Casinomeister Newsletters 2016

London Trip 2016

Chowin’ down on the fish ‘n chips…

It’s funny how this is how I started off last year’s report on the ICE and LAC, with fish ‘n chips – but this year was even fishier. Yep, I have given up on eating processed meat – and just about all dead animals actually. I came to a conclusion a number of weeks ago that I will not eat anything that I would not personally kill. If I could kill a bunny, I would eat it. But to be perfectly honest with you, I would not want to kill a cute little bunny.

If I could at one moment hold a chicken, pet the cute feathery little thing, and then rip its head off – I’d eat it. But really folks, I couldn’t do that – could you? And the same thing goes for baby sheep, cows, piggies, and the rest of our two and four legged friends. Of course if I was starving, I could kill just about anything and eat it – perhaps even you my dear reader – watch out! But I am not starving, so I’ll just pass on the dead meat.

I have no issue with killing fish. I worked as a commercial fisherman in Alaska for a number of years, and killed many, many fish – and definitely ate my share of them. I love fish, shrimp, crabs, just about anything that comes out of the ocean or lakes – yummy. So I have become quite the pescetarian – and deep fried fish was the meal of choice for nearly the entire week while I was in London.

Why was I in London you may ask? Well – I have traveled to London each year to attend the International Casino Exhibition – and recently the London Affiliate Conference – since January 2001. I have witnessed many changes over the years – many of them massive. The main mission while in London is to meet the people behind the scenes – the operators, marketing managers, fellow webmasters, and anyone else who wants to hang out. It can really be a great trip – this year was no different.

The first order on the agenda was to catch a flick – and Max and I were lucky to be there early enough on Monday to see The Revenant on the iMax in Leicester Square. Absolutely breathtaking on the big screen – and the performances in this film were beyond expectation; the cinematography will blow you away. Seriously, if you have not seen this film yet, I highly recommend it. It’s one of the best films that I’ve seen in a long time.

That evening we had a traditional dinner with Micki Oster, Brian Cullingworth, Sue Schneider, and other friends and guests in an amazing place, the City Social in Tower 42. The halibut was ok, but the ambience, view, and company was memorable.

The discussion seemed to revolve around some interesting things happening in Canada, Mexican vacations, and a number of tantalizing subjects – and then someone asked the Americans, two of us, “So, what is the deal with Trump?”

Yes, what is the deal with American elections – these are like no other elections in the world. Honestly it’s embarrassing to see these political figures spout such venomous, spiteful hatred towards others. The pandering for votes is so transparent. Question: “What part of the Bible is your favorite?” Answer: “I like it all.” Barf.

Anyway, I really don’t want to delve into the reality show that American politics has turned into. This is the ICE/LAC newsletter.

Anyway, we retired to ready ourselves for the following day: the ICE. The ICE is perhaps the largest exhibition for casino operations, both land based and online, and as mentioned, I’ve attended the ICE since 2001. Woo-hoo.

Fifteen years ago, the ICE was much smaller – being held in half of Earls Court – the other half reserved for video and arcade games. The “online” casino section was held upstairs, and the rows of “booths” were nondescript – reminding me of a small exhibition held in the center of a shopping mall.

Well times have certainly changed – now online gaming seems to be the dominant factor in the gaming industry. Well, at least in Europe. To give you an idea what it is now, let me introduce you to Dunover – one of our true Casinomeister contributors – who filmed the following video. You will get a good scope of this.

Max and I had a meeting with a rep from the Mohegan Sun, a casino that will becoming on board at for our New Jersey players. They seem to be eager to come on board, and I am looking forward to be giving our New Jersey players (all three of them), another casino to mess around with.

From there we met up with the Kahnawake Gaming Commission where they discussed the complaints submitted for 2015. Just as important was their self limitation and self exclusion policies which are just about the most solid in the business. If other gaming jurisdictions would take a look at how the KGC is operating, I think the level of player assurance and confidence would dramatically increase.

We hung around for a bit, our heads swimming in the dazzlement of corporate decadence – some of these booths are just beyond ridiculously big. I guess it’s a display of who has the biggest schlong – it’s downright stupid. Size isn’t everything y’know (or so I’ve heard). It’s service, support, and the ability to solve problems quickly if and when they happen.

By this time we were getting a bit peckish, so it was a plan for fish ‘n chips.

We left the ICE taking the long-ass ride on the DLR and transferring to the tube at Tower Station. It’s always an amazing journey as a pedestrian in London – passing by the Tower of London thinking that five centuries ago our ancestors were selling wares, drinking ale, and publicly executing traitors on the grounds that we were treading upon. Fodder for a daydream.

We made it to the Sherlock Holms Pub across the street from our hotel. This is where Max and I traditionally discuss business – where Casinomeister is at now – where it is going. And there are some great plans for this upcoming year. I plan to revamp the site – to include the newsletter section (and archives), Accredited Casino section, Reservation section, Rogue – just about everything that is not in the forum.

You see, the problem with Casinomeister is that it is has so much content – dating back 18 years – that navigation is a real bitch. It has always been a problem. So needless to say (so don’t say it) we have some awesome things in store. Patience is a virtue my friend – you will have to wait and see.

We retired to our rooms to freshen up for…

The Meister Meeting 2016
Waxy O’Conner’s Dargle Bar: Yes, it was the annual Meister Meeting that we have been having since 2007. What a nice time we had. The usual crowd showed up – and a few other stragglers. Drinks flowed freely and the munchies were really quite good.

We have become somewhat of a fixture there since we have held it at Waxy for a number of years. The musicians recognize us, the staff remembers us, it’s three hours of good fun and great company. For those who missed out, I hope to see you there next time – as for now you can check out picts on our Casinomeister page at Facebook.

Thanks to the folks at Affiliate Edge – award winning affiliate program for the sponsorship. Cheers to you!

We finished our jovial jocularities and commenced to have them at Joy King Lau, one of the best Chinese restaurants in London. It’s the perfect place after a night of a few pints. If you order something they don’t like, they tell you it’s no good and tell you to order something else. Well, they sure weren’t wrong. We had an excellent meal to include their world famous fried spicy tofu.

And the night became later; like well behaved gents, Max and I headed back to the hotel to retire and ready ourselves for the next day.

Voice from the pastICE 2007
Another highlight that afternoon was the Meister Meeting back at the Atlas. Here a number of forum members met – some for the first time, and it was a true highlight of my London tour. Kasino King graced us with his presence. He had thoughtfully created bottle openers for many of us – with our little icons on one side and Kasino King on the other. If you missed meeting us there, you missed out on a pretty cool gathering – and keyring. Really an excellent gift – a big public thanks!

The following day we met up with the good folks from Club World Casino for a very nice breakfast to include the amicable and truly professional award winning casino manager, Karolina. I really can’t praise the Club World Casinos enough. They have always gotten it right about everything – to include their staff. I am proud to have them on board; it’s been going on ten years now.

From here, Max and I had some more meetings – this time off-post – like at the Chandos Pub, and then next door at The Harp, and then further down the street at a really excellent place for Fish ‘n Chips: London Fish ‘n Chips. That was a great lunch – topped off with a film viewing: The Hateful Eight – and topped off with an evening with the good people from 32Red to include Mark, PatH, and CEO Ed Ware.

We met at The Red Lion – a quaint, cosy Victorian pub on Duke of York street. The Guinness there is actually pretty good, and the barmaid was quite amicable and attentive. A hidden gem.

From there we perambled to The Wolseley – a celebrated restaurant which was once a showroom for the Wolseley automobile, which didn’t sell very well. It was converted into a bank in 1927, and in 2003 was refurbished and turned into a marvelous gastronomic adventure. I had the escargot (amazing), and the halibut – which was a proper sized piece (remember, I used to fish these things).

We stayed until closing, and that was it for Wednesday.

Voice from the pastICE 2015 Playtech heard me out – on why I feel that their casinos that enforce withdrawal limits on progressive wins are acting in an unethical manner. Playtech confirmed that when a progressive win is hit, the funds go directly to the player’s account. This is where their involvement ends though. It’s up to the casino to process this payment to the player. What I have issue with is when a casino, Joyland for instance, enforces a $9K a month withdrawal limit on $4.2 million dollars – especially when these funds were not theirs to begin with. It’s absolutely criminal what they did. They kept about half via a dodgy arrangement made by a manager using a private hotmail account. What happened to the missing $1.8 million? I feel that Sylvia should still be paid this amount – with interest. And I also feel that Joyland Casino should be audited for the year that those funds went missing to find out who pocketed this money. This is far from over in my opinion.

Thursday began with a brunt force attack on Casinomeister – oh, well. It had caused the site to go down for a few hours – but no worries, it was repelled and that was that. Thanks to Webzcas for squaring everything away. All I had with me was my smartphone to deal with forum issues – getting into the backend was not much of an option. My laptop went tits-up on Monday, and it was a perfect storm of sorts since all of the moderators were hanging out in London. The timing was suspect, but then we get these attacks all of the time.

Anyway, after a nice walk though Green Park and Hyde Park with Max, we met up with the guys from iNetbet. And this was a lunch at the Coya, a Peruvian restaurant that had an amazing menu – all sorts of tidbits, sashimi, spicy rice and fish, and battered prawns which are worth fighting over- seriously. We traded stories of our youth, critiqued current films, and just had an awesome lunch. Thanks guys!

Voice from the pastICE 2005
Thursday, the last day of the ICE proved to be an effective and very satisfying day for me. Spearmaster and I met with the General Manager of the Virtual Casino group at length and gave him an ear to some of the future projects that Virtual is undertaking. It’s been a difficult road for Virtual. A few years ago, they were known as one of the most notorious casino groups, in fact they had won the award for “Worst Casino Group” of 2001 at Casinomeister. But after meeting with the operator last year, he vowed to get Virtual back on track and to provide fair and proper treatment to the player; no more dodginess in other words. And so far, so good (comparatively speaking). This year I gave them credit for making some big improvements on this front; they were acknowledged in the Best and Worst of 2004 in the Player Improvement Awards section.


The London Affiliate Conference:

This by far was probably the best attended LAC that I have seen so far. Besides the gagglefuck of an entrance scene (no one it seemed had a badge yet), it was a pretty good layout.

Friday was a blur of meetings with a number of people. I met with Renee RA of Casino Rewards, and we have decided after years of being in business, the Casino Rewards group is coming on board as an Accredited Casino Group. This is a pretty big deal – the Casino Rewards group is the largest independently owned Microgaming casino groups. Many of their casinos were at one time accredited here at Casinomeister, but over the years – for whatever reason – were sold to the CR group; to include the Captain Cooks Casino group, Casino Profit Share, Mini Vegas Group, and a couple of others. This expands the Accredited Casino portfolio by nearly 30 downloadable Microgaming casinos – all of which are licensed in Kahnawake, one of the best licensing jurisdictions out there.

Why wasn’t the original CR group listed as Accredited Casinos? One of the policies that we have is that the casinos must have a casino rep in the forum who can answer questions, respond to postings, etc., but their management said that they weren’t going to participate in the fora – which ultimately excluded them from being accredited. But they do have rep, and I can say she is quite responsive via private messaging, and dealing with any player complaints that come though here. She has been working at Casino Rewards for donkey years, and it’s time to give them credit for this. And it will be good seeing some of the old brands back up on Casinomeister again.

I also had an informal chat with CAP and the GPWA about some recent happenings with certain affiliate programs. This was prompted by AffiliateHub’s rogue listing last October – the result of implementing draconian terms and conditions retroactively. I’ll probably share with you what we discussed in an upcoming newsletter.

Further notes:

Some casinos that will be coming on board via the Baptism by Fire:
Viks Casino (short for Vikings) – they should be ready soon. I’ve known one of their operators for a number of years. It should be a good going.
AllBritishCasino – they seem to be eager to come on board. They have a number of properties to include Nobonus casino – which I am sure will be a relief for a number of you.
Chance Hill Casino – they’ve been waiting for some time. Young guys ready to give it a go.
Royal Panda should be giving it a go in a few weeks. They have been getting a lot of good buzz in the fora, so I will be looking forward to bringing them on.

I should mention that Rizk is going strong in the Baptism by Fire – and it’s about over. Me thinks they are ready for accreditation. This should be happening early next week.

And again it was time to chill in the pubs. Across from the conference is the Hand and Flower pub, a relatively large pub – with pretty good Fish ‘n Chips. We sat upstairs.

The amazing end point of the day was held at the Boisdale – an incredible restaurant, jazz lounge, old school outdoor cigar lobby upstairs, whiskey bar. It was a befitting setting to be taken out by the guys from VideoSlots – Casinomeister’s award winning Best Casino and Best Gaming Experience 2015. The highlight of the evening was witnessing the face of the recipient being served a plate of bird legs with the claws still attached. Yep, I’m sticking with fish – and I had the salmon – it was delicious.

The evening was completed with cigars, jazz, and a shot of Highland Park whisky. It was an engaging and delightful evening.

Voice from the pastICE 2008
We also met briefly with Andrew Beveridge and Tex Reese from eCOGRA who have been instrumental on making great strides for players. It’s a shame that there are still some individuals who have knee-jerk opinions about organizations that step forth to better this industry for the player. eCOGRA has done a hell of a lot of work, and they really make a difference for casino operator accountability.The rest of the afternoon was a blur in a sea of people and casino booths. One impressive item – the new Lara Croft: Tomb Raider game due out from Microgaming soon. The graphics are absolutely awesome, and the bonus rounds bring online slots to another level. Hell, who needs land based slots when you have slots like these. When it’s launched, you’ll see what I mean.Almost as good as the upcoming Meister SlotsSaturday: Well, I was to speak at a panel entitled “The LAC 10 Year Anniversary Panel”. Since the LAC is ten years old, they brought in some old timers like myself to share some sage advice: Ariel Reem, CEO, ExtractNet –, Luisa Woods, Vice President, Tropicana Entertainment Inc. Michael Corfman, CEO, Casino City, Gary Myers, Head of UK Sports Affiliates, Ory Weihs, CEO, XLMedia, and moi.

One question from the audience was interesting – “Is there still room for innovation in the online gaming industry?” Personally I think that the industry has been short-changed because of the cronyism going on in the States concerning online gaming. Just imagine what this industry would be like if the developers of YouTube, Facebook, Android, Microgaming and Apple had free reign back in the early 2000’s? This was an opportunity lost.

Nevertheless, there is plenty of room. Try to visualize what the internet might be in tens years or so. It may be somewhat the same, but chances are it will be something totally different: virtual reality – somewhat like SlotsMillion is doing with their Oculus Rift casino. Which is actually in the fetal stage. Conceptualize a virtual reality Casinomeister? I can. I can imagine entering a website via virtual reality goggles – sitting in one place, reaching forward to open windows, or move shapes to enter rooms like the forum (with loads of forum personalities), or venture into other realms like the rogue section, archived newsletters (like this one) or play at an accredited virtual casino. That would be utterly awesome, and this is something that may be realized in the next decade. And remember folks, you read about this here first.

Picture this: a virtual reality rogue listing. I’d make it appear like an episode of the Walking Dead.

After hanging out at the Paddy Power stand (Guinness flowing freely) and chatting with a number of fellow webmasters, and affiliate managers, we had had enough. It was 2pm and time for, you guessed it, more food.

We meandered to Kitchen W8, a nearby eatery that proved to be a very nice place to have a late lunch. It was an appreciated invite from the operator of Sports InterAction who now only takes Canadian traffic. We had a nice chat about how things are developing in Canada, (Max is Canadian btw) as well as the politics in the States. It seems that each jurisdiction is moving towards proper regulation – mostly everywhere. But when this happens, grabbing hands grab all they can. Monopolistic tendencies run amok.

The rest of the day slipped away, and Max and I slipped off as well to the Scarsdale Tavern: a hidden local gem. And it was serious chill out mode. Adnan, formally of Affiliate Republik joined us, and we relaxed by one of the fireplaces, and recanted what we had observed over the past week. Not only has there been a lot of consolidation with casino operators recently, it’s also happening with affiliates. I think in the near future you may see even more sites (not this one) being sold to larger entities – like Wizard of Odds,, and others.

A couple of hours later we found ourselves once again at the Joy King Lau, where we partook another round of deep fried tofu, awesome noodles, and shrimp. It was indeed a great trip.

Last call was held at the Ship & Shovel, our traditional watering hole. And then it was time to call it a night.

All in all, this was one of the busiest and best conference tour I have been on in a long time. I want to thank everyone, especially you my dear reader, for making this industry – and especially my job – a reality. If it weren’t for you, I’d be sculpting tiki heads.

Voice from the pastICE 2006
Suddenly my time was up – had to check out of the hotel and the next thing I knew, I was back in Paddington station looking for the Heathrow express train. The trip was way too short. I didn’t meet half of the people I wanted to meet; didn’t see half the films I wanted to see. That’s the shame about these functions – everyone is so damn busy.And coming home. I barely had a chance to reflect on the trip since I have a ton of emails to wade through, PABs to bitch about, and lots of website updates to contend with…and one thing is for sure, I like this job. Thanks for making this work for me. It’s because of you, my dear reader, that I do these things.

Photographic proof of the events can be found here.


Yep, last week has been chock full of memories. For one thing, it was Ted Loh’s birthday week – and each year we remind ourselves what amazing guy he was, and of his importance and impact he had on Casinomeister.

In case you missed it, on Wednesday I sent out a private message to our forum members, and I also posted a remembrance page in the forum. I was also coincidently repairing the 2000, and 2001 newsletter archives (all sorts of broken links and other nonsense), and was able to read and remember the first time we met, and of course the numerous articles that he had written for the newsletter 15-16 years ago. Many of these articles are still pertinent today. Here’s one that you should read: Making the jump from land-based to online casinos – these are the basics – and they still remain a fact.

During this month, we try to help out the Loh family – he left a wife and three kids without a livelihood. So our links to 32Red and Clubworld for the entire month are links to his affy account. 100% of this goes to his family. If you haven’t signed up to either 32Red or ClubWorldCasino – now is the time.

You can read more about Ted Loh here.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be revisiting the Newsletter Archives – when you get a chance, you should peruse the year 2000 and 2001 archives.. They provide some serious tripping around memory lane.

Baptism By Fire

All British Casino is in the process of BBF, and so far, so good. Licensed in Malta, Curacao, and of course the UK.

They have NetEnt games, and so far members have been relatively pleased. You can read about All British Casino’s Baptism by Fire here.

Royal Panda has stepped up to the plate and are giving it a go. This casino has been getting some great reviews in the fora, and I think they will do just fine. Check ’em out here: Royal Panda’s Baptism by Fire.

And so far so good with the Casino Rewards group of Casinos. They seem to be doing just fine and are on the road for accreditation this week. You can check out the Casino Rewards Baptism by Fire thread and give your two cents if need be.

Our Forum

Is becoming awesomer every day – thanks to those who are participating. If you have not become a member yet, what are you waiting for? Please register and start taking part in Casinomeister.


Can UKGC licensed casinos require photo IDs?: an intriguing thread which describes the dilemma of many UK citizens who are not required by law to have a photo ID. Well then, what happens when a UK licensed casino asks for picture ID from a resident who doesn’t have one. Find out here.

Do you like automatic sign up bonuses? We need to know from YOU! So please take the poll.

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And Now For The Humor:

A man walked into a cafe, went to the bar and ordered a beer.

“Certainly, Sir , that’ll be one cent.”

One Cent?” the man exclaimed.

He glanced at the menu and asked: “How much for a nice juicy steak and a bottle of wine?”

“A nickel,” the barman replied.

“A nickel?” exclaimed the man.

“Where’s the guy who owns this place?”

The bartender replied: “Upstairs, with my wife.”

The man asked: “What’s he doing upstairs with your wife?”

The bartender replied: “The same thing I’m doing to his business down here.”

ha ha ha

Duel 5, Lucky Balls and Casino Broceliande advise imminent exit from online gambling market.

The managements at three more online casino sites have advised their players that the operations will be closing with effect from March 10 this year.

The sites concerned are Duel 5, Lucky Balls and Casino Broceliande, all sites that have been around long enough to have secured enough players for their operations to remain viable.

The closure appears to be an orderly affair, with players advised well ahead to withdraw any positive balances in their casino accounts before next Thursday, and promotions being wound up in good time. Customer support will continue for a brief period following the shuttering to deal with any outstanding enquiries.

Operated by Gantor International Ltd, all three casinos are owned and powered by the veteran online gambling company B3W Group and hold Malta licenses. Lucky Balls has also achieved UK licensing status.

Other long-established online casinos in the group that have closed include ParisWin and Long Harbour, whilst BetsKing and Monte Carlo recently halted the sign-up of new players and may be at risk.

For the operations at Yachting Casino and PlayGrand, it appears to be business as usual.
Online Casino News courtesy of InfoPowa

More news here.

North America tour 2016

From Margaritas to Multi-Strike poker…

Yep, I was gone for the past several weeks taking a tour of Yucatan, and then onward to Vegas for the iGNA (i-Gaming North America). Mexico was absolutely amazing. I was able to venture through some of the ruins I learned about when I was very young.

Seeing Chichén Itzá for the first time was surreal. If you have never studied the Mayan’s, you should read up on them a bit. What an incredible culture – their cities and science rivaled their contemporaries in Europe, Asia, and everywhere else in the world for that matter. Uxmal was another impressive site. If you go, make sure you get a guided tour from a local Mayan. There are a number of subtle nuances within these places that one can’t discover via a travel handbook. It’s worth the cash.

Stayed at an all inclusive hotel by the beach in Playa del Carmen Sandos Hotel – super nice, very friendly, and a massive amount of food and drink. The best part was just unwinding and forgetting about most everything except the beach, and who was getting the next Margarita.

But the days came and went, and it was finally time for me to depart early and head to Vegas, leaving the family behind in Mexico.

Why Vegas you ask? Seriously? Well, why not? Besides the usual meanderings in some of the Vegas strip casinos, I was planning on checking out the iGNA.

The iGNA is a three day conference that is in the form of seminars and presentations – entirely focused on the US online gaming industry – or as I should say, the “pending” industry.

For this trip, I was staying at the Cosmopolitan. This was a first for me, and it was clearly advantageous since I was right across the street from the Planet Hollywood where the conference was being held. The Cosmo was marvelous.

The room that I had at the Cosmo overlooked the Bellagio fountain and the Paris hotel – both of which are probably the most iconic sites in Las Vegas. The room was massive – bigger than the one I was used to at the Encore. I just wished I had time to enjoy a nice hot bath – the bathtub shared the view of the Bellagio since it was adjacent to the bedroom.

But who spends their time in the rooms in Vegas?

The downside of the Cosmopolitan is that is is directly on the strip, and gets a lot of foot traffic. We (Greedygirl, Simmo!, and I) noticed that there was a bit of riff-raff wandering through, and sometimes you’d wonder whether or not some of these folks had noble intentions. Some looked rather dodgy.

Some asked for money – some asked for a date.

I think this is one reason I like the Encore so much (my usual haunt). There is relatively zero foot traffic from the Strip since it’s at a geographical end-point on Las Vegas Blvd. The Encore is light and airy, and has open windows alongside the pool area so you can get a glimpse of daylight.

But the upside for the Cosmo is that I felt that the service was exceptional. I will definitely stay there again.

Which is absolutely a good thing since I will be trekking to the iGNA again next year. Why? I’ll tell you why.

Even though the US market is opening up at a snail’s pace, it’s still opening up. And to get the gist of why and where it’s at, one should listen to what the politicians are up against, and how they are preceding. You see, in the States it’s the politicians and big business tyrants like Adelson who control the online casino industry. Forget all of this “We the people…” crap, the online casino industry is not for the “people” (i.e. players), it is mainly for whomever has their fingers in the pie.

Things I learned at the iGNA…

Actually, a lot of what I was hearing was pretty much what I was expecting. I sat in on a number of panel discussions – the first on day one was “The New Deal” – a panel discussion moderated by Sue Schneider which included Michael Cohen from Caesars Interactive, and Eric Hollreiser VP of Corporate Communications at Amaya.

They discussed the current situation of being regulated in New Jersey, and what are some of the main issues facing them. One aspect – which was repeated throughout the conference – was that there was no unity amongst the online gaming entities that are active pushing for online gaming in the States. One main problem is that there is so much misinformation – and it’s widespread. Even I have this problem – perhaps even you as a player – or an affiliate for that matter – how often have you heard that online gambling is illegal in the US? I have heard this ad nauseum, and I’m sick of it. 🙂

Online gambling is not illegal in the US. You can place parimutuel bets in over 30 States using your credit card online. Three states offer casino games and poker online. Affiliates can apply for licenses – so advertising is also regulated and LEGAL.

Another fairy tale is that online casinos will steal jobs from the brick and mortar casinos. This is ludicrous, and the opposite is pretty much where this stands. Take a look at William Hill, Betfred, Betfair, etc., etc., these formidable companies are even more massive employing armies of customer service reps and teams of affiliate managers and media buyers. These people either did not have jobs, or they worked elsewhere before these companies focused their online efforts. So they aren’t stealing jobs – they are providing people with work and livelihoods. If you haven’t seen my Ten Myths of Online Gambling – you should check it out.

But as long as the American Gaming Association is not on the same page as the proponents of online gaming in the US, not much will be happening in the near future. This is truly a frustrating situation.

What is even more frustrating is that even though this industry supposedly revolves around the player and his or her needs and wishes, nothing is done to address this. Surely players want security – this is already a reality in Europe. Players have security here – if they are playing at properly licensed casinos that are regulated in the EU, then this is happening.

What advice can be given to players in the States? Make your voice heard! If you are in the States, please visit Casinomeister.US where we have details on each jurisdiction and contact details for the local politicians. Hell, if you don’t know what to say, we have a template that you can use to contact your congress rep or senator, and get them to support what you want: to play casino games online – at home, in private, on your own.

How to deal with Sheldon Adelson – purchaser of politicians and newspapers:

  • Convince him that gambling online ID checks are safer than in a brick and mortar casino. Refer him to the UKGC, MGA, and KGC – it works. I would be willing to bet a large sum that if you were to lock the doors on any of Adelson’s casinos and carded everyone siting at the slots or tables, you would find underage gamblers or at least a slew of fake IDs. That doesn’t happen in the EU – and if it does, it’s rare.
  • Demonstrate the fact that one can control his or her gambling behavior via self excluding and self imposed limits on deposits and losses. Refer him to Mr. Green Casino where all of this is possible. Technology allows casinos to give options to players. They can limit deposit amounts – they can limit their losses. But explaining modern technology to someone who was born when the aviation state-of-the-art was the balloon may be a bit daunting.
  • Reassure him that the US government was pretty much designed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, and it does its job when run by “we the people”. We own the government – the politicians serve the people as a whole and not self appointed “concerned” individuals. Apparently, Mr. Adelson feels that “the people” haven’t have a say in the matter – which he explicitly stated here: “I don�t see any compelling reason for the government to allow people to gamble on the Internet…” Forbes November 2013. If the people want it – then let the people have it. We don’t need to be babysat Mr. Adelson.
  • Remind him that Trump just may be a big proponent of online gambling. I am guessing that since Trump is all about “big business”, and that he too owns casinos, that he would be open to or favor seeing these casinos going online. Unlike Sheldon Adelson who can afford to be a protectionist towards his casino empire. Trump is surely a politician and can’t afford to be hypocritical – plus his casinos are failing. If anyone needs to go online it’s Trump. I’m surprised he isn’t there already.
  • Mention the ironic fact that the federal and state governments need the tax revenue to make up for the billions being squandered in foreign accounts, offshore businesses, and tax loopholes that Sheldon Adelson doesn’t mind exploiting.

One thing that was brought up more than once during the conference, was that sportsbetting and casino games were not looked upon as favorably as poker. Poker is an American pastime. As most of us know already, many Americans learn to play poker as kids, and as adults – most partake in friendly games with family and friends. So if any legislature comes up in the future, it will be the “poker-focused” bills that will probably be passed first.

Then come the slots…:)

to be cont…scroll down.

Baptism By Fire

All British Casino it’s almost over!! So far, so good. Licensed in Malta, Curacao, and of course the UK.

They have NetEnt games, and so far members have been relatively pleased. Are they worthy of accreditation? You decide!! You can read about All British Casino’s Baptism by Fire here.

Royal Panda has also stepped up to the plate and they are giving it a go. This casino has been getting some great reviews in the fora, and I think they will do just fine. Check ’em out here: Royal Panda’s Baptism by Fire.

Woo hoo! One thing that this event’s producers usually get right is the food layout for the breaks. Libations and consuming the local cuisine is a highlight for me. But unbeknownst to them, several months ago I changed my diet from full fledged “eat-anything-that-does-not-move” to pescatarian, which means I no longer eat mammals and birds. The snacks were a little sparse when applying this approach to food. There was some cheese though, and the pastries were good.

As the conference wore one, it seemed that a general consensus was that the brick and mortar casinos were still lacking knowledge about the online industry. Since there really is no online casino lobbyist organization, the situation in the US is just staggering around bouncing from one obstacle to the next.

There are emerging jurisdictions. There was a brilliant Skype presentation that included New York Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow, and Illinois State Representative Mike J. Zalewski where each discussed their ongoing efforts to pass gambling legislation.

New York just gave the thumbs up to four land based casinos; these have not been built yet. As soon as they are built and go into operation, then they will be able to look at online options.

And then on the other hand, the casinos may not be interested if this is not viable. Like I mentioned before, there is no effort from any robust online gaming organization to effectively orchestrate these possibilities. It’s up to the politicians, who honestly have other things to attend to like re-election campaigns, creating crime bills, ensuring kids are being properly educated and fed in schools. So simply put, online gambling is a pretty low priority.

Assemblyman Pretlow also said he’ll “probably have a bill by the end of April” regarding daily fantasy sports. One of the challenges is to define what exactly fantasy sports are. Is it gambling? Is is not? New York and New Jersey state defines it as gambling and it’s illegal unless properly licensed – Pretlow’s bill will hopefully set the motion to allow these games to be offered online.

As assemblyman Zaleski stated, “We just need to get out of the business of banning things that we know we’re never going to eradicate.” I wish that the rest of the US politicians would look at how Europe has dealt with online gaming. It thrives – and most everyone is happy with that.

Both of these politicians are against bringing in other states – i.e. allowing residents of the rest of the US to participate. It’s too complicated, they said, they wouldn’t be able to control it.

This is where they are wrong. And this is why the online industry in the US is crap. The legal age for gambling is 18-21 throughout the States. Since this is a fact, then online gambling in the States should be allowed for those 21 and above across the board. That’s a no brainer. The geolocation should take into account the IP, financial institution address, and physical address of the player, and his or her cell phone location and registered address. If you are not allowed to play from a certain jurisdiction – then you can’t play. Simple as that. This is already being done in Europe – the technology is here.

The thing is, the success of a casino derives from it being patronized not only from locals, but from people outside its jurisdiction. Same goes for online. Look what happened to online poker. The awesomeness of online poker was that you were guaranteed a full table no matter what time of day. Get up at three in the morning, and the casino could be full of Australians – or Americans. At noon, it would be Norwegians, Brits and Swedes.

Now – thanks to the new prohibition, online poker is just about dead in the States. I mean – why bother playing if your fellow players are from the town next door? What a bore.

The beauty and alluring element of the Internet is being connected to people worldwide. Maybe we take this for granted now, but at one time this had a magical effect. Communicating with people on the seven continents in real time is amazing; playing a game of poker with them is mind-blowing.

And it makes total business sense to allow online games to cross borders. I actually thought that the legalization of online gaming in the States would include the mom and pop off-the-strip casinos – or gems like Green Valley Ranch. What incentive would these people have to go online if they can only allow their local residents to play. Imagine showing up at the Green Valley casino in Henderson, and they stopped you at the door. “Sorry, you’re from California. It’s illegal for you to play here.”

This is what we are expecting to happen online, and it is just not feasible.

The bottom line is that there is a ton of work to do – still – in order to make online gambling a reality in the States. The template has already been made thanks to a progressive EU, and I firmly believe that if players make their voices heard, they can get their local politicians to do their jobs and take action.

All in all – the iGNA was well worth the trip to Vegas. I will definitely be there next year – hopefully there will be more seafood platters during the lunch breaks. 🙂



Rizk Casino Visit…

An online casino gem…

Yep, last month Rizk Casino held a special promotion in our forum where the winner would be flown to Malta, housed in a five star hotel, and given a tour of the offices of Rizk, Guts, and Betspin casino (all three casinos score +9 points at Casinomeister). This contest was unprecedented – and it was a brilliant idea. The main purpose of this contest was to not only provide one of our members with a truly memorable experience – one he can remember for his entire life, but it afforded the casino the opportunity to give everyone – all of our members and visitors – a glimpse behind the scenes of their operations.

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain? Surely this would prove to be a highly informative and enjoyable visit.

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain

Nikon was the lucky winner. The folks at Rizk flew him in from Greece (along with his brother) to the sunny, but windy, island of Malta. The two admittedly didn’t get out much – not too much traveling under their belts, so Malta was an awesome experience for them. Something I’m sure they will never forget.

For you newcomers, Malta is the central point in the EU for the online gaming industry. Just about all of your software providers have their main offices located there, and most of your casino operations are based in Malta. There may be a few casino ops situated in Gibraltar, the UK, or South Africa, but these are the exceptions. If you are a European facing casino, most likely you’ll be licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority and wearing shorts and flip flops for most of the year.

Yeah, Malta is a great place to chill out. You can tell by the way people drive – it’s like they encourage you to drink a few pints before getting behind the wheel.

Before visiting the office or Rizk, I had initiated a thread in our forum where the members could pose whatever questions they had about Rizk, and anything else related to the online gaming industry. So we actually had some work to do.

Rizk Casino is a member of the GiG affiliates – over watched by Gaming Innovation Group. Rizk has its own separate office from GiG – which hosts the offices of Guts, and Betspin.

For the first half of the day, we were at the Rizk office. Rizk Casino is a relatively new casino – and the office was just recently furnished and moved into – they weren’t quite done yet. Sparse and airy, and a nice quiet working atmosphere. Our guide, Tim, explained that it becomes more populated in the late afternoon/evening when they boost up the customer service team. Since their operation is mainly european focused, most of their players start pacing bets after work and into the evening.

We met and greeted a number of the employees, and then we situated ourselves in a nice conference room adjacent to an awesomely massive balcony that was equipped with a gas grill and outdoor comfy lounge furniture. The weather in Malta is grill worthy. But no grilling today. We had work to do.

rizk offices
The Rizk Office in Malta

Tim began by giving us a presentation on how slots work – and he did a bang-up job. For those of you who don’t know, slots have a fascinating history. Your typical three reel slots were first introduced to the casinos years ago as something for the women to do while the men played at the table games. Keeping the men at the tables for as long as possible was the primary mission. Keeping the women happy was instrumental on making this happen. No one took slots seriously until slots were actually beginning to out do the table games. Over the years, slots evolved into the slots that we have today.

And what we have today “online” pretty much mimics what we have offline. This was only a pipe dream a decade ago, but with the introduction of proper streaming and other technological feats of ingenuity, online slots can pretty much do whatever their offline brethren can do – if not a bit more.

If you are interested in slot design and strategies, I would seriously recommend the following:

Tim segued from there and explained how the gaming software functioned in relation to the online casinos. Most online casinos are hosted separately from the software providers. The gaming servers are separate from the casino operations. The casino operations consist of the administration, the general management, the marketing, the customer service, the website hosting, graphics, and other innovative departments. The games are hosted elsewhere – usually by the games provider. So for those who don’t feel lucky at one casino and move elsewhere to another casino that hosts the same games – that won’t make any difference. These are the same games with the same odds, the same RTP (Return to Player), i.e. the exact same chances of winning or losing.

FACT: There is no such thing as luck. “Luck” is when you take statistics personally.

From here we moved onto the questions that were posed in the forum:

Q: Why do they charge players extra to deposit and withdrawal (when the vast majority of other casinos don’t)?

Why can’t they let players have at least 1 free deposit & withdrawal per month?

How many players do you think are put off by these seemingly unreasonable charges?

CR: There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly by no means do we pass on all costs to our customers, we absorb around two thirds of the costs ourselves and we there are no charges for deposits through e-wallets (Skrill, Neteller). As with most things it is a balance between the costs that we incur and the rewards and bonuses that we are therefore able to provide to our customers either through the Wheel of Rizk, ad hoc bonus campaigns and No Deposit Free Spins that we offer at various times. We are constantly reviewing this and I think that there will be some changes moving forward, as these are agreed I will notify the CM community.


Q: Is captain always wearing that superhero suit in Office ?

CR: Yes. It is only removed after midnight following multiple barrels of beer?.

Ed. Note: I have seen the Captain in person at the London Affilliate Conference wandering the exhibition hall. So he does exist. 🙂


Q: What was interesting was to be told where they had their servers and who had access to them. Was it possible to manipulate the games? Who had access to all our data? We hear stories of them getting stolen and sold.
How big is a normal sized casino, how many in staff, how many are playing at the same time?

CR: All personal data is held on a central server, that complies with all software, hardware and procedural regulations laid down by the MGA. Everything is tagged both physically and electronically so that there is fully auditable logs of what happened, to what and when. Certain data is not even visible to employees, such as passwords which are hash encrypted so that absolutely no-one, other than the original customer, ever has access to this. Furthermore when you play a game, zero personal data is sent to the 3rd parties other than an anonymous Account ID and Country code for regulatory compliance reasons.

In terms of size there is no “normal” size but there is definitely a correlation between number of customers and therefore deposit amounts and staff size. At Rizk we are a relatively small team right now but growing extremely quickly and have staff based in 5 different countries covering a variety of marketing, operational and technical tasks.


Q: When someone wins big do they get alerted? Does an alarm go off? And then they pull the kill switch lol?

CR: We wish (JOKE)!! The answer to this is a definitive no. Obviously we have real time data dashboards that monitor a number of important KPI?s such as deposit amounts, withdrawal amounts, gross gaming revenue and bonus costs and generally we can tell when the KPI?s are not where we would expect them to be and will therefore check into why. Realistically though most players will experience winning and losing streaks through a play session and it is actually only when they process a withdrawal that we can conclude that they have either won or lost.


Q: If I were to win a trip, could there be a cash settlement in lieu of?

CR: Sometimes yes and sometimes no. It depends on the trip, our preference is that players take the trip because it is then a tangible experience for them that they can remember for a long time – such as Amourgirl’s trip to Rio for instance. There was no cash alternative for that trip as we had already reserved the house on the Copacabana beach etc.


Q: I always presume they are only very rarest of hot girls, scantily dressed or straight up nekkid, that get excited as soon as i open my mouth! And even when my live chat request is answered by “Nick” or “Mark”, i still think it, and presume they use aliases so they know they won’t be sexually harassed by the likes of dunover or spintee…

CR: This is exactly how it is…


Q: Will I ever hit anything better than 5 free spins on wheel of Rizk?(with exception to one £5 free). Even on the super wheel…I’m almost level 90 and the best I have had is £5 bonus money

CR: Not sure what to say here Dave other than “yes” as proven by the £5 free money which is in effect 100 Free Spins (or 20 Wheels of Rizk at 5 Free Spins a go depending on how you look at it). We have tweaked the wheel slightly recently to try to give a better spread of prizes and we will continue to do so and introduce other things on to the wheel to keep the experience interesting.


Q: I never really checked so this is also directed to Rizk Rep here. How come the reward bar only add up the same no matter what betting level you are at? And I was doing spins yesterday regarding your UK promo with double speed and i still only went up like 0.82 percent a spin. Did not matter if betting 0.50 or �2 on Breakaway slot which is really disappointing.

Also When I did starburst at only 0.10 bet it went up almost 1 percent or bit more????

CR: Over and above a certain bet level (approx. �0.30, ?0.40, 40NOK/SEK) the progress bar moves at the same speed irrespective of bet size. What changes is the prize that you are likely to win from the WoR, that is dependant upon your average bet over that level.

Not sure about 0.10 Starburst spin – unless it was during a 2x speed happy hour – we certainly haven’t seen this behaviour before.


Q: They could add more super spin and mega spin symbols to the wheel and make it fairer for those betting higher.

But you don’t always bet the same amount to fill a bar to get the wheel.

Maybe they couldn’t/can’t get that fix to work.

CR: See above reply


Q: I have a question, so when will I win the jackpot on the wheel

CR: Thursday

Just not sure which one???..

For the record, that is a joke? We have no control over it and have lost the RTP switch (another and separate joke?.)


Q: How do the raffle draws work to ensure fairness?

CR: At the end of every week, all players with a raffle ID automatically had their Player IDs fed into a Random Number Generator, the RNG then produced a list of the winners who were then contacted by us ? assuming they hadn’t self excluded or closed their account in the meantime, if this had happened then the next player ID on the list took their place.

Casinomeister Review on Rizk Casino to include current payout times.

From there we strolled to the GiG offices that hosts Guts and Betspin. It was finally lunch time, and I was starved.

I thought at first we’d be heading to some seaside restaurant, but I was pleasantly surprised with a different venue.

We took the elevator up to the head office, and as we entered I could smell something delicious and heard the bustling of a small kitchen. And there we were in the cafeteria of GiG. It turns out that the entire staff is offered a free lunch daily in-house. Actually, it’s the CEO’s wife who at one time was a chef on a cruise line – she’s from Latin America – so you know there’s gonna be some good eats. Lunch consisted of a black bean dish, brown rice, and meaty stew of some kind (sorry, I’m a vegetarian) and plantains. What a treat! And way more healthier than grabbing a sandwich, or fast food, and sitting at your desk to eat.

And even though it doesn’t seem like much, it underscores the family atmosphere of this company. You have a feeling that they genuinely care about one another. You could feel the positive vibe throughout the entire building – well at least on these three floors.

After that awesome lunch, Yits the customer service manager, gave us a tour of their offices. You could sense both his pride and enthusiasm working for such a fantastic company.

And I can honestly say hands down, it was one of the best company tours I’ve had, and I’ve been to a lot of companies. Even though the offices are great, it’s the positive attitude that shines throughout. From my experience working with both Guts and Betspin, I know that their business ethics are above par. My tour – and the discussions that I had with their staff pretty much firmed up my conviction that this is one of the best companies – if not the best – in the online gaming industry. Lest we forget, Guts Casino was the recipient of the Best Casino 2014 at Casinomeister – that is no minor accolade.

Overall, I want to thank everyone who made this experience possible. I think that this was a brilliant idea – bringing a player to the office and showing him the man behind the curtain. But instead of a man standing at a few controls, there is a brilliant group of people who are doing an awesome job.


The system is broken…

This week has been one hell of a week, and unfortunately it’s not all good. The system is broken. Really – people, it is.

This week, we discovered that a prominent casino group – AffPower – have a number of casinos that host pirated games from Netent. They are using their own gaming servers, and we have screenshots of the proof here in the rogue section.

The casinos that are running these fake games are able to do so because they are licensed in Cura�ao. Cura�ao has four master license holders – and the license holder for these Affpower casinos is Cyberluck (aka I am the one who notified the license holder. This was several days ago – they acknowledged my notification, said that they were looking into it, and that was that.

But at press time (Friday, May 13th), the games are still live, still able to take bets, and the customer service reps at these casinos are ensuring players, “not to be afraid…that the games are legit.”

Now I could understand this happening if this were the year 1999 when the online gaming industry was in its infancy, and Costa Rican clipshot joints were not the exception but the rule. But it’s not, it’s 2016 – the industry has matured, there is strict regulation in Europe and well as in the States. For this to occur is a slap in the face to anyone who is professionally involved in this industry.

If I were a casino operator, I would be livid – you are tarnished by association.

If I were an affiliate of Affpower, I would ask for an explanation – and drop these casinos like a hot potato. If they are ripping off players, what do you think they are doing to your affiliate account?

If I were a player, I would be disgusted knowing that I was lied to, duped, and probably cheated. I would demand an audit and take possible legal action against those who allowed this to happen.

But really – the only people who really seem to care are the folks at Netent, the Malta Gaming Authority (Affpower has casinos licensed there), and a handful of players and affiliates. No one else seems to give a flying rat’s ass.

Affpower’s offices are located in Israel, which is becoming the “new” Costa Rica clipshot joint haven. I asked for a public statement from them, but so far not a peep.

So where is the due diligence? The compliance? There is really no excuse that these games are still live – that these casinos are allowed to operate without proper regulation. My trust and confidence has just dipped down to a near all time low. That is saying a lot.

Next month is Casinomeister’s 18 birthday, and I was hoping that we could mark this occasion with a review on how Casinomeister has made a mark on this industry by outing the rogues, and pushing towards proper regulation that protects players, not just the casinos’ bottom line. Looks like we are back to square one.


Royal Panda Casino made through with flying colors. You can check out their review here: Royal Panda’s Review.

All British Casino made it as well! Licensed in Malta, Curacao, and of course the UK.

They have NetEnt games, and so far members have been relatively pleased. All British Casino’s Review here.

And Now For The Humor:

A man went on a business trip to China and wanted to buy some gifts for his kids. He went to a shop and found a nice looking CD player. Wary of buying inferior goods, he asked the shopkeeper, “What would happened if this does not work?”

The shopkeeper quietly points to the only sign in English that reads, “GUARANTEE NO BROKEN”.

Feeling assured, he paid for the CD player and returns to his hotel. He tried to use the CD player after returning to the hotel but it would not even switch on.

He quickly return to the shop and asked for a refund or an exchange for another unit. When the shopkeeper refused to give either, the man points to the sign assuring him of a guarantee.

The shopkeeper then said, “Brother, you are in China. We read from the right to the left.”

ha ha ha

Updating Meisterland…

Well, it’s been a couple of weeks since Affpower casinos were busted out with fake games, and since this time there has not been a peep from either Affpower nor their BS licensing agency.

Freaking pathetic. You would think that with such a serious issue like this that someone with some gonads would make a public statement. But what the hell? It’s just another day in “fleece-the-player” town.

Since it is the licensing jurisdiction that is responsible to ensure that their licensed casinos abide by their operation regulations, the blame can rest on their shoulders. The buck stopped there so to speak.

So this has prompted me to begin rating the jurisdictions. We do this already since jurisdictions are taken into account when compiling the Casinomeister Ratings – but now we can be totally specific so that you know exactly what we are looking at.

Here ya go: Rating the Online Casino Licensing Jurisdictions.

Curaçao eGaming is our first critique. Like I said before, it’s pretty pathetic.

What is not pathetic? In fact it’s the polar opposite – Unibet’s Casinomeister Review. They score 9.4 out of 10.

  • Relatively complaint free. (One legit PAB since 2010)
  • Huge selection of games and platforms
  • No payout limits
  • Weekend payouts
  • Publicly traded
  • Nineteen languages supported
  • Fantastic selection of games

So there you have it – check ’em out!!


Royal Panda Casino made through with flying colors. You can check out their review here: Royal Panda’s Review.

All British Casino made it as well! Licensed in Malta, Curacao, and of course the UK.

They have NetEnt games, and so far members have been relatively pleased. All British Casino’s Review here.

And Now For The Humor…

A big-city lawyer was representing the railroad in a lawsuit filed by an old rancher. The rancher’s prize bull was missing from the section through which the railroad passed. The rancher claimed that the bull must have been hit by the train, and wanted to be paid the fair value of the bull. The case was scheduled to be tried before the justice of the peace in the back room of the general store.

As soon as the rancher showed up, the attorney for the railroad pulled him aside and tried to get him to settle out of court. The lawyer did his best selling job, and finally the rancher agreed to take half of what he was asking.

After the rancher had signed the release and took the check, the young lawyer couldn’t resist gloating a little over his success, telling the rancher, “You know, I hate to tell you this, old man, but I put one over on you in there. I couldn’t have won the case. The engineer was asleep and the fireman was in the caboose when the train went through your ranch that morning. I didn’t have one witness to put on the stand. I bluffed you!”

The old rancher replied, “Well, I’ll tell you, young feller, I was a little worried about winning that case myself, because that darned bull came home this morning.”

ha ha ha

Amsterdam Affiliate Conference 2016

Amsterdam is by far, one of my most favorite cities. And coming here each year for the Amsterdam Affiliate Conference is a pleasure – not only for the awesome food, Belgian beers, and coffee <smirk> – but because of the great people I have the chance to meet while meandering about the conference and in the streets of Amsterdam. But then, there are always exceptions to this and there are sharks in the waters of online casino marketing. More on that later.

Max and I met up – we were both staying at a fantastic bed and breakfast boutique hotel misceatdrinksleep – perfect location – reasonably priced, and extremely amiable. The decor of my room was Indonesian themed – no idea what Max’s room looked like. 🙂

Our first day was a bit of a celebration. Casinomeister is now 18 years old and things are going quite well. In fact, both we are now certified arbitrators via CIArb (Chartered Institute of Arbitrators) which is recognized internationally. This brings even more validity to what we do – amongst other things.

And by turning 18, it comes to be that we need to start acting our age – more grownup like. Since we are in the process of being recognized globally as a leading arbitrator for online casino complaints, we have decided that Pitch a Bitch needs to be renamed. So coming soon to forum, I will be asking for input for a new names while keeping the acronym PAB. So far we have Professional Arbitrator B…(see, it’s still PAB!). I just need a new B word. And yes, people can still refer to it as Pitch a Bitch, but it will be officially known as the before mentioned (once we figure out the B). Which is cool. Most people just call it PAB anyway, so there ya go. Current thread on renaming PABs.

We spent some time at our obligatory visit to the Riks museum – what an amazing place. Most of our time was spent in the section on 17th century shipping – and art of that period. One look at some of these ships and it boggles the mind that men were willing to circumvent the planet in these small fragile but robust vessels. And the technology behind them – designed by craftsmen and built by hand. And the battles that were fought with these fleets – what destruction! Just goes to show how mankind is driven by adventure, politics, wealth power and gusto. Things sure haven’t changed over the centuries – just the method in which we destroy ourselves.

Ch-ch-ch-changes. Turn to face the strange. And the changes coming to Casinomeister? Only time will tell, but believe me – there are a number of serious changes that are in the works at the moment – to give you, my dearest reader, the Casinomeister that you deserve. You’ll know it when you see it. 🙂

That evening we ended up at the Balti House – an Indian restaurant that we head to each year – same gang, same awesome food. It really is a hidden gem – if you ever in Amsterdam and like a good curry – it’s well worth the visit.

Day 1 of the conference

This time around we had a load of meetings, mainly because I was introducing the casino peeps to a new member of the Casinomeister family – Charlotte who is our accounts manager, and who will be managing the promotions at Casinomeister so I can focus on more important things like reporting on the pitfalls and pratfalls of online gambling – reviews, rogue listings, videos, newsletters, and other pertinent issues of the online gaming industry. I really just can’t be bothered with all of the advertising nonsense – what I am passionate about is reporting to you what matters to you – which casinos are the ones you can trust – and who are the baddies.

And as we have found out in the past few weeks, there are STILL craploads of crooks, scammers, and unethical operators. I honestly thought it was getting better – but it ain’t.

Remember the Affpower scandal a few weeks back concerning the stolen NetEnt games? Well their reps were walking the conference floor. Unbelievable. How do these people sleep at night knowing that they are representing the polar opposite of ethical marketing and business behavior. I just don’t get it. Sure those pirated games are no longer on their shitty casinos, but the casinos seep with dodginess. And I am confounded why anyone would advertise for these people. It blows me away. If these guys are so blatantly stealing from software providers, publishing mock games, how do you think they’ll treat their affiliates. You’d have to be ten shades of stupid to deal with these unethical con artists.

And this seemed to be a running theme in my mind. There are still so many con artists in this industry – trying to fleece the player. And trying to screw over their advertisers.

A few notes from the expo floor:

I met up with a number of new casino reps who would like to see their properties come on board. So yes, we have some Baptism by Fire candidates which we’ll be seeing in the near future – even next week.

Ran into the rep for Casino Extreme which had a semi-dodgy reputation for a number of years – back in the day. We agreed to place them in the probation section for 60 days (they are currently in the Not Recommended section of the Rogue Pit). If there aren’t any unresolved complaints during that time then they are free to go.

Ran into the new and improved BGO team. BGO, if you remember, was removed from the accredited casino section some months ago for being lackadaisical and unresponsive to us and our members, so they got the boot. But they are under new management and have a team dedicated to Casinomeister, so they are back up on the Accredited Section. You can read BGO’s casino review here.

Also met with the reps from Sportingbet who also had their share of problems in the forum. They too have committed a manager to monitor the site and to get more involved.

Voice from the Past: Amsterdam Trek | 28 April 2006…The following day was just as eventful. I met up with Yashin, the marketing director of Grand Privè. I was anticipating a conversation of “what do we have to do to get off of the ‘Rogue’ list” or something of that nature. It wasn’t. It was a very professional explanation of what exactly happened and their perspective of it all. I’m not going to go into detail about this, but if you want to know what I’m talking about, you can read this here. But how they handled this was understandable to a point. The main issue, (which I emphasized once again) was the players’ and the public’s impression on the whole matter. The fears of the player public – that the casino merely found an excuse not to pay the player her winnings – were never addressed. It could have been handled much differently. The casino should have gone beyond the call of duty in this instance – and we both agreed upon this. But they didn’t, and that’s a real shame. That was more or less the end of the conversation.

That evening – our annual trek to the Oriental City was an excellent experience. One of the best Chinese restaurants in Amsterdam – well worth a visit. Hanging out with the peeps from Video Slots, Max and Charlotte. It was a splendid evening that ended up at a couple of pubs. One of which was the Brouwerij de Prael, an awesome brewery pub that was totally gemütlich. They even had a bingo game going on – and the host was wearing a giraffe suit. Only in Amsterdam. 🙂

The night turned to morning, and the morning turned to day.

Day 2 of the conference

One thing I love about Amsterdam is the ease of use of their public transportation; specifically the trams. You get on, and there is a ticket booth towards the rear. No confusing ticket machines – no hassling with purchasing tickets from the driver – the ticket booths host courteous tram employees that sell the tickets and can explain the routes. Brilliant.

Back in the expo hall, we met with Ryan from All British Casino who recently finished up their Baptism by Fire successfully, and they have some sister casinos standing by for the BBF. These casinos should be coming on shortly.

We had he pleasure of meeting Jasminebed and Incrediblestuff. It is always an awesome experience meeting up with dedicated Casinomeister members. I had a great time chatting with them – wish it could have been longer.

And it’s always great bringing people together via Casinomeister. Casinomeister has been around for 18 years and I feel that it’s safe to say that many friendships, and other relationships <nudge nudge wink wink>, have generated from the site. This is something I’ve always felt good about.

Where would we be without Casinomeister? 🙂

Later on we met with Keith Hathaway who is managing the Baptism by Fire for Cashmio Casino. So far, so good it seems. Check out what our members have to say about them in Cashmio’s Baptism by Fire thread.

Thursday was also more of the same as the previous day. Casino peeps wondering what more they can do on the site, and me telling them to post special promos and to take a look at the ratings and see where one could possibly improve. I got the feeling that some of us were just going through the motions. Advertisers on the site should be well versed on how to improve their ratings and how to post special promos. It isn’t rocket science.

I have added a new section to our awesome forum where casino reps can post general promotions. These are promotions for the general public. You can check out the Accredited Casino Promotions for further information.

And as the conference finished up, there was a good vibe coming from a lot of people who really appreciate what we have been doing at Casinomeister – and a certain anticipation to see what lies ahead for us. As I mentioned earlier, there are changes ahead for us on the site, and I think that you’ll definitely be pleased.

And as Friday rolled around, it was the Intertops canal boat tour that solidified the week with a perfect end point. It’s really is a fantastic way to just chill out after a week of relentless meetings and other shenanigans. It was great catching up with friends that I didn’t have time to meet up with during the week – and watching the sights of Amsterdam slink by as we drifted though the city is a real way to end a conference, or any trip there for that matter. Kudos for the awesome staff at Intertops who made this happen.

Voice from the pastCAC 2005
The next day – back on the train heading home – and I began banging out this newsletter. In real time that was days ago – in your time, it was the amount of time it took to read this newsletter. Time is an amazing thing sometimes.Lastly, I want to thank all those who approached me and expressed their appreciation for what I do – about the newsletter, the forum, and webcast (a new show in the works – I promise!). In a nutshell – it’s really just for you my dear reader, really it is. Undeniably so.