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Rogue behavior and bad business ethics....

Discussion in 'Online Casinos' started by tim5ny, Dec 4, 2006.

    Dec 4, 2006
  1. tim5ny

    tim5ny Quit Gambling

    You see it over and over on internet message boards. Accusations of rogue behavior and bad business ethics from players who have been cheated by online casinos. Some rogue casino groups entice players by offering incredible bonuses while at the same time attaching near-impossible terms and conditions that have to be met before cashing-in. Many times these t&c's are changed on a whim without player notification and effected retroactively upon the player who has purchased prior to the change. Another common complaint seems to come from stalling tactics used by many casinos when a player wins and requests his winnings to be paid. Many casinos will ask for certain documents for verification of identity... and this is a good thing!.. but!... how many times have you read where a casino plays ignorant and asks for the same documents over and over again? They might say that they never received the documents.. and there's nothing you can do except to resend them. This delay can keep a player waiting for weeks or even months for his money. I guess the point of this whole disertation is this:

    If you were Microgaming, or RTG, or Crypto, or Playtech, and you had developed the software at your expense, and went through all the hoops and hurdles to market it.... wouldn't you keep a close eye on those representing you? A casinos actions, wheather good or bad, does reflect on the software as a whole in my opinion. If I have a dog and I let him run around the neighborhood biting all the kids on the leg.. then how is that going to reflect on me? I am at fault of course. I believe it should be the same in the online casino industry. Playtech for example, if it cares about it's reputation should police its own and demand that certain standards and ethics will be met and if they aren't, then there will be investigations, and heavy fines, and possibly termination of the software rights. Why isn't this being done? Any thoughts?
     
    5 people like this.
  2. Dec 4, 2006
  3. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Location:
    Earth
    Great post, Tim and one that reflects so well the frustrations of online gaming at establishments where dishonest and/or plain inefficient and uncaring casino managements are concerned.

    I think your point about providers protecting their investment in technology, reputation and goodwill by more carefully policing or reacting to legit reports of bad licensee conduct is especially well made.

    Without disagreeing with your perspective, I would suggest that there is another aspect that should be considered, too.

    We tend to see mostly the bad side of the business on the message boards because that's where savvy players can vent or seek assistance when they have been badly treated.

    Although regrettably only a small percentage of players use message boards, it's one of the so-called *informal* mechanisms in the industry that plays such a valuable role in not only resolving disputes, but calling rogues to account and practically warning players about dud clip joints.

    But it tends to blind us to the more mundane fact that for every complaint there are probably hundreds of online gambling transactions that go through without hassle or public notice; as in life, it's mainly the offensive or spectacular that attracts or commands attention.

    And there are those on the player side of events who are not always completely honest either, as we see here in microcosm occasionally.

    There are bad apples in every endeavour, and the generally unregulated state of the online gambling industry leaves way too many of these free to operate. That's why it is so important for the really professional software providers to guard their reputations by hammering bad casino or poker room practice. And why the serious online casinos keep striving for better performance.

    Maybe that should be acknowledged more frequently.

    There are many sound companies that may at times make really stupid mistakes at the operational level, but in general provide decent and fair gaming services to hundreds of thousands of online players on a daily basis. Companies where the management is truly professional and can see the ethical as well as commercial advantages of treating the customer with respect and integrity.

    It's important that players keep the casinos on their toes by using sites like this (which are browsed by most serious managements who might also have direct personal links with Bryan) by posting on incidents of bad conduct and warning against those outfits that are consistently ripping off players.

    But there is a positive aspect, too and we should not lose sight of that.

    When we look at the top providers, it is pretty obvious that as a general observation some providers are better than others at sorting out problems and *coaching* licensees toward better practice. Some are more receptive to suggestions that can improve service than others. And some have historically shown that they are prepared to support the player when casinos get into trouble or go bust.

    Then there are those that are perhaps not yet at that level, who show little genuine interest in attending to player disputes or improving service performance from a player perspective. Perhaps it's a question of management and/or ownership corporate culture and commitment because those at this level (and specifically I'm thinking of the likes of RTG and Playtech) must surely have the financial wherewithal to effect positive licensee changes.

    I believe that the further down the totem poll you go the less likely it is that you will see evidence of anything but keeping afloat by not antagonising the licensees. There I think the commonly held belief that "it's all about the (short term) money" really does hold sway in most cases.

    It seems to me that it comes down to the success of the company and whether the top management/ownership have a professional grasp of good business and plans for the future.

    Real, "bite your ass" government regulation with criminal punitive capability is still pretty much a chimera at the moment in this business, and that means that players have to be constantly alert and prepared to expose the ugly side if only to warn other players.

    Things are looking up in the UK with government regulatory moves due to kick in there in the third quarter of 2007, but that's only going to control operations that choose to license in that country.

    For now it's all about those companies that are making a real effort to provide superior services, and the players' ability to differentiate between the bad and the good, aided by sites like this.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2006
    1 person likes this.
  4. Dec 4, 2006
  5. Simmo!

    Simmo! Moderator Staff Member

    Occupation:
    Web Dev.
    Location:
    England
    Yes good post :thumbsup:

    The software providers should have a vested interest in how their licencees operate as it reflects back on them, and their ethical well run licencee operations, but I get the impression some are too divorced from the player community to understand where the problems lie - or they simply choose to ignore it. Witness RTG and Playtech...many experienced players, myself included, are wary about signing up to play at these casinos because the reputation of a few hurts them all.

    When I see a Crypto or an MG licencee, I feel much more assured...MG licencees aren't perfect and there are one or two who are in danger of tarnishing the rep, but not to the same extent that RTG and Playtech have sufferred perhaps. But they are largely to blame themselves IMO.

    This is an area where two groups of people could make a difference: affiliates and casinos.

    Many affiliates are powerful allies of the casinos - not all, but there are a good number whithout whom the casinos would undoubtedly lose traffic and revenue. Affiliates working together to take a stance on this, making their feelings known to the software providers at the trade shows like ICE etc, and via their websites could IMO make a powerful statement.

    Many of the casino operators are obviously important earners for the software companies and should also be making their feelings known to the software providers. If I ran a strong online casino and felt other licencees on the same software were affecting my reputation, I would. And if it had little effect, then you have to look after your own business first and consider your options.

    IMO the industry, left largely to police itself over the past decade, has improved considerably in the past 3 years while I have been involved, despite the UIGEA setback which has allowed some rogue operators a way back in, but it's still far from perfect as we see almost every day.

    The UK regulatory laws due in 2007 will undoubtedly assist this process in some small way, but this alone isn't enough. There will always be the rogue outfits and dodgy dealers out there (as in any industry incidentally!) but the software providers have a responsibility to ensure they don't have a platform, and if they do, that it's an inferior one that removes any competitive advantage at that level.

    Someone needs to organise, or at least try to organise, the affiliates! No easy task as some are simply not bothered. But without them, the rogue outfits will find it much much harder to be seen and the software providers will start to see the advantages of better policing and get hopefully valuable feedback on who's performing or not.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2006
  6. Dec 4, 2006
  7. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Location:
    Earth
    The affiliate angle is a valid comment imo, and although I am not involved in that side of the business my perception is that there are an increasing number of affiliates with a genuine sense of commitment not just to their businesses, but to the industry, the player and, in sum, to a more professional ethos.

    To an outsider like myself, CAP seems to be doing a good job of bringing this type of webmaster together, and the revitalised GPWA under the management of Michael Corfman and his pros seems to be gathering momentum - the new initiative to get webmasters to commit to agreed standards and carry a distinguishing kite-mark seems to me to be an important pace forward.

    Of course, like casinos, there will always be webmasters with no thought beyond the short term monetary gain, and insufficient imagination to look to a better industry further ahead, but that will not slow down those with a more professional attitude.

    That's another positive sign, I think.

    And I agree regarding licensees: if I was an operator going the extra mile for both professional and competitive reasons I would be pretty pissed off if the brand of software I was using was developing a bad name due to the activities of less committed licensees.

    Or would I be more concerned with the short term competitive advantage I thought those inferior licensees were giving me by behaving badly?
     
  8. Dec 4, 2006
  9. REOdeathwagon

    REOdeathwagon Experienced Member

    Occupation:
    cabdriver
    Location:
    arizona
    I think the average punter has no idea how to tell what software they are gaming on, or cares. They usually only care if they are winning or losing. Only after winning, then trying to cashout does it become apparrant to them if the operater is rogue or not.

    The posters on this board are more astute. And, like Simmo said, I am reluctant to put my real $$ in a Playtech or RTG casino. So in reality the software providers have lost revenue from me. Because, in the past, there were operators that I would have deposited with, but didn't, only because of the platform that they ran on.

    For me in the USA, it let me in the past, associate with the class of the industry. By reading the message boards, then gaming with those companies, that had a good " word of mouth " on the different forums. In dealing with those operators I have been fortunate that I have never had to deal with Montana / ECOGRA / PAB, etc..


    REOdeathwagon
     
  10. Dec 4, 2006
  11. Simmo!

    Simmo! Moderator Staff Member

    Occupation:
    Web Dev.
    Location:
    England
    That is undoubtedly true. However once they hit a problem, or their "expectations" aren't matched, my guess is they go hunting for answers, start to research and find out more. So while rogues might get a player early, they are unlikely to hang on to them through quality of service - hence the need for them to offer unrealaistic bonuses.

    But the less affiliate websites they appear on, the less likely they are to pick up the first-time punters.
     
  12. Dec 4, 2006
  13. dominique

    dominique Dormant account

    Occupation:
    webmistress
    Location:
    The Boonies
    And circumstances are not favorable. Where I live, for instance, it is now impossible to play Crypto, Microgaming or Playtech.

    It narrows the choices....
     
  14. Dec 5, 2006
  15. REOdeathwagon

    REOdeathwagon Experienced Member

    Occupation:
    cabdriver
    Location:
    arizona
    And circumstances are not favorable. Where I live, for instance, it is now impossible to play Crypto, Microgaming or Playtech.
    It narrows the choices....


    Very slippery. Especially when you think about this in the sense that, " we are entering the sleazy casino age of this business "


    To an outsider like myself, CAP seems to be doing a good job of bringing this type of webmaster together, and the revitalised GPWA under the management of Michael Corfman and his pros seems to be gathering momentum - the new initiative to get webmasters to commit to agreed standards and carry a distinguishing kite-mark seems to me to be an important pace forward.


    This would be a major step toward the positive.


    But the less affiliate websites they appear on, the less likely they are to pick up the first-time punters.

    That seems to me to be one of the major issues at work here. These less than reputable operators are the ones that offer unrealistic bonuses to the punters. And probably, more economic incentive to the affiliates, to keep those banners displayed prominently.

    Also, the average punter doesn't realize the help that going through a quality affiliate can provide in the case of a dispute. For instance, if I sign up through a quality affiliate like OGGS, and a dispute comes up, my first contact would be through OGGS. If the affiliate can not/will not work in my behalf to resolve the situation with the operator, and I have followed the T&C, and dealt in "good faith" with that operator. Then I would be looking for another webmaster, software provider, and casino at the same time.

    It all comes down to customer service. And dealing with structures that value their longterm reputation more than quick profits.
    If the UIGEA was lifted, would I personally go back to the quality Cryptoes, 32Red, Cherry and game w/ them - Hell Yes - Instantly.
    Would I redeposit at Party Poker, nope I would stay at PokerStars.


    REOdeathwagon
     
    2 people like this.
  16. Dec 5, 2006
  17. dominique

    dominique Dormant account

    Occupation:
    webmistress
    Location:
    The Boonies
    Another of the huge problems is spam.

    I certainly never played at or promoted any of the known sleezy outfits, but I get offers of huge bonuses in the mail from them nevertheless.

    The great majority of players never saw a message board. But they DO get these mails.

    There is and always has been a lot of mistrust of affiliates, both justified and not justified as the case may be. Many players choose to avoid portals and click on the spam instead.

    My guess would be that a lot more players fall prey to spam than to unethical portals. Even informed players will click on that stuff on impulse, the offers are good and it's easier to just click...

    Once screwed, players will often start looking for remedies and find their way to portals with blacklists and to Bryan. Hence the many posts about sleezy casinos...

    IMO, with the current situation this will only get worse.
     
    1 person likes this.
  18. Dec 5, 2006
  19. REOdeathwagon

    REOdeathwagon Experienced Member

    Occupation:
    cabdriver
    Location:
    arizona
    ....
     

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