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Two ideas to improve online gambling safety

Discussion in 'Online Casinos' started by threescatters, Jan 19, 2013.

    Jan 19, 2013
  1. threescatters

    threescatters Dormant account PABnonaccred


    As those of you who have been following recent events can see, cheating online casino software and do nothing regulators are both sadly alive and well in todays online gambling world. I have been thinking a little about what reasonably could be done to improve the situation as I think what has gone on recently (and in the past) is completely unacceptable. One of them is definately possible and the other is a bit off the wall and probably too difficult to implement, nevertheless here they are.

    1) Online casino tracking software

    I am a keen poker player and have invested in some of the commercially available tracking software for online poker rooms. It is fantastic. It records all your hands as you play and you can browse them all afterwards and run all the searches you want on them. Want to see how many times you've been dealt all the different hands? No problem. Want to see how many flushes you made when you had a draw? No problem. Want to see how many times you flopped trips? No problem. It tracks every statistic you could possibly want, generates all the different graphs and puts your results up for you in cold hard detail. Your hand historys are available at your fingertips anytime you want.

    It would be very easy to implement a version of this type of software for online casino games. Something like blackjack or three card poker would be the easiest but I feel almost all games and major softwares could be gradually added over time. The software would not intefere with the casino programs nor would it play for you however it would grab all your games and record the stats. You could check stuff like upcard frequency in blackjack, how often the dealer busted on 16, what cards you got when you doubled etc. All at your fingertips. Your play logs would be immediately available anytime you wanted and game fairness issues would be found extremely quickly.

    I should mention that in the famous ultimate bet superuser cheating scandal, the ONLY reason the cheaters were caught was because the players had their hand historys stored in programs like this, and could check the relevant statistics. If it wasnt for this sort of stuff it would probably still be going on today.

    I feel this software would be popular amongst hardened gamblers and not too difficult to code. I would definately purchase it.

    2 Regulators partially funded by players

    The old saying goes "you dont bite the hand that feeds you" and well that sadly appears to be true amongst a lot of gaming regulators. I am not saying all regulators are ignorant to players but you only need to look at some recent threads on this forum to see how non responsive and unwilling to help some of them are. These guys get paid big money by the casinos to have the seal of approval on their website and I think it kind of tips the balance sometimes.

    I mean when FTP stole everyones money Alderney informed everyone the hearing would be made public. Sadly on the day of the hearing FTP told Alderney they would only pay the outstanding licence fee if the hearing was in private - money talks and Alderney agreed (You must register/login in order to see the link.).

    Also lets face it, if we want regulators to do what we as players want, shouldnt we foot some of the bill? If we want RTP's of slots publically displayed and audited every few months, good fair responses to player complaints, game fairness strictly tested and proper checking of company finances shouldn't we be pulling our weight as well? I am sure many casino owners out there as well would not mind this especially if it meant a lot cheaper licence fees with the players paying half and this new regulatory body becoming one of the most respectable ones to have on your website.

    Sadly this idea is off the wall and maybe a bit silly. I have no idea how it could work in reality, it was just a thought.
    3 people like this.
  2. Jan 19, 2013
  3. Cogge

    Cogge Dormant account

    Managing Director for CasinoEuro
    Regulators are already funded by players, they just don't recognize the fact that the players are the ones who ultimately pay for everything.

    Regulators need to understand that if they protect players, players will feel more safe about playing in that jurisdiction and then, lo and behold, more revenue / taxes / etc...
    1 person likes this.
  4. Jan 19, 2013
  5. P.V.

    P.V. Senior Member webmeister

    Make money!
    Turn around...
    I understand what you're saying but operators should be regulated by the licensed authority, the regulator. No need for tracking software because the regulator IMO should be the one that assures the games are fair and the licensed site is operating in a professional/fair manner.

    In addition the operator should have serious fines imposed if caught cheating, other wrong doing. A certain amount of funds should be held by the regulator, if this trust is breached then paid out to the injured parties if the operator refused or goes out of business. No one's hurt.

    Players should never fund a regulator, that's not how things work. Operators pay the license fee, abide by the rules, players should just be able to play fair and regulated games.

    I've tried to make changes and more secure ways for players and it's not easy doing so. I get replies like "It's not in our business plan", or "We've had no complaints with our current system" , or just no reply at all. I could go on. My favorite so far is that "It's not in our business plan". :)

    It's quite obvious that tougher regulation is needed including game testing and other aspects of the industry as you're referring too. BUT - As long as player's just keep chasing the mighty buck and not focusing on the entire process it's going to be fault after fault until everyone gets tired and says enough is enough.

    The fact is you the player have all the power, use it! I've said before that it's 2013 and not 2003. Player's have the power to make changes, make yourself heard. ;)
    1 person likes this.
  6. Jan 19, 2013
  7. manuels58

    manuels58 manuels58

    Engineering and Business Management
    I agree that players should never fund the regulators, although it's an attractive method to achieve that desired fairness (which implicitly includes everything in this business, namely the control of games integrity and legality) in online gambling.

    The final purpose for the creation of all those commissions and regulators should be to preserve the position of players.
    Unfortunately, we know that in practice those entities are created to collect some more money to the governments and, that way, since the operators/casinos are the direct contributors to the regulators (at least until the governments don't start charging the players themselves...), the saying of "don't bite who feeds you" shows up in all its glamour!

    Besides all this, we can never forget the "conflict of interests" if players fund the regulators by free will (because they would be "judging in their own causes"), something that doesn't happen with the casinos/operators, because they don't pay the licenses by free will, but instead because they are obliged to.

    The improvement of supervision will be enforced when, and only when the governments will become worried with the decrease of online players, due to their lack of trust in the industry, something that seems to be starting to happen nowadays (forums very powerfully act as transmitters to ring the bells near the government authorities).

    Your initiative with this thread is definitively one of the good means to implement that/your wish, Threescatters:)
  8. Jan 21, 2013
  9. zanzibar

    zanzibar Senior Member

    Speaking as a programmer that has also tried stuff like Poker Tracker in the past I can assure you that such software is definitely not easy to program, and I suspect that it would be infinitely harder for casino games, especially slots.

    The reason is that casinos generally don't make the data available in a format that can be easily consumed by a tracking program like the poker sites do. The first thing I would try would be to automate reading the play logs that casinos provide for players already. However I am unaware of any casino that automates the collection of a set of logs of your play and stores it on your own machine where it can be read and analysed. If not you would have to download an exportable format from the software manually, which only the most anally retentive slots player is going to do after each and every play session. If you can't do that then you're talking automatically negotiating the SSL connection and logging in on behalf of the player and downloading the logs online from the casino software (this is difficult for many reasons). That all supposes the casino supplies logs and many don't.

    If they don't then you're talking screen scraping (i.e. recognising graphical symbols that are displayed on the screen as you play) which is what some of the poker software does, like the ones that give you live advice and odds on each hand as you play. This is relatively simple for poker where the software only needs to recognise a small set of cards. Now imagine trying to program it to recognise all the different slots symbols and payouts so that your results could be recorded. Technically you wouldn't have to (i.e. you could just record $1 spin, $0.40 won for example) but if you want to determine if a symbol is coming up with the frequency it should then you would want to have that information.

    Card games would be easier in terms of screen scraping, and the existence of bonus clearing bots supports that theory. There are also non-bot tools already available to track blackjack hands. For example google something like blackjack wager tracker or casino wager tracker. However they require you to manually enter the information as you play.

    So yes - it is a good idea and it isn't impossible, but it is orders of magnitude harder than what you think and I suspect that the market for it would be quite small. Compared to poker players who are often mathematically and statistically inclined, your average slots player couldn't care less.
    1 person likes this.

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