CASSAVA CASINOS AWARDED eCOGRA SEALS

dominique

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Jul 5, 2003
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The Boonies
OOps Caruso, you threw me in a couple of pots there!

I'm saying that the financial relationship is compromising

I have explained this before: The financial relationship is an asset.

There are hundreds of casinos online, all of which want to be exposed to as many players as possible. Almost all of them want affiliates to do the job, since affiliates work for free unless they generate income for the casinos. (And frequently then they are not paid. But that is another story.)

A productive affiliate can pick and choose at will. I will generally make my ability to effect action from a casino my primary consideration of who to pick. That will help me take care of my customers - the players. I want to primarily advertise casinos I can influence. That is the case BECAUSE I MAKE THEM MONEY! They are beholden to me, not the other way around. This is a GOOD THING for players!

I don't depend on the income from any one or any group or any software group of casinos. They are all easlily replaced. It is I who is not easily replaced.

Re. citing me in support of eCOGRA:

I am in support of every effort the industry makes to self regulate.

I still wish you, Caruso, would find a way to stop yelling about everything and doing something yourself instead. With your level of energy and intelligence I think you could do something very good for players.

Whether eCOGRA is the answer to my prayers for self regulation or not, or to what extent, remains to be seen.

Re. Rowmare: She is right. Someone has to pay for audits, and usually in real life it is the entity being audited. Surely players don't want to pay for it - or do we need an organization that collects "insurance" money from players to use to pay for inspections?

I think the conventional way is better because it is easier and more just.

Caruso, - something constructive? Something we can use? Everyone can destroy things. Building things is not so easy.

Bethug - it is true that most businesses will settle out of court, whether they are right or wrong. It's just a lot easier and cheaper. I agree that one wants to keep a watchful eye - but that incident is not fit to base permanent judgement on.
 

jetset

RIP Brian
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
I guess the question of player support or no will manifest itself soon enough as eCOGRA continues to progress and prove it's bona fides to those sufficiently open minded to accept them - I believe it is well aware that it will have to establish its own credibility by delivering on its claims.

"For the player there's a better, safer gambling experience, prompt payouts and a responsive and independent dispute resolution process.

I agree with all that other than any suggestion that the software verification claim is anything more than meaningless."

Putting to one side your antipathy and slurs on others here, Caruso perhaps we are getting somewhere at last. Am I to understand from the above that you accept that the regulations and services that eCOGRA has to offer constitute a genuine and useful initiative (obviously with the exception of the software validation on which you have focused your opposition?)

Or do you still contend that the source of the initial funding and the payment of inspection fees to an independent third party in regard to the Seal examinations invalidates the entire initiative, in addition to your stand on the software question?

You have repeatedly described the Pricewaterhouse Coopers TGTR system as "a sham" and a "rubber stamp". Do you have any evidence to suggest that it does anything other than what its inventors claim for it, or is the real answer "I don't know because the information is not available to me"?

And as an obvious follow on to that question are Microgaming and CON games in your opinion and based on your information acceptably fair?

Do you support the concept of player-friendly regulation as a necessary move forward in this industry from a player protection standpoint? Alternatively would you like to see the status quo continue, or would you prefer to identify some other equally comprehensive system?

Are you prepared to accept the possibility that the directors Hirst, Galston and Catania are independent, given the information that has been provided on their role?

"Yes, myself and a few others will no doubt continue to call you and your fellows to task on the SAME matters every time you post the "More Coveted Ecogra Seals Awarded!!!!!!!" ads."

Interesting that you again admit to this spoiling strategy (btw - eCOGRA press releases are not "ads" but legitimate media releases of factual information to the industry) You may find yourself active in this regard as eCOGRA will undoubtedly be announcing further advances and developments in the months ahead.
 

caruso

Banned User - repetitive violations of 1.6 - troll
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Location
England
spearmaster said:
I would like to know what Dubya does at 7 in the evening too, but these things aren't always made public.

My OCA stance has more to do with the untried, unknown methods of the system which was applied in gathering data. It has nothing to do with eCOGRA whatsoever, insofar as that eCOGRA does not gather the same sort of data and attempt to validate the findings.

I don't disagree with most of what you say, except that if Dubya were the one operating the TGTR process then I'd require of him the same transparancy, and I would draw identical conclusions from his reluctance to comply. Also, we seem to be reading something pretty fundamental remarkably different based on that second statement. My understanding, based on all communications to date, is that the TGTR process does do exactly this - collect data and analyze it, as the OCA did / does. Of course, you may be referring to the fact that the software branch is apparently contracted out to PWC, and since Ecogra simply accept and report on their findings then technically this isn't one of their physical tasks. That being the case - fair enough; however, as the issuer of the seals the buck stops at their door. The facts remain the same, be they directed at Ecogra, or at PWC via Ecogra.
 

caruso

Banned User - repetitive violations of 1.6 - troll
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Location
England
jetset said:
Am I to understand from the above that you accept that the regulations and services that eCOGRA has to offer constitute a genuine and useful initiative (obviously with the exception of the software validation on which you have focused your opposition?)

Yes. I've never had much to say on anything apart from the software aspect.

Or do you still contend that the source of the initial funding and the payment of inspection fees to an independent third party in regard to the Seal examinations invalidates the entire initiative, in addition to your stand on the software question?

If the software verification were transparent, with data and process in the open for corroboration by independent, reliable third parties (including and additionally posters here and elsewhere, and most anyone else who cared to express an opinion), then the funding is irrelevant. As I said long ago, I don't care if it's a Microgaming monopoly or every provider and casino under the sun; as long as the data / process is proven valid, it doesn't matter who shells out the money.

Do you have any evidence to suggest that it does anything other than what its (TGTR) inventors claim for it, or is the real answer "I don't know because the information is not available to me"?

How can I have evidence of what is unseen / unknown? You're asking for an impossibility. They are the movers, not me. I'm the observer. If they make statements that I consider invalid without verification and I believe others may, too, I state the objection - as others have. It's not beholden to me to prove PWC / Ecogra are doing or not doing anything. Its beholden to THEM to give the evidence for their claims. They may choose to take that stance - but I don't think it'll take them very far. It certainly won't help their credibility.

And as an obvious follow on to that question are Microgaming and CON games in your opinion and based on your information acceptably fair?

LOL, yes. And FWIW, I consider THAT "verification" to be worth a whole helluva lot more than statements from industry insiders based on invisible processes. Of course, my own opinion remains irrelevant as any kind of proof, but you understand what Im getting at.

Do you support the concept of player-friendly regulation as a necessary move forward in this industry from a player protection standpoint? Alternatively would you like to see the status quo continue, or would you prefer to identify some other equally comprehensive system?

I'm personally happy as things are. And of course, my own preference is for a player-orientated, independent of ANY compromise type organization such as the OCA project. THAT is pure regulation. I acknowledge SERIOUS teething problems and the huge credibility dent it took over the MG figures, but in terms of real "regulation", that is the way forward. At the same time, I have no problem with "player-friendly regulation as a necessary move forward in this industry", as you asked. It doesn't much concern ME, but players come in all shapes and sizes and there have to be benefits.

Are you prepared to accept the possibility that the directors Hirst, Galston and Catania are independent, given the information that has been provided on their role?

FWIW, I'm happy to give them the benefit of the doubt until I look into it. I've not looked at individual roles of individual members at all.

"Yes, myself and a few others will no doubt continue to call you and your fellows to task on the SAME matters every time you post the "More Coveted Ecogra Seals Awarded!!!!!!!" ads."

Interesting that you again admit to this spoiling strategy...

To call it a "spoiling strategy" is to give a negative slant very far from the truth. If things were as they should be with regard to the software verification I'd never have breathed a word. Nor would anybody else. Nobody is "spoiling"; they're airing valid opinions / objections.
 

jetset

RIP Brian
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
caruso said:
Yes. I've never had much to say on anything apart from the software aspect.



If the software verification were transparent, with data and process in the open for corroboration by independent, reliable third parties (including and additionally posters here and elsewhere, and most anyone else who cared to express an opinion), then the funding is irrelevant. As I said long ago, I don't care if it's a Microgaming monopoly or every provider and casino under the sun; as long as the data / process is proven valid, it doesn't matter who shells out the money.



How can I have evidence of what is unseen / unknown? You're asking for an impossibility. They are the movers, not me. I'm the observer. If they make statements that I consider invalid without verification and I believe others may, too, I state the objection - as others have. It's not beholden to me to prove PWC / Ecogra are doing or not doing anything. Its beholden to THEM to give the evidence for their claims. They may choose to take that stance - but I don't think it'll take them very far. It certainly won't help their credibility.



LOL, yes. And FWIW, I consider THAT "verification" to be worth a whole helluva lot more than statements from industry insiders based on invisible processes. Of course, my own opinion remains irrelevant as any kind of proof, but you understand what Im getting at.



I'm personally happy as things are. And of course, my own preference is for a player-orientated, independent of ANY compromise type organization such as the OCA project. THAT is pure regulation. I acknowledge SERIOUS teething problems and the huge credibility dent it took over the MG figures, but in terms of real "regulation", that is the way forward. At the same time, I have no problem with "player-friendly regulation as a necessary move forward in this industry", as you asked. It doesn't much concern ME, but players come in all shapes and sizes and there have to be benefits.



FWIW, I'm happy to give them the benefit of the doubt until I look into it. I've not looked at individual roles of individual members at all.



To call it a "spoiling strategy" is to give a negative slant very far from the truth. If things were as they should be with regard to the software verification I'd never have breathed a word. Nor would anybody else. Nobody is "spoiling"; they're airing valid opinions / objections.

From your responses to my questions above, Caruso I believe it is fair to say that your opposition to eCOGRA is not the concept, funding, regulations or infrastructure, but is focused on the transparency or rather lack thereof of the PwC software verification system. Your contention is that there is insufficient information available for you to say one way or another that it is inherently good or bad, and this invalidates the entire initiative.

I don't see eCOGRA failing, and it would be a pity if it did because imo it offers the player the real benefit of a safer and better gambling experience.

Reading through your responses above outlining your personal disclosure requirements from PwC in this connection, I very much doubt that these will be met for the third party proprietary reasons discussed previously, and PwC's continued silence on the subject would seem to confirm that.

It unfortunately creates something of a stalemate in this exchange, because eCOGRA and its not inexperienced or disreputable members are clearly comfortable that the PwC arrangement provides a satisfactory level of games fairness. They are therefore unlikely to switch to an alternative like the Truegambler OCA, which is unproven, has a patchy record since launch, comes from a largely unknown source and appears to be inadequately funded and in need of some sort of big-name verification itself.

I think that your personal opinion that regulation in the industry is unnecessary is at variance with the views of many experts in this business for reasons relating to better player protection and credibility, but we can put that aside for the moment.

I believe that your repeatedly stated intention to post your adverse opinion of eCOGRA every time a release from that organisation appears does constitute a "spoiling tactic" if those releases are legitimate informatives for the industry. You have voiced your opposition and if there is nothing further to add, this is deliberate "spoiling" in my opinion.

Speaking personally, I am not going to be drawn into a futile, time-wasting and similarly repetitious argument every time you and your supporters adopt such a tactic, so we are left with a generally unsatisfactory situation that does not further the issue of regulation or player protection at all.

Since you appear to claim wide support from the player community I would suggest to you that there may be a more constructive approach to breaking this deadlock.

Frame a petition covering the sort of credibility for software verification that the players feel eCOGRA should have, propose a player spokesman, mobilise widespread support for it and open a dialogue with eCOGRA itself as the player's representative?

That would seem to me to be a more productive approach than bad-mouthing eCOGRA every time its name appears.
 

Clayman

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Mar 12, 2004
Location
Pennsylvania, USA
I think it was something the meister recently said that made me wonder what is it that the Nevada Gaming Control Board does that seems to allow most people to believe that every game in every casino is fair all the time?

Do we know exactly what laboratory tests are run on the slot chips and that it is that chip that ends up in a machine? Do they run chi-square tests on card distributions - I think not. Are the members of the Commission paid by the casinos? Basically, I'd say yes. Do we have access to whatever audit papers are produced in audits? Don't know. If we did, what would that prove anyway?

In other words, I've always felt that no matter how much is shown or proved there can always be an argument that it is not enough or the process may be defective. Would I like to see more? Sure I would. Will it ever be enough? No, it never will. You may as well try to prove God exists.

So, no matter what happens, either you believe or you don't. Ultimately, it's an act of faith. Believe whatever you want.
 

GrandMaster

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The Nevada Gaming Commission has quite detailed publicly available documents on casino procedures, internal audit standards and slot machine specifications. I have not found anything on randomness testing, except lots of references by online casinos to unspecified Nevada Gaming Commission standards of randomness. For card games the best guarantee is that the shuffle happens right in front of the players, although I have read someone's account of a special shuffle in a Far Eastern casino, which was designed to give an unfavourable deck to the players.
 

GrandMaster

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jetset said:
Frame a petition covering the sort of credibility for software verification that the players feel eCOGRA should have, propose a player spokesman, mobilise widespread support for it and open a dialogue with eCOGRA itself as the player's representative?
I nominate caruso as transparency advocate for players.
 

GrandMaster

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jetset said:
It unfortunately creates something of a stalemate in this exchange, because eCOGRA and its not inexperienced or disreputable members are clearly comfortable that the PwC arrangement provides a satisfactory level of games fairness.
However reputable and good they are, they are not infallible. Judging by their biographies, they don't have mathematical training, so a mistake in the definition of game fairness got past them. I found it and it will be fixed, so I have had to shelve my plans for ecogra compliant craps with increased house edge. :)

TGTR is not open to scrutiny, so if there is a mistake in it, it may not be found.
 

caruso

Banned User - repetitive violations of 1.6 - troll
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England
LOL, I think GM's nomination contained the tiniest pinch of salt, so I don't forsee an onset of invisibility for the time being at least. And in case I'm in error regarding the salt content, I have to say I possess neither the time nor the tidy mind for such a lofty task. However, I WOULD be happy to get together a summary, reasonably representative of the general concerns expressed, and Email it to the appropriate person, if Jetset can provide me with a name and an Email address. I would also happily post the person's answer, assuming he were in agreement. That wouldn't be a bad compromise.

Jetset said:
From your responses to my questions above, Caruso I believe it is fair to say that your opposition to eCOGRA is not the concept, funding, regulations or infrastructure, but is focused on the transparency or rather lack thereof of the PwC software verification system. Your contention is that there is insufficient information available for you to say one way or another that it is inherently good or bad, and this invalidates the entire initiative.

That's about it. A more accurate wording would be: "Your contention is that since neither the data nor the processes involved in collecting it are available for public scrutiny, this leaves us being required to accept effectively uncorroboratable statements on faith and a such invalidates the entire initiative". And yes, I agree on the stalemate remark. Honestly, I never saw any other likely result. They were never going to open these things up - and I make no apology for drawing my own conclusions as to why.

Good points from GM about the inadequacy of the NGC comparison. It's quite tricky to rig a dealt blackjack game, at least in Modern Vegas.
 

Clayman

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GrandMaster said:
The Nevada Gaming Commission has quite detailed publicly available documents on casino procedures, internal audit standards and slot machine specifications.

Yes, quite detailed procedures of what an auditor is supposed to do but how do we know they are actually competently done? Just because an auditor checks the right block does not mean he did the work.

And, even if they are, you'll never know when you're being dealt seconds in a pitch game anyway. Or that the shoe is legit, or whether the dealer dropped a card in the wastebasket, or whether the random draw for a car is fixed.

Notwithstanding, the more detail provided about TGTR, the better. If, a year from now, there is no more detail than we currently seem to have, I'll be more than a little disappointed.
 

Clayman

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caruso said:
A more accurate wording would be: "Your contention is that since neither the data nor the processes involved in collecting it are available for public scrutiny, this leaves us being required to accept effectively uncorroboratable statements on faith and a such invalidates the entire initiative".

Why didn't you feel this way the day after True Gambler released his results? On that day, you had complete faith in every erroneous conclusion he put forth stating "This is indeed the UNBELIEVEABLE conclusion:... Microgaming is rigged. Now it's official."

People believe what they want to and that's OK.
 

jpm

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Mar 29, 2002
Clayman said:
Yes, quite detailed procedures of what an auditor is supposed to do but how do we know they are actually competently done? Just because an auditor checks the right block does not mean he did the work.

And, even if they are, you'll never know when you're being dealt seconds in a pitch game anyway. Or that the shoe is legit, or whether the dealer dropped a card in the wastebasket, or whether the random draw for a car is fixed.

Clayman, using this logic, how could we trust ANYONE who certifies the games are fair, whether their methodology is fully disclosed or not? If you doubt everyone's audits, then no certification, no matter how detailed or transparent, would be acceptable.
 

Clayman

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jpm said:
Clayman, using this logic, how could we trust ANYONE who certifies the games are fair, whether their methodology is fully disclosed or not? If you doubt everyone's audits, then no certification, no matter how detailed or transparent, would be acceptable.

Exactly. We can't. Cheating occurs every day in Nevada casinos but I never think I'm being cheated when I'm there. Even if one believes every audit, it would only prove the games were possibly fair then but not, necessarily, now.
My point is that, ultimately, we choose to believe what we want when we play tomorrow. We will never have absolute certainty, whether it's a Big 8 accounting firm auditing Raytheon's books or whether any software provider is fair. Shareholders suing auditors is par for the course and proves nothing. I used to work for a multi-national conglomerate with $2 billion in sales that ended up on the cover of Business Week magazine before we filed bankrupcty, all with financials certified by auditors. Of course they were sued and deservedly so. But I choose to believe these are the exceptions to the rule.
Do you think the money in our checking accounts is real? Only if we all don't try to get green cash tomorrow at 9 AM.
It's tough enough just convincing everyone as to whether Neteller has a legitimate random draw or not, let alone that on-line gambling experience is fair. Regrettably, we don't live in a perfect world.

But we try to get as close as we can and that's a good thing.

I do think eCogra can get closer than they are. And, for now, I think, and hope, they eventually will. If not, I'll most likely continue to believe anyway chances are good I'm getting a fair game in Vegas and on the Internet despite also knowing it's possible I'm not.
 

jetset

RIP Brian
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GrandMaster said:
I nominate caruso as transparency advocate for players.

From this I take it that Grandmaster has the same attitude to eCOGRA that Caruso has - if you can be personally comfortable with the software verification you have no other serious beefs with eCOGRA.

However, I think you need a little more organisation of effort than simply making ad hoc nominations on a single message board if you are to have credibility.

There are hundreds of players (and I include all genuinely concerned and interested posters in that) on the leading message boards, and if you can organise yourselves so as to marshal a strong representation from this audience, an open dialogue with eCOGRA may be the most powerful and constructive thing you have done thus far....and have the best chance for success.

It may require Grandmaster, Eek, Cipher, DaveR, DirkD or one of Caruso's other supporters to work those boards from which Caruso is excluded but that should not present too great a problem.

Bethug - with respect, you can be part of the problem or part of the solution. Taking your attitude of total opposition to eCOGRA is not going to make this initiative go away and it certainly will not take this debate further forward imo.

"And yes, I agree on the stalemate remark. Honestly, I never saw any other likely result. They were never going to open these things up - and I make no apology for drawing my own conclusions as to why."

Caruso, you may well impose your own personal views and conclusions on this issue, but that is all they remain and that does not make your opinion fact.

IMO, this is not a promising way to kickstart an initiative that shows eCOGRA you speak for a significant number of people who share your views to the extent that they should consider an approach more in line with your thinking.

This could entail expense and a significant policy shift from their obvious present comfort level with the professional integrity and honesty of a major third party service provider, and the level of support for your suggestions would definitely be a consideration.

We all have busy lives, but many people in this industry make space for voluntary causes in which they strongly believe.

Your personal views and position are well established, but in the present impasse I am suggesting the more constructive course of you and your supporters taking the time and trouble to assess public opinion on eCOGRA and then act on it.

If this public opinion conforms to your views then taking the issue to a more productive level than hostile message board posts would be a valuable move forward.
 

jetset

RIP Brian
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
GrandMaster said:
However reputable and good they are, they are not infallible. Judging by their biographies, they don't have mathematical training, so a mistake in the definition of game fairness got past them. I found it and it will be fixed, so I have had to shelve my plans for ecogra compliant craps with increased house edge. :)

TGTR is not open to scrutiny, so if there is a mistake in it, it may not be found.

This, and for reasons of independent conduct is clearly why eCOGRA has outsourced software verification, inspection and technical monitoring to Pricewaterhouse Coopers, who apparently do have the requisite professional capabilities. But this is a circular argument and takes us no further forward.
 
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