 

manfreid88

Registered
Joined
May 21, 2013
Location
Seychelles
From someone who knows what he is saying...

The language used in the press release and the whole affair is below any standard. This guy should have anything to do with this industry however it clearly shows anything but. Only the money matters. I've read many posts with " let's not play there anymore" however I am sure that this is not going to happen. At least not enough to create a wave big enough to cleanse the whole already done damage.

And about the " From someone who knows what he is saying..." part, believe it when I am saying this: all the casino custom supp services personnel and the staff above them consider players as cash cows- why a regulator wouldn't consider the same thing?

I'm hoping this thread is not too aggressive but honestly, there are far worse things to say than what I've just said. Players usually see only the tip of the iceberg.
 
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chayton

aka LooHoo
webmeister
PABnonaccred
CAG
Joined
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Location
Edmonton Canada
Looks as if this disgraceful episode - and the regulator's reaction - is starting to get a little traction in the mainstream press in the US:

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I love how it ends...
As states devise rules governing Internet play, they must ensure regulators avoid getting cozy with those they oversee and that casinos have protection against cheats. Most importantly, casinos online or on land must be required to adhere to the toughest standards for fair play.
 

Eliot Jacobson

Dormant account
Joined
May 9, 2006
Location
Santa Barbara
Looks as if this disgraceful episode - and the regulator's reaction - is starting to get a little traction in the mainstream press in the US
Don't get your hopes up. I went out of my way to contact Mark and ask him to write his article. Mark understands the importance of having issues like this brought forward and I absolutely applaud him for this. Unfortunately, there are not many like him. Thank you, Mark, for your good work.
 

MisterBJ

Account suspended until further notice - please co
Joined
Feb 13, 2013
Location
Atlanta
From the article for the tin foil hat crowd "Adaptive software can recognize how a player bets and increase the chances of a loss."


I bet a if a good hard study is taken. You would find this across the gambling board. I am not surprised, but I am disgusted with the state of online gambling today.
 

vinylweatherman

You type well loads
Joined
Oct 14, 2004
Location
United Kingdom
I signed. The GRA have long been way to cosy with the casinos, seeming to view ANY player that plays to win is a cheat. The OP that brought the matter to light may have been a major cheat and a fraudster, but most players are using gambling as a means to entertain themselves, and that entertainment is the prospect of WINNING, else they would play something like Farmville, not an online casino.

This may have been a niche game, but it shows that the GRA feel that it is acceptable to run "keno logic" behind every game, including those that could NEVER operate that way if they lived in the real world as physical devices. It doesn't seem to have been "adaptive", but it was certainly a weighted card deck, which in the real world would be achieved by removing cards or substituting duplicates, both of which would be highly illegal in a land based casino.

If this was always a slot, they should never have used cards in the graphics, just numbers, nicely decorated perhaps to add appeal to players. At least players would have been less likely to have been fooled as they would not have seen cards and thought "Oh, card game".

The OP used fake details to multi account, HUGE issue, even a criminal offence. The use of a bot though is a trivial matter, it cannot influence the outcome any more than having a very flexible mouse finger with endless stamina.

Whilst it is supposedly "commercial suicide" to offer a 100% RTP game, many casinos have done so. In some cases even games offering MORE than 100% RTP for "marketing purposes" in the same way that supermarkets stock "loss leaders" of a few basics such as bread and milk in order to tempt people in, and hope they will also buy something else on which there is a decent markup.

It is not for the player to say that EVERY game that shows itself to be 100% RTP has an error and that it is actually something less. It is for the CASINO to decide whether a "loss leader" is something they wish to use as a marketing ploy.

Since the GRA use the "this game is obviously a slot" excuse to explain this away, then surely they are happy with ANY slot that uses this logic rather than the natural probability obtained from the reel stops to determine the result. This would not fly in Nevada, and probably not in the UK without that prominent disclaimer seen on Fruit Machines with Hi/Lo gambles that also do not use the natural odds of a set of numbers between 1 and 12.

As for the losses being "insignificant", they are actually 0.04 x the total wagered over all those years of operation. Their argument that the only inconvenience was a reduction in the time it took to lose the deposit is the same as claiming that a cinema that advertised 100% of a film but only showed 96% of it should not compensate customers because they only lost an insignificant amount of the total entertainment time.

Even if the amount was small (although I bet it was still a large sum from the viewpoint of an individual player), the inconvenience and cost of having to run through all the logs and quantify the sum would hurt, even if the money was then donated to charity rather than given back to the individual players. If it hurts, it acts as a deterrent just as a burn deters one from putting one's hand in a flame. They certainly believe in deterrents that hurt when dealing with PLAYERS, even those who have made "honest mistakes" rather than deliberate attempts to rip off a casino.
 

Richas

Dormant account
Joined
Jan 17, 2013
Location
UK
As for the losses being "insignificant", they are actually 0.04 x the total wagered over all those years of operation. Their argument that the only inconvenience was a reduction in the time it took to lose the deposit is the same as claiming that a cinema that advertised 100% of a film but only showed 96% of it should not compensate customers because they only lost an insignificant amount of the total entertainment time.

This only "time playing" lost logic of the REGULATOR has had insufficient hate IMHO. I can just about see the perverse case he is making but the underlying logic is appalling. Fair games not needed, they are only a time suck. Compensation not needed, no cash lost just a bit of time. It can be applied to any scenario where the casino is at fault. it is the ultimate, nothing to see here move along comment.

We can extend the logic further - these games were doing people a favour, by reducing their time wasted in gaming - they left the player with extra bonus time! Maybe the casino should send the players a bill for each hour saved?

I have also decided to patent a new online game - the time saver. Basically you press the button and all your balance is transferred to the site, that way you don't have to waste time playing. The fun bit will be that you get presented with the ace of spades and an estimate of how much time you saved, personalised by what your usual stakes and rate of play on other games is.
 

Casinomeister

Forum Cheermeister
Staff member
Joined
Jun 30, 1998
Location
Bierland
Final Word

Here is a final word from the commissioner. Posted by his request:

Third and final comment:

It appears we are never going to agree on this issue, but let me have one last attempt, on your terms and through your method, to explain why we are so far apart on our views.

As occurred in the first thread, most of the comments made in the second thread remain unfounded, inaccurate and are at times malicious/self-serving. It is clear that many people comment on our conclusions without even reading the thread, let alone what I have written, and now make personal attacks and agree with assertions made by other people who have also not read what has been written nor examined the regulatory position. Perhaps Bryan can throw some light on this practice by producing the stats which show how many people who have made comments have visited and read every page of BOTH threads? This practice of ‘conclude before you even check’ now extends to a ludicrous ‘petition’ which further distorts the circumstances of this event, despite the initiator having a personal dialogue with me, and leads to what, a loss of confidence in the remote gambling industry amongst the people who have been misled into signing it?

‘Conclude before you even check’ also extends to quoting the GRA’s rules to the GRA. Well, not quite. If you take the trouble to visit our website and read our rules, you will see that the GRA is not the Gibraltar gambling regulator. The GRA has had nothing to do with us for nearly three years. So all those who tell us what our rules say appear to have not even looked at them, as they make explicit that the Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner is the Gibraltar regulator, and publishes the rules, known as RTOS (Remote Technical and Operating Standards), and how they are to be applied in such circumstances.

Can I take you seriously if you don’t read your own threads, don’t read what I have written, don’t know who we are, or read what our rules are, but you agree with the supercilious, aggrandised egomaniacs who splash their opinions on the thread as if they had access to the relevant data, coupled with infallible judgement and had done their own homework?

So what do our rules say? They do say games should not be ‘adaptive’ ie , “the probability of any particular outcome occurring should be the same every time the game is played, except as provided for in the (fair) rules of the game.” So the games were not adaptive as we or any other regulator defines that term. As the outcome of every call was entirely random, albeit weighted against the player, the game is not adaptive. Note that the game was approved for use in all the European jurisdictions which licence online slot play.

Then we have the assertions about the game representing a device. Well, where is that rule? Indeed, where is that card game that uses 12 of 13 cards in this way and with these bets? The claim that it breaks an imaginary US or European rule is a complete nonsense. Read RTOS, you will not find the so-called rule you are told the game breaches; not in our rules or any other remote gambling rules (I am familiar with most of them). You might think such a rule exists, and it does for certain specified circumstances, but not for these circumstances. Read our RTOS section 7.1(5). What you will see is: “A licence holder should not implement game designs or features that may reasonably be expected to mislead the customer about the likelihood of particular results occurring. This includes, but is not limited to the following:………”

It is my office which has to decide if what occurred amounted to an operator breaching that rule. The answer is no, because the evidence, precedent, and a common sense interpretation say no. The examples which we go on to use refer to ‘simulates physical devices’. HiLo/Reel Deal does not simulate a physical device, it is a bespoke slot game. Even if this rule did apply, which it does not, we still have to apply a ‘reasonableness test’ in terms of how or why the rule was breached. You cannot look at a game 10 years after it has been introduced and after millions and millions of plays without any challenge, which has been accepted in numerous jurisdictions, and then say – that game is misleading everyone, because it obviously isn’t. What happened was the introduction of a paytable error, not the creation of an unfair game. We have taken sufficient and proportionate action with regard to that error, consistent with the likely actions of any other regulator presented with a similar error.

This conclusion also impacts on the calls for reimbursement. Reimburse who, back to when, what for? Are you seriously saying the operator should reimburse people who happily played the game, winning and losing, but who eventually lost, who got exactly what they came looking for, because there was an (unseen) error in the Help File? Are you saying the operator should discard his T&C’s that make provision for such unintended minor errors? Maybe there are other T&C’s that should be discarded when it suits the customer, like using your true identities and not using bots, leaving the operator with no protection whatsoever from the scammers out there and the occasional bugs which may work for or against the house, or, as in this case, make no difference whatsoever to the official and tested/approved RTP. If there are any genuine cases out there, let them come forward, I am sure they will get a sympathetic hearing. We have not published the numbers or the dates involved because we know that would be, pretty stupid, but your logic runs something like – “Your game had a minor and irrelevant error I didn’t know about, ignore that and what it says in the T&C’s I have agreed to, give me my money back.” It is a hard but undeniable truth, that the only evidence of anyone being misled by the paytable error is katie91.

I have been heavily criticised in the second thread for addressing katie91’s behaviour. Esteemed commentators suggest ‘her’ behaviour is not relevant (and that the error was deliberate). Read katie91’s opening statement. ‘She’ is the one who treats you with contempt, sets out to mislead you, who abuses your trust and lies to you, about who she is, what she has done, why she has done it, who with, what she expects, how you can help her, and more besides. For page after page, until we intervene, her lies that the game was ‘rigged’ are the basis of what we now say was a disproportionate and unfounded attack on the integrity of the games and the games provider, amplified by people who should have known better.

According to her CM log she has made 14 postings, so who is treating who with disdain here, after two weeks and over 200 entries on ‘she’ was still posting and leading you all on as to what had occurred, as well as lying in emails to the operator. You say this is not relevant?
The game was not ‘rigged’, ‘gaffed’ or any other acronym for ‘fixed’, nor was it even ‘advertised’ as having 100% RTP as she and many of you have claimed. It was not ‘advertised’ at all beyond the link in the contents page. By who’s stretch of who’s imagination is a paytable in the Help File an advertisement? No advertising authority or gambling regulatory authority defines advertising to include the esoteric contents of a Help File, which we all know virtually no-one ever reads. Advertising is ‘in your face’, like the very small number of 100% RTP PFR games which are ‘advertised’ and promoted as such by very few operators, and which require perfect strategy to stay even and do not include slot games so far as I recall. An error in a Help File is an error in a Help File, it is not ‘an advertisement’.

A number of CM users put katie91 and her so called evidence on a pedestal, built their arguments around her claims without checking them out properly, wanting to believe what she had written, and now they find it impossible to admit they were had over by a con-man and got this whole episode wrong. Even Bryan seems to be in that category. This closed mind-set by people who should know better is very disappointing. It looks as if the ‘top rated’ casino commentary site cannot accept what well established rules say, and how they are applied by all regulators. Nor can it bring itself to say that what actually lit the fire was outrageous. If katie91 had started the thread with,
‘Hey I am a bot designer using false online identities and for the last 6 weeks I have been trying to cheat a game, but I have goofed and I now realise there is an error on the paytable, but by the time I worked this out my bot had turned over nearly £400k and lost me over £12k, will you help me get my money back by saying the company are cheats?’

Would she have got the same reaction? Is this accurate description of events not a bit more relevant that the 14 entries ‘she’ made to con you all? We are where we are because ‘she’ lied to you, end to end, and because I have taken the trouble to correct that situation, whereas other weighed in behind her without asking obvious questions.

We have also had the self-righteous comments from the self-appointed ‘legal/compliance experts’ on the future of regulation, and what other regulators would have done etc etc. The first thread made clear that the game existed on Gibraltar, Alderney and Malta operators’ sites, I understand it also existed on others. So, it has been passed by all the primary European online jurisdictions, as not adaptive, not in breach of ‘simulation’ requirements and being fair. Is there a message there? As for the UKGC’s comments, the full correspondence has never been disclosed, but by any measure of regulators’ behaviour they appear to have acted partially and with undue, ill-considered haste in this matter, quickly and incorrectly treading in other jurisdictions’ affairs, effectively endorsing the findings of a non-authorised, non-approved ‘testing person’ instead of raising their own queries; so they too are now aligned with the cheating side of this argument.

Did no-one else find it a little strange that an organisation that took 6 months to deal with the FOBT case (and provided virtually no information about it) and has zero profile in matters such as these, takes only 3 days to weigh in on this one, providing some considerable but irrelevant detail, promoting its own cause, despite the game meeting published UK standards (except for the error). It was approved by one of their own approved testing houses, albeit not on behalf of a UK remote gaming licence holder. This was a pretty lamentable episode, and if anyone wants to explore the benefits of the proposed UK legislation, I suggest you research that issue properly before you make any further comments on how it will improve consumer protection.

Finally, I understand we have been down-graded by CM as a jurisdiction. I am not sure who else is in the same category as we now are, but I suggest you take a reality check on this. If the criteria for grading include ‘do we always agree?’, then fine, because we won’t, but if it is ‘who provides the best and most secure products, and who deals with consumer complaints properly and thoroughly’, then no-one comes near to us, and you should know that.

So, just as the dust is settling on the thread, here I am stirring it up again, because you were wrong in how you reacted to the OP, you were wrong in your analysis and you are wrong in your attitude to this matter. You should not support cheats, they are cheating honest operators and honest players; but bugs and errors do occur, and we deal with them. Stop splitting hairs and looking for ghosts in cupboards, and next time, look at little closer at what is being claimed, check the facts, and do your own homework, before doing mine.

Phill Brear
Gambling Commissioner
Gibraltar
 

Mousey

Ueber Meister Mouse
Joined
Sep 12, 2004
Location
Up$hitCreek
All I have left to say about this matter is... banghead.gif
 

jetset

RIP Brian
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
Mousey's graphic is appropriate - there are none so blind as those who will not see...

Trying to persuade this fellow to at least consider other opinions based on fact is clearly and regrettably a waste of time.

His opinion of the UK Gambling Commission is certainly an eye-opener.
 

dunover

Unofficial T&C's Editor
Staff member
webmeister
PABnonaccred
PABnononaccred
CAG
mm3
Joined
May 22, 2012
Location
the bus shelter, opposite GCHQ Benhall
Indeed, 'wood for the trees' springs to mind. If Gibraltar is subject to the Freedom of Information Act, I'd be interested to know how many player complaints they've ever had, and how many have been resolved in favour of the player.

It is indeed interesting his opinion on the UKGC. I get the impression GRA has been on a recruitment drive judging by how many casinos e-mailed me to tell me they had changed from IOM or Alderney to Gibraltar's RA. I did start a thread about this a couple of months back.

Internecine squabbling must be occurring for a reason.

Follow the money....
 

binary128

Dormant account
Joined
May 18, 2009
Location
Vancouver, BC
Mr. Brear,

Given that you have chosen this medium and method in which to communicate with your Player community, I shall follow in kind.

My name is Chris Colby, and I am the President of Galewind Software.

I have read all of the posts in the principal threads associated with this issue. In some small fashion I have contributed to two of these threads. I have inferred from your first "Letter to the Meister" that I may indeed have ulterior motives for the critical remarks which I have posted in this forum, and other forums.

1. Galewind Software is licensed by the AGCC, one of your "competitors". I may therefore have the "ulterior motive" of "bashing the competition".

2. Our product is not running at any of the GGC-licensed gambling companies. Again, I may therefore have the "ulterior motive" of "bashing the competition".

It would be foolish of me to jeopardize the potential future of my company in making critical remarks about:

1. A licensing organization with which I may be requested or required to deal in the future.

2. Online gambling companies that may represent sales opportunities in the future.

I am not a foolish man. I, as I believe others should, therefore conclude that the energy which prompted me to publicly post my critical remarks arises from motives other than those listed above.

Sadly, my current work load does not allow me the time to make more than a cursory response to this thread.

I feel as though you have built a snow fort in the middle of the Ardennes just prior to the battle of the bulge. The German tanks thundered over your snow fort without a second's pause. You have now deemed it appropriate to throw snow balls at those tanks as they journey on their way to Antwerp.

I'll slightly modify my "vague memory of a statement" which I posted earlier - "This remains so bad it does not even rise to the level of wrong."

Chris
 

gloria460

Dormant Account
Joined
May 11, 2008
Location
Florida
I'm truly speechless. He keeps harping on Katie91 and sees no wrong doing by the casino at all.

I hope the pressure on the casino doesn't die down and is splashed across papers and online for people to see how a casino cheats even when they don't need to.
 

Balthazar

The Governor
Joined
Aug 14, 2012
Location
Woodbury
So his last message in a nutshell (for those who don't want to read a wall a text):

- Various attacks of CM posters (legitimate or not)
- The GRA is not the Gibraltar Gambling Regulator
- Katie91 sucks
- There is no such thing as a rule that say that a card game must act like a real deck of cards.
- No refund for players that lost money there
- Bryan should stop splitting hair and shouldn't have downgraded the GRA
 

Webzcas

Winter is Coming!
Staff member
Joined
Mar 31, 2005
Location
Block S25, South Stand, Ashton Gate, BS3
I have been heavily criticised in the second thread for addressing katie91’s behaviour.

I don't believe anyone is condoning the behaviour of the poster Katie91. However, no one apart from yourself Mr Brear is using Katie91 to deflect from the real issue at hand here. Which, you continue to ignore and refuse to address.

This is the reason Gibraltar has been downgraded by Bryan, this is the reason why the members of this community are 'outraged' and this is the reason why people have been signing this 'ludicrous petition'.
 
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