2001 came to a close, we reflected back over the
last twelve months and honored the best and worst in the
realm of the online gaming industry. 2001 was the most
dynamic year so far, and the lessons learned from casino
operators and players alike are staggering. We saw how
terrorism affected not only our personal lives, but the
entertainment industry economies as well. We've been
amazed by the winnings of players, and frustrated by the
actions of others. We've been baffled by some casinos'
cryptic terms and conditions, and relatively p.o.ed by
the behavior of a choice few casinos which are
determined to give the industry a bad name.
So here it is, the best and worst of 2001. We've listed
everything from the traditional coveted "Best New
Casino" to the "Best Forum Posting" and to the
"Stupidest Casino Trick". This conglomeration is derived
from your letters (or should I say emails), your
experiences, your responses in the forum, and my
experiences as well.
This was a toughie since there are many good casinos out
there. What was taken into consideration was not only the service
and support that the casino provides, but also the variety and
originality of the promotions that the casino offers to its players.
has celebrated its first year and has given players many
opportunities to enjoy a variety of substantial promotions. They
have gone from the standard sign-up bonuses to vacations in New
Zealand and other refreshing promos. The software is stunning and is
a pure joy to play. Customer service is very prompt and the
management is friendly and quite accessible. Congratulations Kiwi! Kiwi Casino
Christchurch Casino E-Gaming
Investments Limited, New Zealand Return to Top
The Best Non-Downloadable Casino of 2001
players who are WebTVers, downloadable software is a problem. And
since most of the upstanding casinos are only available via a
several megabyte download, players with WebTV are virtually gameless.
is javabased and has been up and running for about three and a half
years. They provide great games, (especially if you're a slot fan!)
and have a wide variety of some really nice promos. Slotland's
customer service is very prompt and they have a several ways to
handle cash transactions. Good goin' $lotland! Slotland
www.SlotlandEntertainment.com Return to Top
The Most Original Promotions
online gamers, the Got2bet world can be pretty boring and bleak with
the redundant "sign up and get $35 FREE" bonus. It's lackluster and
unimaginative. What's nice to see is a casino that consistently
comes up with something new. The people behind
Captain Cooks Casino have
done their homework, and they understand what their players want:
fun, refreshing promotions. One example is the halloween promotion
where players must find and click little Halloween icons throughout
the site to win cash prizes. With each holiday, they conjure up
something to bring their players back. Good job Cap'n! Captain Cooks Casino
The Captain E-Commerce Limited Return to Top
Worst Casino Group
Las Vegas Strip Casinos receive this award for the thoughtless
way in which they froze all Danish Player's accounts. Last May,
players from Denmark found their accounts blocked and the casinos
nonresponsive to inquiring emails. Apparently, the casino group had
identified Danish players as "risk" players and locked their
accounts. At first, the casino group claimed "server problems" in
Europe to be the culprit to the non-accessible accounts. When third
parties such as Casinomeister and the OPA intervened, the casino
group finally admitted with a token form letter, that they were
warned by the "Internet Gaming Council" (there is no such entity) of
an abundance of fraudulent activity from players in the the country
of Denmark. They also assured "any and all pending credit card
withdrawal requests will be processed in a timely manner." Timely
was quite subjective on their part.
Months went by without Danish players receiving not even a courtesy
email as to what the status was on their accounts. Most of the
players had not even received the form letter that was sent to
inquiring third parties. It wasn't until August 2001 that these
Danish players (most of whom were regular customers, not trying to
defraud anyone) began to see their deposits returned to their credit
cards. But only those players who had winnings were given their
deposits back. Those who had lost their deposits were just SOL.
Everyone understands protecting one's business from the unscrupulous
fraudsters is neccessary, but the treatment these players received
was uncalled for and should have been handled with a little tact and
consideration. Bad, bad casino group. Return to Top
Best Casino Group
Casinos, Mapau Casino, Casino Fortune, and Miami Beach Casino, offered
financial support to Caribbean children living with Aids.
"It is an honor for
Microgaming to be able to contribute to a worthy cause like Children Living with
Aids," said Roger Raatgever from Microgaming Software Systems. "2001 brings us
to 20 years with the AIDS epidemic and every day children are still dying by the
thousands. Our contribution is a drop in the ocean; however; we feel that if we
save one child, other responsible businesses will take our lead and do the same.
Sunny Casinos' online casinos MaPau and Casino Fortune have already
agreed to cover all administrative costs for the charity. That apart, the group
also acts as sponsor for two children from the Cyril Ross Home by meeting all
their medical costs.
They also launched an innovative online Goat Race
fundraiser to bring Christmas gifts and good cheer to children stricken with
Aids, and the response from players was overwhelming. Good going, Sunny Group.
Casino, which is one of the better Cryptologic casinos, found
themselves with their foot in their mouth with what many players
felt was taking advantage of a catastrophic event. Perhaps they
should have hired a different press agent:
Wednesday September 26, 9:04 am Eastern Time
SOURCE: Omni Casino
Omni Casino Shows Its True Colors
ANTIGUA, St. John's--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 26, 2001--In a
tremendous display of solidarity and patriotism, OmniCasino.com, a
long time foe of the US Government, Attorney General Ashcroft, and
even Janet Reno before him, has made a pledge to donate a portion of
the proceeds generated from its online casino business to assist in
the relief efforts, and for the families of the victims affected by
the tragedies of the terrorists attacks on the WTC, Pentagon, and
"OmniCasino.com has players from 126 different countries around
the world, but none are more loyal and consistent than those from
the US...'' explains Alex Roberts, Omni Casino's Public Relations
Officer. ``...and even though the US Government is trying to put
forth legislation to abolish our industry, we still feel compelled
to offer help in this time of crisis to the American people, the
families of the victims, and the heroes who died trying to save
Roberts continues, "That means putting our political differences
aside, and allowing the proceeds from an activity such as online
casino gambling, help generate sizable and ongoing monetary
donations to the American Red Cross, and the New York Firefighter's
This would not be the first time the US received assistance
directly from the proceeds of various forms of gambling...The
American Revolution was funded in part by a lottery, and Omni Casino
is urging not only New York State's Lottery, but all the Lotteries
from all the other States in the US to donate a portion of its
proceeds to worthy charities.
In addition to the percentage of the profits that OmniCasino.com
will donate, Omni Casino's individual players can help make a
difference as well. As members play casino games using the software,
they earn `Omni Points' which are normally redeemed on the
omnicasino.com website for cash. Now the redemption center on the
website has been equipped with an option that allows players to
donate money directly to the relief fund of their choice. "It's a
lot of little things like this, that will help make a difference,"
Together the American people can make the World a better place
for all. God Bless America.
As a longtime foe...like Iran or Libya? Come on, be
real. They overly dramatize their significance. I don't
think these people (the US government, Janet Reno, Ashcroft)
have ever heard of Omni Casino. Omni casino just happens to
be one of the +1800 casinos, and the feds have been trying
to squelch the whole lot. But I hope whatever Omni Casino
did, it did some good..
year has been the most active year in our
and at press time (1 January 2002) we have 1134 registered users.
This is up from 344 registered users from last January.
Casinomeister's forum is a hotbed of Online Gambling information with many
seasoned players making regular quality posts as well as the
bumbling posts made from shills and spammers. One of the most
informative postings was made last June by Spearmaster, the
webmaster of Got2bet.com in which he gives advice to the online gamblers,
novice and expert alike:
Read the fine print before you gamble online
When you gamble in a
land-based casino, in most cities rules are generally the same -
except Vegas, which usually has slightly different blackjack rules
for the Strip and downtown. For the most part, you can be pretty
confident that you will not have to meet various terms and
conditions other than age and perhaps dress code.
However, when gambling
online, every casino seems to have different rules - whether it is
the terms of play when receiving a bonus, cash-out rules, proof of
identity, etc. In order to protect your investment, it is extremely
important to read the terms and conditions posted on their website
before you gamble.
The most important thing
to check is the conditions for cashing out winnings. Casinos vary
greatly in paying winnings - some may only offer the option of
paying you by check, while others offer anything from Western Union
and wire transfer to checks, express mail drafts and even online
debit cards and methods such as Infinia or NETeller. Some casinos
charge for certain types of payments, others are free. Some tell you
checks take 4-6 weeks for payment, others will Fedex payments to you
so you have winnings within 3-5 days.
Confusing, isn't it?
Take extra care when
studying these conditions - this will save you a lot of time and
trouble later. The most frequent complaint by an online gambler
inevitably involves slowness or non-receipt of payments, so make
sure that the casino you choose to gamble at is using some
recognized institution or transactions processor to handle their
payments - Firecash (although they recently encountered some
hiccups) is generally considered to be safe and used by a number of
the larger casinos.
Avoid any casino which
uses the Bank of Nevis for check payments, as this bank has been
blacklisted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development (OECD) - most banks generally follow the recommendations
of the OECD, and as such checks issued by the Bank of Nevis will
probably not be honored.
The second important
thing to look out for is the terms and conditions under which a
bonus is granted. At the better casinos, you will usually only be
required to wager the amount of the deposit plus the amount of the
bonus once through before you may cash out the proceeds. Some
require that you play through the money twice - and some as many as
SIX times before you can cash out. Try to avoid those - you will
generally end up giving back the bonus and a sizeable amount of your
deposit unless you should get lucky and hit a slots jackpot, for
Also, as discussed in an
earlier installment, do NOT open multiple accounts at casinos - this
is nothing short of fraud and you can and may br prosecuted for this
type of activity. Although this warning is not often posted on
websites, it is generally accepted that multiple accounts,
especially when using multiple identities, is considered abuse.
The author of a web
gambling book, Bill Haywood, recently supported the opening of
multiple accounts using different identities in a message forum,
calling casino owners nothing better than used car salesmen and
implying that they are deserving of such manipulation. It just goes
to prove that you should not always trust those who are hypocritical
of the very industry from which they make their money.
Once you've sorted though
that information, the last important thing you should check before
proceeding to gamble is the rules of the game you intend to play -
typically this is more important at table-type games such as
blackjack, Caribbean Stud and baccarat than it is at slot machines
and video poker. These rules are often not the same as you are used
to getting in Vegas, although many of them claim to comply with
A final note - though
payout schedules and strategies are not "fine print" per se, it is
important as a gambler to find the best rules in order to maximize
your potential winnings. Especially important is to see how video
poker pays out - information sites like
The Wizard of Odds, GameMasterlist provide useful strategy and profit potential information which can
help guide you in your gambling exploits.
Return to Top
The Worst Forum Posting
forum is a real mix of people. Registered users reside in North
America, the UK, Europe, South Africa, Russia, Australia and Asia.
Most visitors lurk and examine what others have to say. Others fly
by night, quickly register and then post a message that is nothing
more than cloaked spam (pretending to be others, or feigning a
conversation). Most of the time these postings are quietly deleted
and the posters are warned to "please read the forum's guidelines".
Others are met with a barrage of responses from members who dissect
the offender's website, providing real quality entertainment!
Last September, the following post was made by Gamemeister in the
topic section "Casino Industry Discussion"
your impressions about Winner.com. It's a new site that offers
comprehensive real and online gaming information... detailed info,
pics.. and free games... plus other features.. curious to know...
This was more or less ignored until a week later when
"Semantic" posted this response:
It's funny that you just posted this message. I posted a message today at a different site full of praise for winner.com. Personally, I was impressed too. It's nice to navigate a site that looks good, works will and for me the most important things is that the site offers pictures of casinos. I like knowing where I'm going, if you know what I mean
Well, curious me checked out the IP addresses and it
turned out that they were identical; these two posters were
using the same computer. Being the good forum administrator
that I am, I pointed this out to the "two" culprits. But
they denied this, and stated that the posting was made from
an "Internet Cafe". The only way this would have been
possible is if the computer had been left on for the entire
week with the browser pointing at the forum. Highly
unlikely. Winner.com is also a portal for Casinobar and
Casino on Air and they are all on the same server.
Return to Top
The Scariest Screenshot of the Year
players of online casinos are savvy enough to know that problems do
occur when it comes to claiming large wins, or sometimes any winning
for that matter. Players of this sort protect themselves with
"screenshot" software that allows them to take screen shots of any
winning hand to prove to a casino that they won if the casino tries
to dispute their winnings.
This screenshot was sent to me last March: imagine what your
reaction would have been if you viewed this
Royal Flush on your screen. That's right, it's not a winning
hand. Fortunately for all, the casino was able to track down what
the problem was and the player (who was a regular player at the
time) was compensated satisfactorily. Return to Top
The Stupidest Casino Trick
wins this hands down. In September 2001, Bringmeluck.com posted
awards on their awards page claiming they were members of the Online
Players Association, Safebet.org, the Internet Gaming Commission,
and the IGC, (they are now members of the Internet Gaming
Commission). When I notified these organizations, bringmeluck.com
scrambled and removed the logos, and denied that they ever were
there. But I had made a
screen shot which caught them red-handed. When their manager got
wind of what I did, he literally told me to go "screw somebody
else". The following day I was bombarded by porno spam which was
sent via my "subscribed" email address. Unfortunately for
bringmeluck.com, the email address was subscribed from a computer
linked to bringmeluck.com's webserver. This is all documented in our
Rogue Casino section.
great about the Internet, is the wealth of information that is at
your finger tips. And for a hard pressed webmaster to get some
content for a casino site, it may be a bit tempting to "borrow" the
content of other sites. That's exactly what happened to
Their webmaster used the "winner's stories" from some Pharaohs
Casino to juice up theirs. Unfortunately, the webmaster forgot to
change the some of the names of the games since the casino didn't
have same games as Boss Media sites. When this was revealed to the
online gaming community, the casino modified the page. But I made a
Casinoxclub.com Winner's Screenshot Pharaohs Casino's Winners. You can see the similarities.
But what makes this casino different to Bringmeluck.com is that they
actually apologized. This is what they wrote:
We are very sorry for the winner stories. Our designer take them
from Phraos Casino, he is fired already. We are changing them now.
As for your resource, I think you are selling traffic. Can you send
me the price. We are very interested.
Needless to say, I didn't sell them
any ad space. They get their space here for free. Return to Top
It wasn't until the intervention of the Online Players Association
and other interested third parties was she able to gain some
communication from the casino, and eventually she received her
winnings. Return to Top
The Worst Online Casino Experience
July 2001, a player hit the $100,000 jackpot at
but curiously enough the casino never contacted him. As each day
went by, the player and numerous others (including myself) began
emailing the casino, asking them for an explanation. Arcadacasino
remained silent until three weeks later they emailed everyone
involved with a letter that accused the player of cheating and
insulted the third parties by questioning their motives and bad
The Online Players Association try to negotiate by bringing in a
third party to audit the software and the player's account, but the
casino clammed up and decided to ignore the fact. This seems to be
another "all too frequent" example of selective payouts. At least
the player only was out of his $50 deposit (which I believed he
never got back). More on this
hereReturn to Top
A Final Note All in all, it's been a fascinating year, and the
most entertaining and turbulent by far. I want to thank everyone of my
visitors for giving me the opportunity to provide you with information
that hopefully you find beneficial. And I want to thank all of the
casinos, rogue and upstanding alike, for making this arena so dynamic
and just like a roller coaster ride.
Return to Top
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