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Kahna-whacky?

Discussion in 'Casino Industry Discussion' started by thelawnet, Jan 30, 2010.

    Jan 30, 2010
  1. thelawnet

    thelawnet Dormant account

    Occupation:
    programmer
    Location:
    UK
    At the end of the player's panel at the LAC today, the Kahnawake 'enforcer' (this might not be his exact job title) came rushing up because I'd mentioned that I thought that Kahnawake was a bum jurisdiction. He was a pretty intense guy.

    I told him that my one experience with KGC was that they ignored my issue, and he should expect people to form lasting impressions based on such experiences. He didn't seem too impressed by this and told me they are Real Regulator, not just somewhere to send your $10k/year in return for a piece of paper.

    Anyway, he assured me that they've improved since <I contacted them>/<the last couple of years>/<they introduced Ecogra testing>/<insert your own date point here>, and that operators have to respond within 48 hours, and that if I have any problems in future, I should contact them right away.

    Their Ecogra announcement is here:

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

    I couldn't help but ask how negotiations with the UK Gambling Commission were going - not too well it seems. I guess now they have a motivation to act like proper regulator, to get them access to the British market. I would be interested to hear if anyone gets the opportunity to test them out.
     
    4 people like this.
  2. Jan 30, 2010
  3. LOOKAWAY

    LOOKAWAY Senior Wember PABnonaccred

    Location:
    England
    Was the enforcer South African?
     
  4. Jan 30, 2010
  5. Roanan

    Roanan Banned User - abusive flamming - misogynist

    Occupation:
    Geek
    Location:
    Langley, BC...in Canada, eh?
    The Kahnawake (Kanienkeh) Nation, called Mohawks by Europeans, starts in Quebec and stretches south through to New York State.

    They were the guardians of the Iroquois Confederation and were known to be among the fiercest of warriors.

    Most of them had incredible physiques and were imposing figures, so I would expect that KGC use their own people for enforcement.


    In regards to the OP, although they have had a history of slow response and apparent apathy towards player concerns, they have indeed improved a great deal and are now one of the best.

    The reasons do have something to do with eCogra's involvement, but also because they are in an ongoing battle with the Government of Canada with treaty and status issues, in addition to their operation of online poker sites and casinos.

    It is legal for independent First Nations' to operate gaming facilities in their home territories and it is hoped that the feds will finally relent and officially extend that to include online operations.

    When/if this does become a reality, it will give KGC the official government recognition that will allow them to become THE online gaming authority.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2010
  6. Jan 30, 2010
  7. Pinababy69

    Pinababy69 RIP Lisa

    Occupation:
    Crusader
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario - Canada
    Eh? LOL...that post sounded like a PR release Roanan. Are you basing your above statement on anything concrete? I haven't kept up on things like I used to....but how have they suddenly become an amazing dispute resolution service for players? Just wondering what I've missed, and why players should feel "safe" playing at an establishment licensed by Kahnawake? What do they offer?
     
  8. Jan 30, 2010
  9. Roanan

    Roanan Banned User - abusive flamming - misogynist

    Occupation:
    Geek
    Location:
    Langley, BC...in Canada, eh?
    This isn't the only forum I belong to, and the poker forums have shown a progression through time of when they were bad, to how they are responding today.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Jan 30, 2010
  11. LinkinFart

    LinkinFart Banned User : multi-account fraudster

    Occupation:
    not anymore
    Location:
    Croatia
    Long one, I know

    Kahnawake may not be the brightest star in existence but certainly arent the worst. They showed some improvement lately, for starters their complaint page is now functioning :D as it should. I don`t know why is this all happening but from what I have learned first hand, although in silence, issues I presented were resolved. When I say in silence I mean operator with which I had issues suddenly starts accepting my reasoning, which was good from the beginning, and offers some compensation or deal with the issue promptly.

    Another thing, from experience again, KGC license agreement looks great on paper compared to those of Isle of man, not to mention Cyberluck and similar, and there are numerous clauses that protect player and also give player certain rights. When I called upon some of those rights given to players by KGC license, support of some establishment with which I had issues might give negative response in the beginning when communicating through email, but I noticed biggest change in behaviour from support stuff on live chat after insisting on those "rights".

    For example, I asked certain Playtech operator for slots history with all the data on spins in some readable format txt,doc, (this was some time ago) and received negative response not once but several times. Answers like, we don`t have them and when I told them that this is non sense and that they must have them they told me they cannot export those histories to file because software they use does not have this option. Then I sent them email saying that this is non sense too that they must have this option and in 3rd attempt (3rd attempt since they told me that they cant export it to file) I got answer saying that they are not obliged to give me that info and that it would compromise their security. I sent them another request telling them how much nonsense this entire thing is and started quoting KGC license agreement. In first email after I started quoting KGC I noticed slight change, their first response was something like (have everything archived if someone wants specifics) "Yes we have histories but at this moment we are unable to send them to you". Notice the change in terminology, from "we cant" they changed to "we are unable". At this point I knew I`ll get them and started wondering what will they come up with next. Then they started repeating for couple of times this unable excuse till I demanded to speak with Key manager.

    I don`t know how many of you have read KGC license agreement but there is Key manager in every establishment licensed by KGC, 2 of them if i remember correctly, and they are the ones that can lose the most if they are found not to be doing their job. They get manager salaries for start but they also have to pay for licensing, around 10K and if im right annual fees to KGC. Also if they have been found quilty of foul play or not doing their job, which is mostly comprised of overseeing that everything is done according to the license agreement, they can never again be involved with any establishment licensed by KGC.

    After that, one more email which said something like our manager is not currently available and is there something with which they can help me, like I was speaking to somebody else from the beginning, I asked them again for slot histories in a file with every single piece of data about every spin, times, combinations etc., and I finally got an answer that they will send them to me but that they need some time to export them. I can live with that as long as you send them and I did receive them after 3 days plus more than 1 week of emailing and talking to live support, which also had some really nice answers like at one point "yes we do" and at the next "no we don`t". Default Playtech live chat, "We are here to help you with deposit, basic help, but don`t ask us for anything else". Let me just say that I did not ask for those slots histories only to check payout percentages and this must have been the reason for their denial at first and this was from one of the bigger operators on Playtech.

    There are other situations where I have succesfully "claimed" my rights as player in KGC licensed establishments but this one was most difficult which did produce result without the need to contact KGC directly at all. From combined experience I noticed that KGC licensees are showing respect to KGC. Nothing like, for example, Cyberluck licensees which don`t give a diddly squat about Cyberluck and one should be lucky to get anything resolved, its entirely up to operator itself.

    just my 0.02 SKK on KGC, personally I don`t dislike them at all.
     
    3 people like this.
  12. Jan 30, 2010
  13. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Location:
    Earth
    There's definitely a big drive to improve ongoing at the KGC.

    I had an interesting meeting with the chairman Dean Montour and ceo Murray Marshall at ICEi Thursday and they answered questions openly and briefed me on the moves that have taken place, and those that are being introduced (you can see the detail in the InfoPowa reports on Day 3 ICEi and under this week's Casinomeister News.)

    They've retained as an adviser someone for whom I have the greatest respect as a professional manager of considerable integrity, and she has revved up their player dispute activities and is playing an active role in ensuring that player complaints are properly and fairly handled.

    Other measures are designed to be more communicative and tighten up compliance and acceptance through using the eCOGRA professional compliance teams.

    Apparently the majority of the licensees have bought into the need for a better system, and have been consulted and involved during the revision initiative.

    I commented to these two gentlemen (whom appeared pretty committed to this program when I spoke with them) that history dictates that they still have a credibility hill to climb, and they accepted that the proof of the pudding would be in the eating as things move forward.

    And by the way, they are now monitoring selected message boards and blogs, including this one.

    Regarding motivation, there has been a lot of speculation and I put several of the possible reasons to them.

    They said that the need for drastic change was self-evident to them when they reviewed the UB-AB issue in its entirety. Some Cdn$22 million finally found its way back to players, and there were fines and other punitive and monitoring measures imposed...yet that still left room for future preventative measures.

    They pointed out that they had also handed over a significant amount of information on the debacle to the Quebec police who were still investigating the affair.

    On speculation that either the Canadian federal government or the Quebec provincial government was leaning on them, I was told that this was not in fact the case, and that after 11 years the Mohawks still control online gambling matters within the boundaries of their First Nation sovereignty.

    Time will tell if this is a genuine and sustained initiative; I for one hope that it will be, because a more regulatory KGC means a lower liklihood of bad operators, and a better system for looking after player interests.

    In any sizeable initiative like this there will inevitably be slips between cup and lips, but if the central commitment and systems are in place these should at best be temporary.

    I'm feeling reasonably optimistic that things are looking more positive here now - but we'll see how it goes.
     
    2 people like this.
  14. Jan 30, 2010
  15. Simmo!

    Simmo! Moderator Staff Member

    Occupation:
    Web Dev.
    Location:
    England
    I met a lady at ICE who has recently been employed to help Kahnawake with player disputes and this person comes with a wealth of industry experience and an excellent reputation. I was pleasantly surprised to find she is now involved so they are definitely moving in the right direction.
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. Jan 30, 2010
  17. Pinababy69

    Pinababy69 RIP Lisa

    Occupation:
    Crusader
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario - Canada
    Thank you everyone for the replies. This is really good news, and one that "could" be a huge boost for the industry. Can't wait to see how things pan out.

    Jetset, any feelings on Malta now? I read the Infopowa report...but your personal feelings? Do you think they might make a move in the right direction as well?
     
  18. Jan 31, 2010
  19. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Location:
    Earth
    I have been trying to work through my thoughts on the talk with the LGA chief, mainly because I want to be fair and I am still grappling with some subjectively negative feelings.

    To be honest, I came away from the meeting feeling frustrated and a little flat, because although the guy was polite and is undoubtedly an efficient administrator who is making improvements, I had the feeling that I just hadn't reached him with the player perspective, and that transparency remains a real issue.

    I emphasise that my feelings on this are mainly subjective, as he listened politely, but I just had that feeling that what I had to say was not being taken aboard and, worse still, that he did not have a particular affinity for the player angle.

    That sounds harsh, I know, but after two days of reflection on the interview that's still my gut feel.

    He was much more alive and interested when talking about the improvements to administration and the speed with which licensing applications were being turned around - that really lit him up.

    And he was proud of the three hundred and fifty something licenses they have on the books and the fact that they had pulled 30 of them in the last few months, although he would not expand on what for and how many actual operators were involved...allegedly for legal reasons.

    He used the same excuse for not disclosing how many player disputes they had handled, and how many of those were resolved in favour of the player.

    Now if eCOGRA can do that on a regular basis I don't see why Malta or for that matter any regulator professing to handle player disputes with licensees can't emulate them.

    When I asked if he had a direct channel into the LGA for player disputes, he said that all licensees were required to have a complaints facility on their sites for players, which doesn't really address the question imo.

    He did say he had a couple of people handling disputes, but he wasn't specific, didn't seem particularly fired up on this aspect and I just had the feeling the shutters had come down.

    When I raised the issue of player complaint emails being ignored, he gave the standard corporate stonewalling response of "let me have the details of specific cases and I will look into it", which on the face of it is a fair enough response.

    On the positive side, they are at least interested enough to monitor the main message boards, although that may be defensive rather than proactive.

    I'm going to be briefly in Malta this coming week before returning to base, and I will make another attempt to press these issues if I can find the time in my business schedule and they are up for it, but my general feeling was that players are not the LGA's main priority at present.
     
    4 people like this.
  20. Jan 31, 2010
  21. maxd

    maxd Complaints (PAB) Manager Staff Member

    Occupation:
    The PAB Guy
    Location:
    Saltirelandia
    I have to say a word here on this: like Simmo and Jetset we too met with the Kahnawake peeps and so far the signs are very good that real and serious change (for the better!) is happening with them and their plans to handle player disputes. Of course it's results that matter but I'm cautiously hopeful that they will follow through on their new commitments. If they do we're all in for some pleasant surprises.

    I believe Bryan will have more to say in his ICE report which I'm sure he's already working on.
     
    2 people like this.
  22. Jan 31, 2010
  23. uungy

    uungy Dormant account PABnononaccred PABnoaccred PABaccred

    The LGA have basically become dormant. They do not respond to players issues. When they do, they just send you an email "we are looking into the issue", but then never actually do any follow up what so ever.

    About a year and a half ago, I think, I had an issue, and they were very good at the time, however they seem to have gone down the long slippery slope.
     
  24. Jan 31, 2010
  25. thelawnet

    thelawnet Dormant account

    Occupation:
    programmer
    Location:
    UK
    Unlike the Mohawks, Malta has no reason to change to get access to the UK because they are already here. Sadly.
     
  26. Jan 31, 2010
  27. uungy

    uungy Dormant account PABnononaccred PABnoaccred PABaccred

    How are they included already?
     
  28. Jan 31, 2010
  29. thelawnet

    thelawnet Dormant account

    Occupation:
    programmer
    Location:
    UK
    Malta is a part of the EU, and hence it would be illegal under EU competition law for the UK to exclude them.
     
    1 person likes this.
  30. Jan 31, 2010
  31. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Perhaps not;)

    I believe the European court said that member states CAN bar certain movements of free trade if this was for consumer protection. This came out of the actions taken against those EU states that tried to protect their state monopolies on online gambling, and they won this PARTIAL victory that would allow them to block online gambling for the protection of consumers. This would enable the UK to ban licencees from Malta from advertising in the UK if the LGA did not provide a proper standard of player protection to consumers. Whether the UK would bother is a different matter, but other countries might see this as another opportunity to attempt to protect their state monopolies from competition from Malta licensed operations.
     
    1 person likes this.
  32. Feb 1, 2010
  33. Pinababy69

    Pinababy69 RIP Lisa

    Occupation:
    Crusader
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario - Canada
    Thanks so much for that Jetset....that's exactly what I wanted to know. Not the press release, but how you felt personally after your meeting. I trust your gut, lol....and you probably should too, if that's what it's telling you. I appreciate your honesty in that post. :thumbsup:

    So it looks like two steps forward for Kahnawake, and one step further back for Malta/the LGA...at this point anyway. Will be interesting to watch the coming year, and see what changes are actually implemented, and what forward progress is made.

    Regarding the comment you made in your previous post in this thread, it would appear that Kahnawake are indeed monitoring the forum, as I saw their counsel on the forum a few times over the weekend...reading this thread, and searching other threads. That can only be a good thing, and will serve to get them more "in touch" with players, and player issues.
     
  34. Feb 1, 2010
  35. uungy

    uungy Dormant account PABnononaccred PABnoaccred PABaccred

    Whatever the case, I think it would be beneficial for forumers and especially the UK'ers to contact the UK gambling authority You must register/login in order to see the link. explaining the need for the LGA to be delisted unless some considerable action is taken.

    This probably can start one of the most strongest licensing available, if anyone is scared of being de-listed by the UK authority
     
  36. Feb 1, 2010
  37. Casinomeister

    Casinomeister Forum Cheermeister Staff Member

    Occupation:
    Homemaker
    Location:
    Bierland
    Just to throw my two pfennings in - I was very impressed with what I saw concerning Kahnawake. Finally, they seem to be taking a proactive move towards being a responsive and effective gaming commission RE: player issues.

    In the next few months ahead, we'll be seeing these changes being made. I certainly have faith that they are in it for the long term.

    I guess I can't say Kahna-haha-wake anymore :D

    As for Malta - I'm with jetset
     
    1 person likes this.
  38. Feb 1, 2010
  39. Pinababy69

    Pinababy69 RIP Lisa

    Occupation:
    Crusader
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario - Canada
    I almost posted that as well re: the ha ha thing, lol. It's become almost habit after all these years. But it's awesome news to hear they are really moving in a forward direction.

    Re: Malta....very bad news, especially given the fact that so many casinos are licensed there.

    Thanks everyone for the info, and replies in the thread. When you can't attend these things...it's great to get that first hand experience relayed to you. And really, it IS good news overall.
     

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