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Discussion in 'Online Casinos' started by vinylweatherman, Mar 4, 2005.

    Mar 4, 2005
  1. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    I have discovered this morning that this group have sneaked in some EXTREMELY NASTY new terms and conditions relating to the operation of the bonus accounts. This is back to the bad old days and then some, and makes Captain Cook look positively generous!
    The WR on slots is up from 10x to 15x.
    The WR on anything else is up from 30x to 45X - the highest I have seen, and for a sticky bonus too.
    Worse than this though, anything now transferred to the real account has to be wagered 15x and 45x YET AGAIN.
    The main terms and conditions still say 'it's yours to keep' in that little passage about getting a royal flush in the bonus account. This is totally misleading. Given that the bonus itself cannot be transferred, this equates to a total WR of 100x+ on the bonus (allowing for the fact that winnings only are transferred), and on top of this the deposit that obtained the bonus also has to be wagered 15x or 45x. There is certainly no longer 'a simple tool to keep track of WR' as stated in the terms.
    This change has NOT been circulated to current players, who may have just transferred a bonus and may still think it is 'theirs to keep' as stated in Casino Action. The exclusion of Vegas Strip, a minor change, was E-mailed to all players, so players will be expecting a similar E-mail for these changes, and without one, will think nothing has happened, and could be screwed on withdrawals from now on.
     
  2. Mar 4, 2005
  3. ps2008

    ps2008 Dormant account

    Location:
    US
    Thanks for sharing this with us.
    I did not have any good impression on this group since the beginning. It is becoming worse now. It seemed to me that this group want to use this bonus terms to let maybe 90% of the people who wanted to try this casino to lose deposit. It is better not to claim their bonus.
    For me, I just did not play there since there are so many other reputable MG casino around which has good customer support and fast payment. More importantly, they (the others) are more generous.

     
  4. Mar 4, 2005
  5. Simmo!

    Simmo! Moderator Staff Member

    Occupation:
    Web Dev.
    Location:
    England
    I think that's a tad unfair to bash their support - they've always been pretty good at that with fast replys and they pay quite fast too. Although I agree the bonus terms sound on the harsh side tho.

    IMHO this is a sign of things to come with signup bonuses across the industry. Too many players abusing them and they cause the casinos so much hassle - just check out the Meisters Casino Complaints forum and the vast majority of comments that start to harm a casino's reputation are based on them giving the player free money to signup! To me a raising of the WR is no surprise at all. Hell, this thread is a prime example - the casinos are getting walloped in public for giving away money!!! Work that one out?!

    Prizes are the future for signups - CDs and Amazon tokens etc. That's my "prediction for the day" :) Money will be reserved for loyal players. It'll be the day the industry comes of age and finally gets recognised as a clean industry.

    Simmo!

    -----------------------------
    Deposit $100 and get a free Justin Timberlake CD AND a free Neil Sedaka "Best Of" CD. You must listen to both CDs a minimum of 15 times to qualify for a second-deposit bonus - "Aled Jones - Walking In The Air". Players from Denmark must collect their CD's in person from our premises in Antigua.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2005
  6. Mar 4, 2005
  7. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    WR at Casino Action

    It's far worse actually.
    It is not just their sign up bonuses that are affected. ALL regular player bonuses and TOURNAMENT PRIZES are paid to the bonus account and suffer the same fate. Even VIPs are not excused. It can take 40,000 of wagering YOUR OWN MONEY to win a 300 prize in the tournament. This prize must then be wagered 45x, if you are really lucky you will end up with 350 or more, and can transfer, say 50 of your prize to your real account. This 50 has to be wagered AGAIN 45x and what is left is yours. This pretty makes the tournament prize worthless. Also the bringing back of double wagering is probably the greater issue, as no tool exists to monitor this. Their accounts are now pretty much a plain vanilla real account, and a 'fun money' bonus account. They have also prevented the making of large chip bets that would be needed to try to boost the bonus balance high enough to make a transfer.
    Above all WHY WON'T THEY TELL THE PLAYERS, especially as the bonus account terms in the Casino Action lounge have NOT been updated. Players will only find out when a witdrawal gets refused, after pending for a week nearly, because they transferred 50 over and had not wagered the 2250 required under the new terms they were not told about.
    I found out after posting my Royal on Winner Screenshots, and read the remark about the terms - I thought they must have been mistaking it for an Integrity casino, but NO they were correct.
    I have E-mailed Casino Action support asking them to do the right thing and at least tell existing players who may be transferring winnings from the recent tournaments, but they will not do so - WHY NOT! They were happy to E-mail every player about the change in status of Vegas Strip BJ, surely this is a far far greater change. Is it their intention that players find out the hard way, or through this forum!
    It is their inaction in informing players of this change that has prompted me to start this thread. By the time management have reviewed these implications it will be too late for players who request a withdrawal under the old rules.
    For now, I suggest withdrawing everything from the real account before transferring bonus money, and play out the WR fully or to extinction before putting real money back in. (Do not forget to log off when balance is zero to reset WR).
    I agree this change will deter 'bonus hunters', it will also deter current players who will look elsewhere for tournaments with a live scoreboard, and leave them with players who are not particularly worried about having a bonus - these have been deterred by stopping the placing of large wagers, it is these high rollers that tend to have the least interest in bonuses and more in service.
    Their service is still good though, and they are considering my comments about this change. No waiting 2 days for an E-mail response like with others, but their cash-outs are a bit slow. I have been told that mine from last Sunday will be with me this Sunday - I previously had them by Thursday.

    However, Jackpot Factory has a better tournament at the moment, and the prize only has to be wagered 5 times before I can have ALL of it, not just the winnings.

    I will look at the scoreboards to see if the change has made players less willing to play for the prizes now that they are unlikely to be able to withdraw any of it.
     
  8. Mar 4, 2005
  9. GrandMaster

    GrandMaster Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Mathematician by day, online gambler by night.
    Location:
    UK
    To be more precise, casinos are getting walloped for not holding up their side of the bargain or for writing confusing T&C that need a lawyer to decipher or for changing the T&C retrospectively. Casinos that promise Amazon gift certificates and don't deliver won't fare any better.


    :lolup:
     
  10. Mar 4, 2005
  11. Simmo!

    Simmo! Moderator Staff Member

    Occupation:
    Web Dev.
    Location:
    England
    I wouldn't argue with that GM. But i think its more likely they will deliver, not least because the T&C's wont be nearly as complicated - in theory :)
     
  12. Mar 4, 2005
  13. Vesuvio

    Vesuvio Dormant account

    Location:
    UK
    Seems as good a place as any for my "social benefits of bonus hunting" theory :D

    Who owns on-line casinos? Either shady characters trying to get rich quickly (perhaps stepping up in respectability from crime or prostitution) , or rich businessmen just in search of another profitable investment. Do we particularly want these people to make more money? Without bonuses there won't be many players at most casinos. Of these a select few will play within their means and have a lot of fun. A lot will just have a mildly negative experience while a significant number will feed a gambling addiction and possibly ruin their lives. Oh, and once in a while someone will win and walk away before the casino can win it all back :rolleyes:

    Now, bonuses are the only light in this grim and depressing picture :p With bonuses suddenly a percentage of the rich owner's profits gets regularly spread among thousands of people all around the world. Think Robin Hood and trickle down economics rolled into one!

    This isn't the only benefit. As there are far, far more players at the casinos (even bonus whores count as players!) the companies have to employ more support staff, providing a reasonable salary for some fine and upstanding citizens (though sometimes you have to bite your tongue to avoid mentioning that they could probably be earning more money if they were taking rather than crediting bonuses!).

    If bonuses were abolished tomorrow half the casinos would close through lack of custom. The rest would cut back on their support staff, and we'd just be left with a few servers running in an empty room, making money for an overweight man sunbathing by a pool in Hawaii. Even Casinomeister would have to shut up shop and go back to teaching English, or waging war...

    So do we really want bonuses to disappear? :D

    I'll get my coat...
     
    1 person likes this.
  14. Mar 5, 2005
  15. Macgyver

    Macgyver Dormant account PABnononaccred

    Occupation:
    Student
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Vesuvio,

    I'm not gonna pull that whole speech into a quote here, but please let me tell you this ...

    Hands down, even though I've only been online gambling for almost two years, that is the best, most intelligent and well-reasoned argument for bonus-hunting that I have ever had the pleasure of reading.

    Yes, I could have relegated this to a PM, but I think it deserves some public honor.

    I couldn't have written this better myself, Vesuvio. My hat is off to you and kudos galore ... :notworthy
     
  16. Mar 5, 2005
  17. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Location:
    Earth
    Experts and mere observers alike have been predicting the demise of the online casino bonusing system for years, yet it's still here albeit in even more complicated form and still creating disputes.

    It would be interesting to know what the ratio of experienced and savvy bonus-users to ordinary gamblers is in the industry (and I'm surprised that one of the many research surveys is not based on this)

    My gut feel is that most gamblers would take a prize as a signup incentive, but then we may find ourselves in the same "I can give better prizes than you can" cycle. If real money bonuses were phased out it may well chase away the accomplished players who use bonusing to level the odds, but I wonder whether there are enough of those players to ruin the business to the extent that Vesuvio suggests?

    That would be especially the case if the bigger and better funded and run operations channeled that money into loyalty programs rather than bonusing per se.

    Like many others, I see signs of bonusing becoming tighter, but it's still here so perhaps the casinos know something we don't (or are they all just chasing the competition?)
     
  18. Mar 5, 2005
  19. Simmo!

    Simmo! Moderator Staff Member

    Occupation:
    Web Dev.
    Location:
    England
    Wahay - this thread is getting meaty - thats what we like to see :)

    First up I'd like to address Vesuvio's post, a good post arguing the case for the bonus hunter :thumbsup:

    I'd say if "some" casinos abolished them tomorrow then they would suffer yes. But if "all" casinos abolished them together then I wouldn't be so sure. As existing players, we have grown up "free" bonuses. Its an institution many of us don't want to see go.

    But remember Kazaa and the music industry? "I'd never pay for a music download when i can get it free" was the cry (me included!). Up pops iTunes and bang - the world has an iPod and suddenly they're selling over 1,000,000 in the first month! You just have to look at the "free" Internet of pre-2000 and compare it with today...things move on, and the steady decline in wagering requirements is just the next step.


    I think we need to do differentiate between "signup bonuses" and "loyalty bonuses" with this one. If you find a casino that pays fast, treats you well and gives you loyalty bonuses - even if its by word-of-mouth on boards such as these as opposed to signing up yourself - I think that will keep this type of player happy. He may also be tempted to drop $100 into a casino to receive a free U2 CD for trying it out too.

    I think overall, we have to remember that gambling is fun, sometimes addictive, but generally fun to a lot of people. If there were no signup bonuses anywhere in the industry, would you ditch online gambling altogether? If you would, then a casino wouldn't probably worry anyway IMHO. Their profits come from the longer-term gambler, who can still happily receive his loyalty bonuses, but sticks around. For every one of these who wins, there's probably 5 who don't. With decent loyalty bonuses, the bonus hunters can still prosper if they know what they are doing, but in a safer environment where the rules are clearer.

    I think "chasing the competition" is the key phrase here jet. The problem is, that no-one can probably afford to take the plunge on their own, and the industry is unlikely to work together on this one. Until they do, or bonuses become illegal, they are unlikely to abolish them. The other way is to gradually make the WR tighter and tighter, bit by bit, casino by casino, til they are all roughly equal and are so tight players are no longer claiming them. That would also achieve it, just over a much longer period.

    Simmo!
     
  20. Mar 5, 2005
  21. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Location:
    Earth
    QUOTE I think overall, we have to remember that gambling is fun, sometimes addictive, but generally fun to a lot of people. If there were no signup bonuses anywhere in the industry, would you ditch online gambling altogether? If you would, then a casino wouldn't probably worry anyway IMHO. Their profits come from the longer-term gambler, who can still happily receive his loyalty bonuses, but sticks around. For every one of these who wins, there's probably 5 who don't. With decent loyalty bonuses, the bonus hunters can still prosper if they know what they are doing, but in a safer environment where the rules are clearer.UNQUOTE

    I think that's an important point.

    And I agree that there is no way the industry as a whole will just switch off bonusing - it will be a gradual and probably quite long process of tightening up and placing more emphasis on loyalty to keep the majority of players from bonus hopping i.m.o. I believe that process has already commenced, albeit not in any sort of planned and coordinated fashion.

    As with most things, changes may initially meet with resistance, but as the new offers become more widespread and common and a part of the gambling scene there could be growing acceptance as it becomes the status quo. And as Simmo says, good loyalty programs still leave goodies on the table for the confirmed bonus players.

    It may be bad news for the *get rich quick* and generally underfunded brigade, though - that sort of modus operandi calls for a longer term commitment and better CRM.

    Somewhere between the sign up and the loyalty bonuses I think there is a third category which is designed to generate revenue and excitement in bursts - some marketers may say it is part of the overall plan to get people in the door permanently, but I believe there is often a short term goal to many of these.

    But for now, I think the field is still open to bonus players - the conditions are just getting tougher.
     
  22. Mar 5, 2005
  23. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Loyalty Bonus

    Unfortunately, the changes made by the Casino Action group have crippled their loyalty bonus scheme. It is mathematically impossible for a series of bonus hunters to make a net gain between them, even with the headline grabbing 1200 on offer! Even I, a long term Platinum VIP must still wager my bonus 90x, and then still have the original amount of bonus effectively deducted by holding it in the bonus account. Unless they dramatically hoist the loyalty bonus rates to thousands rather than hundreds, we will be lucky to see 10 left over after receiving the prize. Their loyalty points scheme is also terrible. Most casinos give 1 point per 10 wagered. The rate at Casino Action is around 0.75 points per 10 for slots!!!! and for Blackjack its a mere 0.13 points per 10. The only carrot is that VIP players get more than 10 per 1000.
    All casinos need to do is reduce the headline grabbing sign up bonuses, and bolster the loyalty bonuses through innovative tournaments, one off promotions, and even invitation only extra deposit bonuses. Regular players should also be excused from the restrictive game exclusions designed to make life hard for the accomplished bonus hunter. T & C for bonuses will soon look like Tax law, with all possible loopholes that can be thought up plugged with pages of conditions, which only lawyers and bonus hunters will understand.
    Perhaps players could be allowed to choose whether they want the initial bonus, or not have it in exchange for enhanced loyalty bonuses for the life of their membership.
    It will be possible for us players to make an assessment of the changes made by Casino Action, as they use a live scoreboard for the tournaments, and it will be interesting to see whether regular players are still interested to the same degree, or simply are not prepared to wager so much to win the prizes. This is the third consecutive lot of bad news the players have had, and as this groups marketing slogan is 'more bonuses more often' they have crippled the very feature that is their marketed main attraction.
    I recall that Music Hall and Challenge actually went bust under previous ownership, and the new owners promised change for the better, which they did deliver. They now need to ensure that their reqular players are looked after, and that they don't lose those along with the 'opportunists' they want rid of.
    They can start by informing their players of the change, and not leave it up to them to stumble upon this thread to find out.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2005
  24. Mar 5, 2005
  25. GrandMaster

    GrandMaster Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Mathematician by day, online gambler by night.
    Location:
    UK
    From Golden Reef: "Bonuses remain in your bonus account, come back and play again to transfer more winnings!"

    This is indeed so much better for the player than transferring everything.

    "This system is easy to understand and there are no confusing rules to it. Whats even better is that if you hit that elusive Royal Flush or 5 line payout Its yours to keep!!"

    I am confused. Does this mean that if I hit a RF, I can cash it out in real money without having to wager it another 45 times? :confused:

    I also don't understand if Microgaming can develop a tool for keeping track of WR in bonus accounts, why is it not available for real accounts?
     
  26. Mar 5, 2005
  27. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Golden Reef

    Those are the OLD rules. The NEW rules are only available on the websites. Under the old rules, YES, you got to keep that royal flush once WR were met and you transferred it. The bonus remains for you to try again - this is still true.
    BUT, and this is a BIG BUT, that royal flush, once transferred must now be wagered 45x in your real account before anything can be withdrawn, if you wager on slots only, this reduces to 15x. So, how much is left of a royal flush after wagering it 45x, not much is my guess.
    Your confusion is because the terms that existing players see from the terms & conditions tab inside Casin Action are the OLD terms. They have refused to inform current players of the changes, they have simply referred the point to management, who have yet to take any action.
    If a player transferres the royal flush, and thinks they can immediately withdraw it they will find out the hard way when the withdrawal is refused after spending 3-4 days pending. Why do they have such an enormous problem telling curent players about the change, unless this is deliberate policy. The player E-mail about Vegas Strip BJ being excluded was issued on the day of the change, even before all the web pages were updated.
    The terms quoted above are simply wrong, and should not be there - the new terms should be. Even if players check for updates they will not find them through the easy link provided for them in Casino Action.
    The first I heard was from this forum in winner screenshots after posting my Royal Flush, which was fortunately in my real account, or I would probably have seen very little of it, if any.
    Surely leaving misleading terms & conditions on display, even when they have been told of the problem, could be grounds for removal from the Casinomeister Reputable Section. They should then be candidates for the Rogue section if players actually suffer as a result of the misleading terms being presented when they click through from Casino Action to check them before withdrawing. Management can not simply sit back and wait for the proverbial sh1t to hit the fan - by then damage to their reputation will already have been done, ruining the last year of effort to rebuild it!
    This change, and a few others related to allowed chip sizes were slipped in quietly with the 5 new games Viper upgrade, so players will think they have been kept fully informed about ALL changes as there have been E-mails and player messages about the game changes.
     
  28. Mar 5, 2005
  29. GrandMaster

    GrandMaster Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Mathematician by day, online gambler by night.
    Location:
    UK
    These are the rules currently on the website.
     
  30. Mar 5, 2005
  31. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    deception by incompetence.

    This is a clear case of deception by incompetence. The new 'EVIL' terms are posted under promotional terms for the bonus. The terms the above poster has seen are the guide to understanding the 'simple' bonus account structure. These are actually some 3 months out of date!!!!!!! the 20x on Blackjack went out last year for 30x, Vegas Strip was excluded about 3 weeks ago, and no mention is made of wagering transfers once in the real account, they also reserve the right to change the terms before any posted expiry date, presumably without notice. So which set is right - I know because I have E-mailed them, but a new player may read the guide and think that elusive royal flush really is theirs to keep.
    How deep a hole are this group going to dig for themselves before they all fall in it?
    How long will it take to repair the damage after? Took nearly a year last time!
    It's Power Poker time soon, let's see what people are now prepared to wager to win that $300 that must be wagered 90x before they can withdraw anything they might win from it.
    In my opinion, only a Royal Flush from that $300 is likely to survive this and give a half meaningful amount to withdraw at the end.

    Probably about half to three quarters will be left, but the only way to achieve this would be to play BJ on Autoplay - which is exactly the sort of thing that casinos would like to discourage.
    The prizes will have to double or triple to make them as equal in value to loyal players as they were under the old rules.
     
  32. Mar 5, 2005
  33. Vesuvio

    Vesuvio Dormant account

    Location:
    UK
    These explanations of bonus accounts have become pretty ironic.

    When Captain Cooks introduced one they explained it in comparison to the Casino Action group (which at the time employed a notorious 'hidden' transfer rate between the bonus and real account): You must register/login in order to see the link.

    From that page:
    Then after Captain Cooks upped the wagering requirements and forced players to also wager transferred funds they just left this explanation, despite the Casino Action group having switched to a different system which was much more favourable to the player.

    Now they're vying to see who can have the most unplayable bonus system, though I don't really have a complaint (except not informing players). It's up to them what bonuses they offer - and up to players to decide whether to play there or not ;)
     
  34. Mar 5, 2005
  35. Slotster!

    Slotster! I predict a riot. CAG

    Occupation:
    al Hazard
    Location:
    Location, Location!
    ..and there it is.

    God bless this site for allowing players to make truly informed decisions based around the investigations and experiences of others.

    A casino will live or die on it's customer service, which includes the honesty and clarity of it's terms and conditions.

    This is all way too confusing and pointless to make me ever want to throw a dime in their direction... They might be the best thing since sliced bread in every other regard - but there's far too much choice out there to risk it.
     
  36. Mar 9, 2005
  37. largeeyes

    largeeyes Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Engineer
    Location:
    North America
    They told me they can't seperate their bonuses from signup to loyalty. So everyone must be under the insanely bad rules. If I was CEO of such a place, they'd be working 24/7 to fix that so I wasn't pissing off my loyal customers. Also, why not change the bonus rather than make more and more rules if you feel you are being abused?
     
  38. Mar 9, 2005
  39. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Rubbish!

    They may not be able to change the software, but the wagering of transfers could easily be removed for regular players, captain cooks can do it, say those that get Silver VIP and beyond. Surely this part of the WR is manual audit!

    I am a Platinum player, and they sure have pissed me off somewhat. They have not even had the decency to increase the loyalty bonuses to compensate for the harsh formula, nor the respect to actually officially inform the players of this change. It is this forum that is doing this job, a job that the casino should be doing.

    I may well become a dormant Platinum player. I have found similar 'live scoreboards' elsewhere, and other operators are placing random bonuses into accounts, just without the 'fun' element of a wheel of cash. I am encouraging casinos I play to introduce tournaments with live scoreboards.
     

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