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OPA Resignations

Discussion in 'Ask the Meister' started by shootyoudown, Jan 3, 2003.

  1. shootyoudown

    shootyoudown Dormant account

    Did I miss something over the holidays? Bryan, you said in another thread that the whole of the OPA had resigned and handed stuff over to Mike Craig - what happened? Why? Have the OPA forums gone or will they return or have they just been moved?
  2. Casinomeister

    Casinomeister Forum Cheermeister Staff Member

    Hi Shootyoudown,

    Yes, you missed something over the holidays. Actually the holidays are still going on in Germany, we have until "Drei Koenige Tag" (Monday) to sober up.

    And the holidays have not been so cheery at the OPA. The entire committee, including myself and the Players Advisory Board, walked. Mike Craig is now the man with the plan. Why? Non-disclosure of financial activity, non-disclosure of contractual agreements with Playtech casinos, the unelected Presidential status of Mike Craig, and disregard for the committee's voice. Mike Craig runs the OPA now by himself.

    As you can see, the OPA forum is down, deleted for all I know. He may hire others to help him out or whatever. I don't care. The committee members are still in daily contact with one another and will be sharing their thoughts here and at other quality sites. So in essence, the players are not losing out.
  3. shootyoudown

    shootyoudown Dormant account

    Wow... I was just catching the end of the discussion on winneronline about the domain names, but hadn't realised that it had progressed this far. Who'd have thunk it?

    It's a great pity, because the OPA seemed to be making great strides in getting official channels opened up with major casinos and others, and was a respected and recognised name. It felt like it had some clout.

    Any idea if you and the other ex-OPA peeps will set up something officialish for players? Maybe a "Casinomeister Committee"? The "Casinomeister CasinoShyster Watch"?!

    I don't know if it's possible or has already been done, but I think a lot of players would appreciate a statement here or on WOL by you or someone else who was in the OPA as to what happened and why - and your recommended outlets for casino complaints!

    Thanks for the quick reply, btw.
  4. shootyoudown

    shootyoudown Dormant account

    Okay, scratch that last request! Just found it all discussed in detail at bet2gamble - should have known it would be there:

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

    amandajm Experienced Member

    I know Mike lives near a mountain but i don't see how he moved the proverbial one.

    How does one man stay in an Association and everyone else resign?

    I think i have missed the point somewhere unless the goal is for the "resignees" to congregate some place else to be stronger by design.

    If so say so please.

    Otherwise it's a protest of some descript and no more and then the players have already lost out with the likes of Mary,Jetset,Tortex and the hidden leaving thier virtual left hand side.

    In short what is the mass resignation so designed to achieve please?

  6. Casinomeister

    Casinomeister Forum Cheermeister Staff Member

    How does one man stay in an Association and everyone else resign?

    Easy, ignore the requests from your co-workers and they will walk out on you. Never fear though, it's not like we all died in some train wreck, the committee members are still actively involved sharing and posting information; reporting on the good and the bad, all that good stuff.

    The resignation wasn't designed to be a protest, it was the action of a group of people tired of banging their heads against the wall. There are no plans to start up another organization.
  7. amandajm

    amandajm Experienced Member

    Generally speaking one would have thought removing the apparent bad apple would have been a preferable course Bryan but when people tire of something then...

    I am hoping for quick reconciliation but i got a bad feeling on this one.

    I will listen out for your next webcast.

    A happy bright new year can be the theme please.
  8. Casinomeister

    Casinomeister Forum Cheermeister Staff Member

    This had gone on for weeks, and at first the bad apple was removed, but since this individual had made undisclosed deals with a software provider, his financial livlihood was in jeapody. Panic ensured on his part, thus acts of desparation. We grew tired of this, and just decided to move on. You make your bed; then lie in it so to speak.
  9. amandajm

    amandajm Experienced Member

    Now the blind can see.


    That'll just about do it i think.

    There is not much else to say.
  10. Casinomeister

    Casinomeister Forum Cheermeister Staff Member

    The next webcast is scheduled for early next week and will prove to be quite entertaining.
  11. Casinomeister

    Casinomeister Forum Cheermeister Staff Member

    This is from Jetset who is having difficulties posting on the board right now:

    Speaking personally, there was also the matter of principle. One should not remain a member of a committee when that committee is deliberately and wilfully misled regarding matters which impinge on the organisation's integrity.

    Particularly financial matters.

    The committee had a responsibility to the members to obtain full disclosure on the deals and the money arrangements.

    When it proved impossible to acquire that information, the committee would have been condoning whatever activity was going on if it continued without direct knowledge of the detail.

    That is not acceptable for any committee. And it could damage personal reputations in the process. Resignation became essential once the committee could no longer adequately discharge its duty to members
  12. mary

    mary Dormant account

    This is much of what I posted at You must register/login in order to see the link.:

    Back in the beginning of 2002, Bryan Bailey and Mike Craig bought the OPA url and hosted parts of the OPA on their respective web sites--Bryan handled the forums, Mike handled the dispute resolution.

    There were no bylaws. We were working on them.

    Mike wound up being the "contact person" on a professional level to casinos and software vendors. Bryan, Brian C., myself, and some other volunteers were the "Executive Committee" with voting power, and there was a Players Advisory Board with voting power.

    OPA member casinos would apply, we'd post their application and discuss them, and most votes were easily decided. It was pretty clear who was ok and who wasn't.

    Stress points were that Mike wanted to make enough money to make a living. I, Brian C., and several others wanted the OPA to have its own site and be free of commercial considerations. Bryan B. had Casinomeister bringing in personal income, but was devoting more an more time to creating the ad-free OPA site. I thought Mike could do the same thing; develop Casino Gazette and also work with the OPA.

    When Sunny Group left Microgaming, they were very nervous about the effect it would have on their players. Playtech was a relatively unknown software at that time. Sunny had been advertisers in the "Old" OPA, and were advertisers on both Casino Gazette and Casinomeister. They had a good player reputation under the Microgaming Software, and had been good at handling player and webmaster complaints.

    They approached the OPA to have their payout percentages under the Playtech software be certified, much as PWC does for Microgaming. MIke wanted to do it, and took care of getting an accountant in his area, talking with Playtech, getting server access, and so forth.

    The rest of the Exec Committee and PAB were not enthusiastic, but if it did not cause problems with respect to preferential treatment for Playtech casinos, if Sunny maintained their quality, if we were not talking about significant sums of money, etc. we would let Mike do it.

    Over time, Sunny Group began to lose ground in their treatment of both professional peers such as webmasters and in their treatment of players. "chaotic" was often used to describe them. Playtech opened Sterlinghouse, with prominant copy about it being OPA approved when it had not been; its payout percentage was being verified, but it was not an OPA member casino and had never been voted upon.

    We were arguing about that. Other Playtech casinos were piling up complaints. Black Widow,Grand Banks. We were getting frustrated with that. Mike described what he was doing in phone calls, but ultimately refused to show the rest of us the actual contract.

    That propelled us to resign as a group. None of us can be working both without pay and without oversight of the results of our own efforts. The OPA had the reputation it did because (in my opinion) we were cutting out as many conflicts of interest as we could.

    Mike Craig is now the sole owner and operator of the OPA. He is redesigning his Casinogazette site. One of the changes he has made is that he will no longer do mediation for casinos that are not OPA member casinos. He recommends that players go to Casinomeister or Julie for those casinos. This is a sound business decision.

    He plans to have a "flatter" structure to the organization; player members will vote directly on casino membership. Player members can propose casinos for membership.

    We had not done that in the past because so few individual players wanted to be publically participating. The Players Advisory Board had their own closed messageboard so that they could confer freely among themselves. The open forum had many casino owners and webmasters in lurking mode, so it wound up being more of an one-way communication between the Exec Committee and the rest of the world.

    Players who are interested in posting are mostly found on WOL; though the traffic balance there can shift quite a bit between players and affiliate enrolled webmasters.

    Mike's and CasinoGazette's strength is in doing radio shows, and Mike is planning on doing behind-the-scenes tours of UK based operators. Those should be worth a listen.
    In hindsight, I want to add that Mike was consistent for the most part in stating his preferences for making the OPA an earning organization. I've always thought that Casino Gazette, as an affiliate funded website, had plenty of intrinsic appeal and value-added in the audio webcasts.
    Realistically, there should be no need for the OPA. It performed many of the functions that should be performed by state entity regulators or by the affiliate funded webmasters. The OPA was putting benefit into the system, but recieving little back, at least in terms of money.
    In the business model I proposed, and thought we were operating under.

    Actually, the idea of the OPA offering a form of testing is not an intrinsically bad idea. We discussed it in terms of supporting the Online Casino Analyzer. I personally think the technical specs of the OCA are brilliant, and should be adopted by regulators.

    The problem with offering certification arises if it compromises other functions, such as player support mediations, in favor of the paying casino customers. This does not necessarily *have* to happen, since it is ultimately self-defeating.

    I also think that whoever does certification needs knowledge in computer systems and professional level testing experience. That's a level of expertise and work involvement that can't be supplied by unpaid labor.

    In terms of social and business contacts, and access to information, it was very worthwhile to me personally; mostly because it kept me out of investing in the Online Casino Sector! I remain convinced that the current operators of the land industry, worldwide, will inevitably have online outlets. We will all have online outlets, be it socializing as Sims, or using email for home addresses.

    We now know the demand is there, but vulnerable to problems with moving money and extremely vulnerable to politics. We now know the potential is there to track player enrollment and operator integrity to levels unmatched on land, but the political will for both goals does not yet exist. Those countries that have entered the regulatory arena are too dependent upon the operators for revenue to truly regulate them; and this is a lesson for land political entities too as more states become dependent upon gambling tax revenues.

    I still plan to be posting, and try to get off my lazy butt and write proper articles. I'm curious to see what would happen if all the players who had taken their disputes to the OPA about casinos licensed in Antigua would take their disputes to Antigua instead. Antiguan gaming authorities have been promising to improve their oversight, and they have finally upgraded their web site and added the actual regulations, so now players know what they are entitled to!
    The OPA shielded many of the small regulators by taking complaints that should have gone to them. The OPA posted a code of ethics and developed and posted expectations for casino behavior before many of the regulators did. Personally, I resent that paid professionals were getting free assistance without even bothering to answer their email, but, the OPA didn't have to deal iwth politicians.
    I've emailed Antigua with some questions about the regulations. I hope they answer.
    Day 2 and no answer.
  13. amandajm

    amandajm Experienced Member

    On a personal protection level i see the lay.

    Is Mike able to discharge the OPA duties to the membership alone in the opinion of?

    The input of the likes of the Jet & Mary over the course of is being picked apart by some and i for one am not happy about it..

    This also casts playtech as a whole in a dim light but those that slag off today will still damn well advertise tomorrow..

    Some ruffling of may be in order soon.
  14. mary

    mary Dormant account

    Mike will probably do a fine job of handling player problems with the casinos now listed as OPA member casinos.

    If the casinos are smart, they will work with Mike and resolve problems quickly, to establish a good reputation.
  15. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    "The input of the likes of the Jet & Mary over the course of is being picked apart by some and i for one am not happy about it.."

    Poster KX was right on the money when he said that the odd examples of glee and attacks over at WOL was the inevitable hyaena syndrome emerging to pick over the OPA's remains and chew some on the departing committee.

    It doesn't help the players any, but he was right and most of the "personalities" who have emerged for that dubious feast are the ones whom we predicted would be enjoying all of this for their own reasons.

    They are behaving true to form, and quite possibly looking for some advantage to themselves.

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