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I'm screwed. The dream is dead.

Discussion in 'Online Casinos' started by jstrike, Feb 8, 2011.

    Feb 8, 2011
  1. jstrike

    jstrike Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Programmer & Designer
    Location:
    Europe
    I had a dream. The dream was to build my own casino, alone, from scratch, and make it the best in the world. Starting in my garage. Something no one had ever done before. To make something that people would go "wow" at. Something that showed off what I could do with my own sweat and hard work. I kept building it, compulsively, like an addict, for three years, no matter how crazy anyone said it was.

    The dream's dead.

    I wanted to do it really right. No US players. Total transparency on everything from card shoes to roulette spins. Verifying ID before the first deposit. Excellence in customer service. Meeting the highest standards in the world. Original games I dreamed up. Letting players control their own odds. No popups. No ads. A tight-knit community. Beautiful graphics. All multiplayer games.

    Well, I spent three years writing the software and designing it, and although it's only got 20 games, they're the best there is. And I figured, just don't worry about it. Keep working. Keep your head down. If you build it, they will come.

    I got incorporated in Costa Rica, because I couldn't afford anything else. But I figured we'd start with poker, build up our reputation, and then get licensed somewhere and run the casino side.

    Turns out, my Costa Rica corporation is a big expensive freakin joke. You can't process payments with a Costa Rica corporation anymore, not without breaking the law everywhere else. No one will even open us a bank account unless we lie about who we are, and I don't want to do that.

    I have to thank the people I've met in Curacao and the Netherlands who've been kind to me and had the patience to explain how the world works for me. I wouldn't know what I do about the industry without their kindness. And they opened my eyes to the impossibility of what I was facing. To get licensed in Curacao or somewhere else, I'd need at least $100k floating around. And there's no other way anymore, unless you start rogue and stay rogue, which completely defeats the point.

    If there's any hope for me now, it's raising that kind of money eventually. What they told me was, go on and start it for play money and see what happens. What happens when what? They say people walk in their offices all the time with $250k and want to start a casino, and have to choose from the same selection of software that's been around forever. But no one will invest in something untested.

    So this is what my dream's been reduced to. I have to basically open it up for play money and just let it go as a website, and hope that enough people like it, demand it, that I can get that kind of investment in it before someone just rips off my ideas and I'm left having done three years of hard labor for nothing but love.

    So. I hope that given this situation, the fact that we won't be taking deposits anytime in the foreseeable future, and given our prior conversations, the CM doesn't have a problem with me showing what I've built here. I want people to see the software...see what online casinos SHOULD look like, and some of my really wild concepts about what they SHOULD do and especially see how they should behave toward their customers.

    So here's the link, hosted in the US, for play money only. The big tamale. 300,000 lines of original code... and believe me, it makes me feel suicidal to have to do it this way, but here goes:

    You must register/login in order to see the link.

    I hope you like it. This is probably my damn swan song. I don't think I'll ever try this hard at anything again, so I hope you'll all be kind.

    And just so you know: The code for a real money site is there, but we don't even have a bank account, let alone processing, and it ain't happening now or anytime soon. This is not a pitch for anyone to play for real anything. I don't want anyone to accuse me of that. It's what it is ------- I want you guys to see my software, so that hopefully one day I can say that it wasn't all done in vain.

    If you want to know how anything works, have any suggestions for what might be improved, or anything like that...drop me a line. I wrote every single line of code in there. :eek2:
     
  2. Feb 8, 2011
  3. coenie

    coenie Non-Gambler PABnonaccred

    Occupation:
    student Co-ceo YEA! Company
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    maybe interesting

    Hey,

    You are probably know this, but slotland and winaday (pretty well known casinos) are licenced and registered using the Government of Anjouan.
    It costs about 50k a year for the a virtual casino license, i dont know about their reputation, but i thought you maybe find it interesting :)

    here are some links for more info:

    You must register/login in order to see the link. - website from a company dealing with the licenses orso, dont really know but the info was interesting.
    You must register/login in order to see the link. - official goverment website
    You must register/login in order to see the link. - wiki page

    ,Coenie:thumbsup:
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Feb 8, 2011
  5. jstrike

    jstrike Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Programmer & Designer
    Location:
    Europe
    Thanks. And thank you for checking it out.
    The problem is, we already have a corporation in Costa Rica. We're legally allowed to set up a server and take bets. But just like anywhere else outside the EU, if we don't have a corporation and a license in the EU, no payment processors will work with us. So we're dead, unless we can afford the license, and all the lawyers and the certificates that go with it. $50k a year is also waaayyyy out of my price range. I mean... right now, this whole thing has cost about $3k over 3 years, because I did all the work.
     
  6. Feb 8, 2011
  7. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Demo mode is "forever buffering" - does nothing, and the video just doesn't play.

    I wonder how all the other online casinos based in Costa Rica manage to process payments for EU based players. Looks like they have all found a way around the laws that have prevented YOU from processing payments from a Costa Rica based corporation. Maybe they just use dummy companies to disguise the nature and source of the payments. The Virtual group seem to run through a processing arm based in the UK, and probably disguised what they were doing so as to get a bank account within the EU.

    It's helpful to have $100K "floating around" though, as enough is needed in case there is an early crop of big winners, who would expect to be paid BEFORE the long term house edge kicked in to provide an income stream.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Feb 8, 2011
  9. jstrike

    jstrike Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Programmer & Designer
    Location:
    Europe
    Hey VW
    That's weird, maybe you hit a rough spot...but this is just running off one test server (edit: One shared server); it's supposed to run on 3 (dedicated servers) at least. Can you try it again?

    As far as float/payback, we were just going to run 5¢ games and poker at the start, with a $15k float. But yes, $150k is definitely helpful.

    Apparently the way the CR guys get around it is by disguising themselves as other things, and processing non-7995 transactions through real estate companies and crap like that. I won't do it. The hell with it. It's not worth sacrificing my soul for.

    (edit) To elaborate on that, I've found two ways of making it work from CR. One is to set up a real estate company with a fake website to distract the authorities, then open a bank account and process for that company, moving money constantly in and out of it. Totally shady. The second way is to go through an EU company that disguises the transactions. Because they process basically twice, they charge 9% on deposits. Double the regular rate. Our house edge is very small. The games are very, very favorable to the player. I would have to have about a 14% edge to make it work with their rate, and still scrape by. I'd rather just wait. If I open a site with a 14% house edge, no one will want to play there.
     
  10. Feb 8, 2011
  11. denamoutz

    denamoutz Dormant account

    Occupation:
    mom
    Location:
    USA
    Hello, i can't get your website to work either!!! would love to see it, but i signed up for account, got email, clicked on verification link, but website keeps telling me i haven't verified it yet:mad:
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. Feb 8, 2011
  13. Da_Gambla

    Da_Gambla Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Code Monkey
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I'm not sure how your dream is dead? Was it because your dream tried to do too much at once and wear every hat?

    Can a dream not be broken down into individual modules? If it can, then many of your dreams have in fact come true. The software portion made it to a mature point where it could be played.

    It is rare when one individual can take an idea and blossom it into the full product without any other help at all. We can probably find historical instances, but the odds are staggering. The way it happens all the other times, the business idea is brought to life by a GROUP of people, who then hire managers, employees, and outside people like vendors, suppliers, consultants, and lawyers.

    Money rules everything. Obviously when a business starts up, there's going to be lots of licensing issues, etc. These are all very expensive things. You have to pay to have the privilege of being an entity in their market.

    Are these all really bad things designed to keep an entrepreneur down? Markets will say no, this is to designed to be difficult so that the market does not get flooded with inexperienced businesses. It's a protection mechanism.

    Can someone without 100k laying around be trusted to run an entire casino business? How would your casino pay out wins at first? The reason you're told people come in with 250k is because people with money rule the top tier of the game, period. The 250k is just what they walked in with, willing to invest. They more than likely have millions in bank accounts to then actually back up the business they are investing in. IMO, there isn't a single casino, land based or virtual, that isn't owned by the very top by a REAL millionaire. For land based casinos, I'd upgrade that to billionaire.

    Ok, well I could lament here for hours, but just end up with a book. The bottom line, is it at all realistic for someone to start a gambling business and start taking deposits from a garage? What experience do you actually have outside of software development (ie., actual casino management)? Would you deposit there, knowing that the casino was run by one guy out of his garage?

    You have a talent. There's no reason to pack your marbles and claim 'swan song'. You could easily get inside the business as a software technician, as just one example entry point. Hell, you could even become a millionaire yourself if you branded your software and licensed it out to millionaires opening a casino.

    The paths open to you are mind-boggling, but you say your dream is dead? I would say your dream became larger than you, and you need to realize that not only have some of your dreams come true, there are other ares of the dream that are valid and could make you millions.

    There are those who don't dream big enough, and get defeated very quickly. There are those who dream too big, and get exhausted running into all the roadblocks chasing the dream. They fail. The successful entrepreneur is the one who can bring in others and start modularizing the larger dream into individual components that can be managed.

    Being narrow-minded right now would be tragic. Not only are you a gifted coder, you also represent yourself as a trustworthy person who wants to do things above board. You have the ingredients necessary for success, you just need to be more realistic with which next steps are appropriate.

    I mean no disrespect when I say, and again this is based on what little information I have from your original post, opening this casino in its current form and being run by one person, is a disastrous plan.

    I do hope you'll find a way to contribute to the industry. It needs it.

    - Keith
     
    4 people like this.
  14. Feb 8, 2011
  15. aceking123

    aceking123 Ueber Meister CAG PABnononaccred MM

    Occupation:
    chippy
    Location:
    uk
    hi strike , nope it doesnt work as vwm pointed out, just stays in buffering .
     
  16. Feb 8, 2011
  17. jstrike

    jstrike Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Programmer & Designer
    Location:
    Europe
    Firstly: Keith. Thank you for the hope. It's been a hopeless day and, if I read the signs right, probably I jumped off a cliff.

    To people experiencing trouble, I seem to already be under some kind of DoS attack since I posted this an hour ago. The perfect ending to a great day. I'm trying to figure it out. Please be patient.
     
  18. Feb 8, 2011
  19. Scooter7

    Scooter7 Meister Member

    Occupation:
    Gaming
    Location:
    Toronto
    There are elements of this software that would be of interest to some of the major providers. You should look into a joint venture that might help you gain some traction as a game creator instead of trying to make the whole casino single-handed. Develop a rep as someone who makes great games and you can build a profitable career.

    Feel free to PM me. I have some friends who might be able to give you some leads.
     
    1 person likes this.
  20. Feb 8, 2011
  21. jstrike

    jstrike Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Programmer & Designer
    Location:
    Europe
    Are you guys able to load any of the video at all, right now? I'm on a slow connection and it seems to be playing, but slowly...
     
  22. Feb 8, 2011
  23. denamoutz

    denamoutz Dormant account

    Occupation:
    mom
    Location:
    USA
    none at all :(
     
  24. Feb 8, 2011
  25. jstrike

    jstrike Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Programmer & Designer
    Location:
    Europe
    It looks like the server might be having some problems with the video player. But, VW and denamoutz -- have you managed to log in at all? dena, I verified you manually...

    It looked like a DDOS attack, but I'm still not sure... things are running though, somewhat.
     
  26. Feb 8, 2011
  27. jstrike

    jstrike Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Programmer & Designer
    Location:
    Europe
    By the way, Keith..
    What you're saying is...the advice my father gave me. If I'd taken it two years ago, I wouldn't be two more years down the tubes. But then again, I do believe in this project. The thing is, I never wanted to work for somebody else. That's why I spent every weekend, every all-night coding session, making this thing.

    Would I want to gamble with a guy who was based out of his garage. It's a good question. I'd say if I knew who the guy was, I'd probably feel better about it than Bodog, and worse than Pokerstars. Somewhere right in the middle. But I think, if it weren't for the licensing, I could ramp it up and prove it's possible, by starting with parimutuel games only, and never taking a profit until we hit our mark. And as for running it, I don't have experience, but I did stay at a holiday inn express ;)
     
  28. Feb 8, 2011
  29. plasticnote

    plasticnote Senior Member

    Occupation:
    trader
    Location:
    Australia
    I can view your site but the video is just way slow.
    --------------------------------------------------
    Why you say your dream is dead? You have not started yet.
    Being an ex-software guy, I suggest you should talk to some
    Venture capital company while building up the user base.

    Give some Lucky draw (gift/cash) for people playing your game.
    Get bigger userbase and comapny will come to you.

    Good one and stick to your dream.:thumbsup:
    --------------------------------------------------------------

    1)by the way, have you stress testing your software/site?
    2)do some SEO, the visibility on WWW is the vital.
     
  30. Feb 8, 2011
  31. denamoutz

    denamoutz Dormant account

    Occupation:
    mom
    Location:
    USA
    sorry, not able to log in:mad:confused: I was looking forward to seeing your site
     
  32. Feb 9, 2011
  33. jstrike

    jstrike Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Programmer & Designer
    Location:
    Europe
    Hey Dena, I just emailed you again with a new password (at the address you put on the site) ... if you can't get in, email me. You can also call me at (877) 6-Strike. I'm usually awake ;)
     
  34. Feb 9, 2011
  35. Emmeline

    Emmeline Experienced Member

    Occupation:
    editing
    Location:
    Sweden
    jstrike, I had no problem with the registration process or log-in.
    Only tried the slot worked fine except from one detail, after each spin I had to choose nr of lines to be able to spin again)
    It looks fine, I will check out more, just wanted to tell that it worked.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
  36. Feb 9, 2011
  37. Repro

    Repro Dormant account PABnononaccred PABnonaccred

    Occupation:
    Financial
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Everything works fine here. Video's are loading fast and everything seems to run smoothly.

    When i started to have a look i was eager to see more. Unfortunately after about 10 minutes i lost interest... I understand that this is just a "test" but i play mainly slots and you've got only one.

    I like the idea of a player creating their "own" slot by changing settings. I think that's a smart move. I only think that the slot looks too simple to get people to play it. Also it's quite annoying that you have to push multiple buttons to spin and there's no autoplay option.

    Still... The software/design looks very good on the outside. I won't give up if i were you. If you really decide to give up you better look for a generous buyer.

    Frank
     
    1 person likes this.
  38. Feb 9, 2011
  39. jstrike

    jstrike Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Programmer & Designer
    Location:
    Europe
    Yeah... actually, if we ever open for real money, we're going to restrict it to a few hundred players at the beginning, and verify ID before deposit. So it's very word-of-mouth. I do NOT want thousands of people showing up. What I want is a slow, steady, private club.

    I'd be happy if we bring in 1,000 good poker players and cap it right there.
     

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