Return to Player - Critiques Requested.

binary128

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May 18, 2009
Location
Vancouver, BC
Hello. My name is Chris Colby, and I am the President of Galewind Software Corp. Some of you may remember me.

First of all - if this post is not allowed by Forum rules, please delete it (or advise a moderator that it should be deleted). If any of the content of this post is not allowed by forum rules, please edit it.

For reasons, several people here at Galewind have been working on and off for awhile now on a file that will (definitively?) address the subject of Return to Player (RTP) Percentage.

Historically we have always displayed our Slot RTPs in our Help system, and have left it to the Player to use available online resources (Video Poker paytables, Keno calculators, software reviews, etc.) to see, or calculate, the RTPs for our other games.

What we decided to do was to create a single page that will list the RTPs for all of our games together.

When we decided to do this, we waded into a bit of a quagmire populated by a host of potentially confusing and at times misunderstood statistical terms such as House Edge, House Hold, Variance, Element of Risk, Standard Deviation, et al. Even the definition of "Return to Player Percentage" did not appear to be universally accepted.

We found that comparing the RTP for a Slot game to the RTP for a Video Poker game, or to the RTP for a Table Poker game, was not as easy as we would all like. In understanding this, we then felt it necessary to explain why this was so.

That's one of the reasons why we have been working for so long on creating this page. We wanted to use as few words as possible so that it was not intimidating, but to use as many words as necessary so that it was a more friendly read and, most importantly, both technically accurate and easy to understand.

We decided to focus on what we felt were the most important questions for the Player:

1. Reported RTP.

How much money has gone into, or come out of, my pocket?

2. Theoretical RTP.

How much money can I expect to go into, or come out of, my pocket?

Usually, when we create any sort of content for display somewhere within our product's Help system, the page goes live and we never hear anything from anyone about it.

I didn't want that to happen here. So, I decided to brave the potential shredding from the members of the Casinomeister Forum (just kidding), and post that page (or rather a link to that page) here for feedback.

I suspect that some of the Players here who are more knowledgeable and experienced than others might say "Chris, lose all of the words and just give me the data". Players with less experience, still struggling with their own understanding of all of this, might leave our page with no greater understanding than when they entered.

Still, here it is, in all its glory:

Link Removed ( Old/Invalid)

Thanks in advance for taking the time. Be gentle.

Regards,

Chris Colby
President
Galewind Software Corp.
 
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threescatters

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Location
UK
Great post and good company ethos, thanks Galewind. Sadly I dont think ive ever played any of your games? I will make a note to try a good casino with them soon.
 

Simmo!

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Location
England
First of all - if this post is not allowed by Forum rules, please delete it (or advise a moderator that it should be deleted). If any of the content of this post is not allowed by forum rules, please edit it.

All OK IMO :thumbsup:

Should make for an interesting discussion.
 

takethemoney

Banned User - Chargebacks at Slotastic
Joined
Apr 14, 2004
Location
Washington
Good stuff! Thanks for posting it!

Does this come from a casino or group that allows players from the USA?
 

jetset

RIP Brian
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
For those not familiar with Galewind and Chris, he's one of the good guys.

In an issue reported and debated extensively here (I think it was Heroes Casino) Galewind settled a player being screwed by a casino using its software.

Not often you see that sort of integrity imo - I have never forgotten the case.

Details here - it's a long read but an interesting one: https://www.casinomeister.com/forums/threads/heroes-casino-blackjack-issues-slow-pay.28007/
 
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Rick Deckard

Experienced Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2011
Location
UK
For those not familiar with Galewind and Chris, he's one of the good guys.

In an issue reported and debated extensively here (I think it was Heroes Casino) Galewind settled a player being screwed by a casino using its software.

Not often you see that sort of integrity imo - I have never forgotten the case.

Details here - it's a long read but an interesting one: Link Outdated / Removed


That link doesn't go anywhere Jet? Got this summary from
You do not have permission to view link Log in or register now.


"Galewind Software. The company seems to have a good reputation among players. When one of their licensees, Heroes Casino, tried to stiff a winner out of $39,900, Galewind Software gave them the choice to honor their debt or have their casino shut down. Heroes still refused to pay, so Galewind Software honorably did shut them down, and paid the player out of their own pockets. If any other software company has gone so far in the interests of fair and honest gambling, I'm not aware of it."
 

jetset

RIP Brian
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
That link doesn't go anywhere Jet? Got this summary from
You do not have permission to view link Log in or register now.


"Galewind Software. The company seems to have a good reputation among players. When one of their licensees, Heroes Casino, tried to stiff a winner out of $39,900, Galewind Software gave them the choice to honor their debt or have their casino shut down. Heroes still refused to pay, so Galewind Software honorably did shut them down, and paid the player out of their own pockets. If any other software company has gone so far in the interests of fair and honest gambling, I'm not aware of it."

Works fine for me.;)

By the way, have you seen this:

Old / Expired Link
 

4 of a kind

Repeated violations of forum rule 1.16 - troll
Joined
Mar 11, 2009
Location
New York
I must say it was refreshing to read a thread from an online casino software provider demonstrating a willingness to participate within the realms of transparency.

Your glossary of games with RTP explanations certainly would help in defining some of the technical terms for anyone that reads it.

Without doubt your company demonstrates its willingness to offer a fair game with proof of integrity by personally settling the incident regarding your software BJ game and the winnings by WetlandBowl being denied by Heroes Casino back in 2008. In addition you banned the casino from ever using your software again, although contradicting the casinos claims that they got rid of your faulty software as clearly explained in your “Closing Statement” post here: https://www.casinomeister.com/forums/threads/heroes-casino-blackjack-issues-slow-pay.28007/

I personally won’t gamble online any longer along with many others because we can’t be guaranteed that all the necessary precautions and protections required are in place to protect both the casinos and the players.

Online gaming in its present form requires the player to trust the software provider and the casino operators. Then when there’s any type of discrepancy, we’re then forced to trust volunteers with their inside connections willing to arbitrate on our behalf whose decisions we hope are not biased, since most offering this service are casino affiliates.

Your software company may very well be the most transparent one out there, and are willing to take it personal when your software is in question. By reviewing the rogue pit here it should be obvious that software providers don’t really care one way or the other about the players unless of course like in your case with Heroes Casino, when your software was being challenged, you not only got involved but settled it. Personally I didn’t see you having any other option at that point other then to do nothing and loose respect in the industry. The proof of this statement is simple by seeing all software providers’ willingness to support both rogue and honest operators. I know it’s not your job to regulate operators and corporate profits are the obvious main concern for any company, but trust and gambling should never be used in the same sentence.

The information you offered in this thread would always be welcome, but it doesn't actually address the major issues that need addressing concerning online gaming.

In closing I would like to quote myself from another post I made here:

With no gaming regulator enforcement in place, and when combined with the thousands of negative threads over the years, and numerous presently confirmed rogue operators; you being a volunteer gambler in this type of extremely possible venue could very easily become a victim of foul play.

Just take a minute (actually much longer) and read through those NJCCC gaming regulations and realize the endless requirements needed to be enforced just to protect the integrity of the games, and to keep the operators honest with land based casinos.

Like I said before, based on the regulations in place for land based operators, its obvious the NJCCC couldn’t trust the operators any further then they could spit. And lets not forget it’s just not the owners their worried about, it’s all the employees and technicians that are needed that are hands on contributors that make the whole thing work in the first place. Remember Ronald Harris the Nevada programming technician that altered the source code for slot machines in the early nineties?

I realize there are many people out there other then the operators making money off the backs of online casinos. I also realize there are some proven honest operators along with some big enough to trade publicly. That alone though is not good enough and with no doubt all online casinos should be forced to adhere to the same rules under all circumstances.

With the multi million dollar scandals that were not able to be contained and exposed already within online gaming, should be enough to convince players of their capabilities without regulation enforcement.

Regardless how honest or crooked any one online casino might be known for presently, their options, and the unlimited opportunities for corruption within are endless while operating under the umbrella of “self regulation”.

Sorry, but history proves that gambling being solely implied under the realm of trust, is like trying to mix oil with water.
 

binary128

Dormant account
Joined
May 18, 2009
Location
Vancouver, BC
Jetset,

I followed your previous link (onlinecasinoreports.com) and read the article. I thought quite a bit about posting any comments. I did not want to appear "pissy".

However, I can say that I spent a lot of time editing (and editing, and editing) Galewind's efforts at creating the page which has been linked here. So, I decided to apply the mindset: "If this article had been presented to me for editing by someone at Galewind, what would I say?"

(In addition, the following is the kind of "shredding" which I had thought to receive from Casinomeister members.)

"Special Report: Casino Games Odds" Is this an article about odds, or about house edge? It appears to be more about house edge. The two terms are different. You should explain that.

"Online casino players have long been calling for a comprehensive report citing the odds of playing and winning ..." How does the word "odds" relate to playing. Doesn't "odds" simply relate to winning? Shouldn't it just be "... citing the odds of winning ..."?

"The good news is that each casino game ..." How is this good news?

"Online Casino Reports (OCR) has undertaken a comprehensive study ..." (This one is not Galewind related, so perhaps could be called "pissy".) If what is below represents a "comprehensive study", then the author and I have a significantly different definition of the word "comprehensive".

(OK, this one is definitely pissy. I personally am tired of reading articles which imply that the entire resources of some online gambling organization have been brought to bear to produce something which, on review, has all of the weight of something that my youngest child could produce in half an hour or so. My "shredding" of this article speaks to that frustration I guess.)

"The study was compiled on 7 popular casino gaming variants including: ..." You listed 7 groups. 7 does not include 7 - 7 equals 7. Change the word "including:" And what exactly is a "gaming variant"?

"Players are encouraged to check the odds of playing their preferred online casino games." No shit, Sherlock. If we need to say this, then the bar for human intelligence is lower than I want to be aware of. (Really, this is something I would say.)

"The good news is that all registered online casinos list their payout percentages ..." Is this true?

"These certifications ..." What certifications. You used a term without referencing or linking it.

"A TST certificate is an independently audited result of the payout potential ..." How can a report's result also include the potential? Can you audit potential?

A payout percentage of 95% ... when perfect betting strategy ..." What does perfect strategy have to do with Slots, Baccarat, Roulette, Keno, or Craps? What is perfect strategy anyway, to what games does it apply, and how?

"Naturally, games with the best payout percentages should be selected for gaming." Another Sherlock observation. You've now introduced a third term - payout percentage. What is this, and how does it relate to Odds and House Edge. What is this article about?

"It is safe to say that the higher the House Edge (expressed in a %) ..." Percent of what?

"... the less probable it is that the player will win:" What's the word - gobsmacked?

"... but the odds of hitting a number are significantly different owing to the additional zero and the house edge." What does the house edge as a variable have to do with the odds of hitting a number in Roulette? Isn't the additional zero equal to the house edge?

"Blackjack sports odds of 0.80%" Is 0.80% an odds value, or a house edge value? If house edge, is this true for all Blackjacks?

As to all of the rest, well, its all pretty much pablum isn't it? As a player reading the results of a "comprehensive study", I would want to see a detailed comparison of the house edge for various games, and where applicable various bets within those games, across a half dozen or more software providers. Instead, we are treated to something which could have been crafted by my youngest after half an hour or so of web surfing.

So, Galewind person who has spent time creating this article, go away and bring back something that actually has content, or bring back nothing at all.

To be honest, this is a good example of the kind of page I did not want to write. Sadly, in my readings it is all too typical. If you strip away all of the fluff, silliness, useless information and redundancy, I'd be surprised if you are left with anything at all.

LOL. Seriously, this is me NOT (well, mostly not) being "pissy".

Now, if that doesn't heat up this thread then I don't know what will.

Let the shredding commence.

Chris
 
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binary128

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Joined
May 18, 2009
Location
Vancouver, BC
I should have prefaced my previous post with the same disclaimer:

if that post is not allowed by Forum rules, please delete it (or advise a moderator that it should be deleted). If any of the content of that post is not allowed by forum rules, please edit it.

Chris
 

H1_Roller

Non-Gambler
Joined
Mar 16, 2011
Location
...
For those not familiar with Galewind and Chris, he's one of the good guys.

In an issue reported and debated extensively here (I think it was Heroes Casino) Galewind settled a player being screwed by a casino using its software.

Not often you see that sort of integrity imo - I have never forgotten the case.

Details here - it's a long read but an interesting one: https://www.casinomeister.com/forums/threads/heroes-casino-blackjack-issues-slow-pay.28007/

jetset would you please post the link again? All I'm getting is the CM forum main page :(
 
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threescatters

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PABnonaccred
Joined
Dec 15, 2009
Location
UK
wow at the heros casino story. A+ from galewind, what a great company to have in the online gambling world. Plenty of people wish you supplied betfair with their software, they never pay their winners!
 

binary128

Dormant account
Joined
May 18, 2009
Location
Vancouver, BC
Nifty29 - OK, thanks. I confess that "bleed you dry" wasn't the message I was looking for, but fair enough.

takethemoney - Sorry, but no, Galewind does not have any US-facing deployments.

jetset - BTW, thanks for the "good guy" reference. I owe you a beer.

KasinoKing and jod5413 - OK, thanks.


spiderlegz - Re: volatility.

We thought about it.

We decided against it because we wanted to try and keep the scope of the page focused on the issue of "Return to Player". Even then, we still found it necessary to wade into House Edge, "statistically perfect" game play, Element of Risk, etc.

I agree that the issue of volatility is important for slot games (versus, say, Video Poker games). If we wanted to discuss how volatility and House Edge combine to create the player experience for slots, I think that would best be done on a separate page.


luarod and kathleenp100 - Thanks.


4 of a kind - that's a pretty comprehensive response. Your words "... for anyone that reads it." hit the nail on the head. Only about 15% of the people that enter our current deployment ever refer to the Help system. Still, no options really.

In terms of creating a page that addresses the major issues for online gaming - I'd agree there is little hope of that. The waters there are a little too deep, and a little too murky, for a small group of people out of Vancouver to clear on their own.

I can say that the $40K that we paid out to put a stop to the Heroes Casino situation hurt us financially. We are a small company, and our pockets are not so deep that this decision did not have a significant impact on the company. A number of different motives have been assigned to this decision, but there was really only one in our minds - it was the right thing to do.


threescatters - Thanks.


Chris
 

KasinoKing

WebMeister & Slotaholic..
webmeister
PABnonaccred
CAG
MM
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Location
Bexhill on sea, England
jetset would you please post the link again? All I'm getting is the CM forum main page :(
Me too. Not sure if it is a forum problem, or due to my personal settings.
Anyway, a quick search found the thread.
Copy & Paste this into your browser, but remove the space after www. before hitting "go":
www. casinomeister.com/forums/casino-complaints-non-bonus-issues/28007-heroes-casino-blackjack-issues-slow-pay.html

KK
 

H1_Roller

Non-Gambler
Joined
Mar 16, 2011
Location
...
Thanks KK :)

OK - I had a read through it finally. Top work there by Galewind, talk about instilling confidence in a company :clap:
 
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binshakindown

Time sure flys
Joined
May 24, 2008
Location
CO
Even though I can't play at this group

it is awesome that this information is being presented to the players. I find it interesting that only 15% of the players use the help. Maybe having a button that the players could select while playing the games would increase the awareness that this information is available to them.

On the same note, 3 Dice has been reporting similar information to the players for quite sometime. It is definitely the right approach for on-line casinos to take when showing transparency to the players.

In the states, I haven't encountered a land-based casino that reports this information to the players. To be fair, I haven't gone up and asked the attendants or casinos either.

Interesting read.
 

binary128

Dormant account
Joined
May 18, 2009
Location
Vancouver, BC
My sincere thanks to all for their responses.

I'd like to publicly apologize to jetset for so thoroughly "shredding" an article which he posted in this thread. My intent was not to cast aspersions on jetset for his reference. Rather, I expressed my frustration at the lack of accurate, helpful, "news you can use" content that seems to be so prevalent in our industry.

We've made a few twiddles and tweaks to the content of our page. (For example, we found that we used a term - variance - without first defining this term. Thanks spiderlegz.)

Other than that, I decided that it was good to go. So, I moved the file into the various product directories on our development servers. I'll be moving it into the deployed products shortly.

I would like to modify the link that is contained in my first post of this thread. However, I cannot see how to do that. (I don't see any sort of Edit button associated with the post.)

Can anyone help me out here? How do I modify the first post so that the link doesn't go dead?

Thanks again.

Regards,

Chris
 
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