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Shock at the GRA regulatory body!

Discussion in 'Online Casinos' started by Crusader, Feb 1, 2012.

    Feb 1, 2012
  1. Crusader

    Crusader Dormant account

    Occupation:
    not a lot nowadays - retired
    Location:
    Wales
    Beware the Gibraltar Regulatory body and companies licensed by the GRA folks! Don’t worry, I’m not a rigtard or anything. :)

    I was playing at Jackpotjoy and realised I had no idea what the fee structure was for Bingo on there (I was just clearing a bonus and Bingo was the quickest way). I decided to ask the in-game host and she directed me to a big Ts and Cs page. Unfortunately, this page had no info about fees on it (wasted 30 minutes reading it all).

    I shrugged it off and went into Live Support to ask them:

    Kate E: Unfortunately we do not have this information within support. Last time I look into it I can remember being a small percentake of each game pool.

    Ok, still no answer. But this is just a support rep, so maybe she just didn’t know? Either way, between the in-game support rep, the Live Support host and a search of their website and Google I really should have been able to find it.

    I work in the gambling industry, so I would expect any other company to do as we do in poker and provide any information like this on request. Since I couldn’t find the information it seemed like the best thing to do was to get on to the licensing body to ask them how the fees work and why Jackpotjoy don’t seem to have to provide this info on request.

    This is where sh1t gets really shady!

    Dear xxx

    Thank you for your email below.

    Online bingo does not work on the same basis as either online poker or land based bingo in terms of prize calculation. The prizes, generally, are guaranteed irrespective of the number of players. [NOT TRUE, the prize pool started at £0 in every game and ticked up as players bought tickets!]

    I can also advise you that Alderney bingo providers (e.g. Virtue Fusion and Gala etc) work on exactly the same basis.

    As an industry 'professional' you should be aware that poker and bingo are structured in very different ways, as are online and offline bingo, and 'rake' is not a term associated with bingo anywhere in the world.

    Yours Sincerely

    Paul Fox


    Wowzer! Not the response I was expecting. Why is everyone refusing to tell me how much the fees are and how they work? This is starting to get very suspicious! I don’t need to be patronised and told “they’re complicated”, nor do I need someone to put ‘professional’ into inverted commas – this has nothing to do with whether I work in the same industry or not. I can see the prize pool tick up as more people buy tickets, so surely fees of some kind are taken from the prize pool? Why won’t anyone reveal how they work and how much is taken? Surely this can’t be legal?

    Ok, so now I decide to send an irate email to Paul’s boss (Phill Brear) telling him I don’t think they should be patronising or ignoring a legitimate question from an upset customer, no matter how petulant or frustrated the tone of his email might be.

    I then get a very long email back from Phill Brear that goes into great detail about why Alderney are no better than the GRA and explains why Paul put ‘professional’ in inverted commas. He comments about my childish over-use of exclamation marks and he then repeats Paul’s sentiment that it is “very different to poker, more complicated and they don’t call it rake”?!? I won’t paste the whole email in because it’s prohibitively long.

    In all this defensiveness and misdirection I still haven’t received any kind of response about what the rake charges are (I now have 8 emails from the GRA in totaland none of them answer my simple question) and how I might find out how they work on Jackpotjoy Bingo. I also think I know why they don’t want me to know. From a sketchy guesstimation it looks like between 30-80% of the prize pool ends up with the operator in each 5 minute game (150 runners spending between £1 and £9 per game and a total prize pool of little over £200). I think most people buy ‘Max tickets’ so it’s probably closer to 50%+, but there’s no way for me to find out apparently!

    Anyway, I still don’t have any kind of answer despite having 5 emails from Phill Brear that provide no answers, just veiled insults. However, I gamble and I work in gambling, so I also feel very strongly that bad practices like this give the whole industry a bad reputation and we should be speaking out to stop it wherever we find it.

    So this is me, a very frustrated customer, doing my bit to let people know that they should steer clear of Bingo in general, Jackpotjoy and GRA licensed operators in particular if openness, clarity and fairness are important to you.

    If you don’t believe me then just have a go at finding out fees charged for Jackpotjoy Bingo yourself!

    Play safe and stick to responsible operators who provide information on request folks. Voting with your feet is the best way to send a message and letting others know is the best way to ensure people work hard to maintain good reputations and working practices.

    I will be sending a petition to the Cheif Minister in Gibraltar, asking for all Bingo games to have clear fees, prize pools and numbers of tickets bought displayed on the playing screen and broken down and explained fully on all operator sites, but it would be good to hear people's reactions and to get some idea if I could count on people's support and some signatures from casinomeister.

    Thanks for reading! :)
     
  2. Feb 1, 2012
  3. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    You may have a tought fight on your hands. The GRA have "gone native", and recently revealed that they believe in "bonus abuse" as a reason in itself for casinos to confiscate winnings. "bonus abuse" according to the GRA can exist even if the player has abided by all the terms and conditions.

    This is merely another revelation about the GRA, and the simple answer is that they just don't know, and clearly don't give a damn about this, else this would be information they would require operators to provide.

    They DO have something to hide, so the assumption has to be that if out in the open, it would be "bad for business".

    The GRA are making a big fuss about you using the wrong terminology, but essentially you are asking for the theoretical long term RTP that results from whatever complicated formula is used. They also told you something that is CLEARLY wrong, and that is that "all prizes are guaranteed irrespective of the number of players".

    Clearly wrong if the pool starts at zero.

    The most likely complication is that operators do not use the same formula with every game. Some may work like a progressive slot jackpot, with the pool started with a seed from the operator, and a lesser portion of each ticket bought going to the pool. Where the pool starts at zero, then a greater portion of the price of the ticket goes in, with an unknown percentage taken as profit by the operator. This is the same as "rake" in poker, it is just not called "rake" in bingo. Maybe "hold" is a better term, but whatever you call it, it is the percentage taken by the house, which is 100-RTP in percent.

    The same argument has been around over casino tournaments, where it seems the operator takes 10% "rake" (or more), whereas only a maximum of 5% from the normal casino games. It is hard to calculate a figure, because the information needed is hidden from view by the software, the same as in bingo.

    If one could "own" an entire game of bingo, the players involved could provide all the information needed to calculate the RTP, and hence the fees, rake, hold, or whatever you want to call it.

    If the bingo operator is listed on the stock exchange, there could be another way to get the figures needed to calculate a very good estimate of this value.
     
  4. Feb 1, 2012
  5. Crusader

    Crusader Dormant account

    Occupation:
    not a lot nowadays - retired
    Location:
    Wales
    Very interesting an informative reply.

    Thanks for that!

    I'm prepared to take the fight as far as a few dozen forums posts and a decent size petition to the Minister in Gibraltar (less than 10,000 signatures is pointless), but obviously I'm only one man, so can't it much further than that.
    <snip>
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 2, 2012
  6. Feb 2, 2012
  7. Casinomeister

    Casinomeister Forum Cheermeister Staff Member

    Occupation:
    Homemaker
    Location:
    Bierland
    Hi Crusader,

    I know you're a newbie to the forum, and you have a gripe, but we have specific rules on posting complaints. When you signed up in our forum, you clicked "agree" stating you had read them.

    1.6 - No "Libelous" Posts. Do not make posts that could be considered libelous, defamatory, or posting merely to cause harm to another's business. Opinions are expected, but do not attack others with accusations of criminal activity unless this has been proven in a court of law.

    2.3 - Ensure your complaint is free from offensive or abusive language, and that the complaint is tactful and truthful. Making false claims are grounds for banishment or drawn and quartering.

    http://www.casinomeister.com/forums/faq.php?faq=forumrules#faq_general_posting_rules

    I've removed most of the offending comments since they are unnecessary and not funny. If you want a problem addressed and solved, you've come to the right place. But when posting, please refrain from being abusive.
     

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