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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

ROCHESTER CASINO: enforcing unwritten rules and stealing $3000.


In early February 2005, a player deposited $500 at Rochester Casino and received a 250% non-cashable bonus, for a total initial balance of $1750. The conditions of the bonus were that $52,500 needed to be wagered to qualify for a cashout, and that the games Blackjack, Roulette and Casino War did not count towards that wagering total - see below:


rochester terms


Note carefully the wording: "Bets placed in the games of Roulette, Blackjack and Casino War do not fulfill players' obligations with regards to the minimum wagering requirements". This does not say that play on these games is actually illegal when wagering the bonus, simply that play on those games doesn't count towards the wagering total. To actively disallow play on those games would be highly counter-productive for the casino, given that they all carry house edges, and as such any play on them increases the casino's win rate.

The player in question wagered on blackjack, got his balance up to $4750, then wagered $52,500 on baccarat, ending up with a balance of $4797 - and cashed out.

Rochester Casino denied the withdrawal, stating that since he played blackjack the cashout was illegitimate, and as such, all his winnings would be voided and he would have to start again with the original $1750 starting balance.

The player did not break any rules. The fact that blackjack did not count towards the $52,500 wagering requirement total does not mean that blackjack play voids winnings.

In an attempt to clarify this, I had a chat myself with the Rochester Casino about the matter of blackjack play for bonuses. Here it is:



Steven: Welcome
Steven: How can I help you ?
Me: I just found this casino. For the new player bonus, I know blackjack doesn't count towards the wagering requirements, but does blackjack play actually void wins?
Me: Or can I play BJ as long as I play the "required" games as well?
Steven: No "Black Jack does not count towards the wagering requirement"
Steven: Is there anything else I can do for you ?
Me: I understand it doesn't count towards the wagering requirement, but if I play blackjack AND the games that DO count towards the wagering requirement, is that OK, or does any BJ play void winnings?
Steven: "Bj void's the winnings"
Me: OK, thanks.
Steven: your Welcome ....thank you.



You can see that the customer support rep makes two somewhat different responses: in the first place he simply repeats that blackjack doesn't count towards the wagering total, but he THEN goes on, when pressed, to state that blackjack play actually voids winnings.

This is to state one rule and enforce another. Nowhere is there any clue given that blackjack voids winnings - why not? Because there are many blackjack players out there, and for them to be denied the opportunity to play their game would cost the casino a lot of customers. So, the casino does not disallow blackjack play for bonuses in the written terms and conditions - they simply void the blackjack players' winnings when they come to make a cashout.

This is a no-lose situation for the casino.

The most recent development in this case is quite extraordinary: Rochester Casino has agreed to refund the player's DEPOSIT - $500 - on condition that he acknowledge the fact publically! Not the winnings, legitimate though they be. In order to simply receive his DEPOSIT back, he needed to offer up a public "thank you".

On the matter of the winnings, the casino appears entirely unresponsive.

Read the whole story in the Rochester Casino thread at Casinomeister, and also in the Rochester Casino thread at Winneronline.

Rochester Casino should be avoided at all costs.



2 Previous Comments


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Thursday, June 09, 2005

GAMBLING FEDERATION: from malware to larceny - the resolution


A few weeks ago, it came to public attention that a gambler had had €7000 winnings at a Gambling Federation casino withheld on the basis of the player holding "multiple accounts"; the matter was discussed in the GPWA Players Corner forum, and I commented on it in a previous post, "Gambling Federation: from malware to larceny".

The casino's initial reaction had been to disallow the winnings on the basis that the player had many Gambling Federation accounts, ostensibly contravening one of their rules:


Player may only operate one active account at any time. Players opening multiple accounts without first voiding their existing account are subject to being excluded from the Casino with all wins forfeited. In order to void an account, Players must contact Customer Support."



The mediator, Cindy Carley (www.videopokerjunkie.com), initially came down on the side of the casino, on the basis that the player had more than one "active account".

However, what this failed to take into account was the fact that the above-quoted rule is CASINO-specific, not SOFTWARE-specific; the player may indeed have only one account at any one Gambling Federation casino, but he may have as many individual accounts as there are Gambling Federation casinos: if there are 50 casinos, he may have 50 accounts - one at each individual casino. In the same way, of the 80 or so Microgaming casinos, all players are allowed one account at all 80 casinos, for a total of 80 accounts. It would certainly set an unusual precedent to allow players only one active Microgaming account - and it would be extremely unprofitable for Microgaming!

After this had been pointed out to her, Cindy acknowledged her mistake with much good grace and contacted Gambling Federation once more, to clarify with them that the player had not in fact broken any rules, having as he did just the one account at each casino.

For whatever reason, Gambling Federation did not feel obliged to pay the player, but in the end they decided to acquiesce to Cindy's request and give him the €7000 he was owed - you can read Cindy's comments on the third page of the Gambling Federation thread (**update 2010: it's been removed**) - so all's well that ends well.


It's always great to see the various online gambling fora being used for what they do best: facilitating the lines of communication between players, affiliates and casinos, and getting players their money from those casinos that would really rather not pay them.

Long may it continue.



1 Previous Comments


I do just love the idea of the casino believing they are right and putting paying out the player to Cindy.

I reckon Cindy should ask them for a million pound, maybe thay will cough that up too... yeah right.

The firm are chancers, simple as that. Gfed have never been any good and have put themselves up shit street with the malware thing.

The mahjong firm that have joined them are jokers too. Asian market or no asian market.

By Blogger Gamblog UK, at 2:03 am  


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Sunday, June 05, 2005

WARREN CLOUD: RTG casino operator whose casinos should be approached with caution


Warren Cloud, also known as "Oliver Curran", the biggest and apparently most successful of the Real Time Gaming casino operators, has a chequered history in the online gambling business and his ten casinos are the source of frequent player complaints in the various online gambling fora.

The biggest problem with the Warren Cloud casinos is as follows:

If your account at ANY ONE of them has been locked by the management, for whatever reason, you are ineligible for promotional bonuses at any and all of the other nine casinos.

On the face of it, this would appear to be an acceptable rule for the casino to enforce.

However, there are two problems:

1) The fact of the "lock" on an account is NEVER communicated to the player - it is simply locked and left at that. As such, it's extremely difficult for players to be aware of the fact, short of physically logging into each of their Cloud casino accounts to check its standing every time they contemplate playing at one of them - and how many players would have the patience to do this??

2) In spite of the player's ineligibility to participate in promotions, personalised promotional email invitations are routinely mailed out to INELIGIBLE players, on a daily basis! These email invitations are addressed clearly and specifically to the player, with both the player's name and casino username. This notwithstanding the fact that he is ineligible, and will have all winnings voided in the event he gets lucky.

To give a specific example:

My own account at one of the Warren Cloud casinos, Crystal Palace, is locked - see below:


Crystal Palace casino account locked


I am therefore ineligible for all promotions at Warren Cloud casinos.

However, this fact does not dissuade the management from emailing me bonus offers, up to three times a week, plainly addressed to me with my name and casino account username, from another of his operations, American Grand - see below (personal details removed):



American Grand promotional email invitation


If I were to accept this promotion and win, I would have my winnings confiscated as a result of my ineligibility:

American Grand promotional email invitation terms
American Grand promotional email invitation terms


If I were to accept this promotion and lose, the casino would keep my deposit.

This is a lose / lose situation for the player.

A cynical person might be tempted to argue that this situation has been DELIBERATELY engineered by the management of these casinos for the purpose of eliciting esentially risk-free deposits, deposits that can never generate winnings.

I would like to invite Warren Cloud to answer two questions:

1) WHY do you lock just one or two accounts? If you decide that a player is undesirable in some form or another, and that player has accounts at your other casinos, why do you not lock ALL of his or her accounts?

2) WHY do you invite these players to take part in promotions they are ineligible for?

The following is the full list of Warren Cloud casinos.

Crystal Palace
High Rollers Lounge
Vegas Riches
Americas Online
American Grand Casino
Golden Nile Casino
Lucky Coin Casino
Lucky Pyramid Casino
Royal Circus Casino
Vegas Frontier Casino


It is my advice that all these casinos be AVOIDED.



8 Previous Comments


Warren Cloud may be dead - unconfirmed report from Jetset at Casinomeister.

By Blogger 100% Gambler, at 4:37 pm  


Waren Cloud has died.
He apperantly died from attack last night in Spain. The news: http://www.gambling911.com/Online-Gambling-062908A.html

By Anonymous Alex Poker-Boss, at 3:03 am  


this is true

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:30 pm  


I see Gambling 911 pinched my "you are not allowed to log in" graphic and failed to acknowledge the source. Nice going, Christopher Costigan.

By Blogger 100% Gambler, at 9:54 pm  


It seems that RTG has now confirmed this to Bryan Bailey:

Warren is up in the clouds.

Strange that no news reports can be found.

By Blogger 100% Gambler, at 2:52 pm  


The matter is now definitively confirmed: Warren Cloud is dead. This morning, I received emails from those of his casinos from which I received promotional spam on a weekly basis:

"It is with great regret and a heavy heart that we announce that our Casino will be closing on July 31, 2008."

With a final touch of irony, the email is signed off:

"Sincerely,

Oliver Curran"


"Oliver Curran" was one of Cloud's many pseudonyms. An email from beyond the grave.

Rest in whatever kind of peace you find, Wazza.

By Blogger 100% Gambler, at 2:00 pm  


Here's a Warren Cloud article from FM Tech, a South African technology industry news site; this is the first coverage I've seen from a non-gambling related source.

By Blogger 100% Gambler, at 3:34 pm  


i would guess that his legacy was continued by abother crook as i tried to cash out on mightyslots casino on aug. 20th and have yet to receive any funds or calls and emails returned. The funny thing is that before he died i was paid quite often (after having to file complaints in some cases) karma strikes again, i cant imagine hes in the clouds, there are other places reserved for people like him.

By Anonymous swood, at 2:58 am  


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Thursday, June 02, 2005

GOLDEN PALACE, the shame and the stupidity part 2: baby-clothing for advertising


In the relatively short time since the Golden Palace baby name buying incident, Golden Palace has accomplished another trademark marketing gimmick, this time baby clothing for advertising purposes.


Number one online casino GoldenPalace.com has done it again, getting another person to be a living, breathing advertisement for them. This time the billboard-person is a baby boy in Pennsylvania. His parents put an auction on ebay inviting a company to bid for the right to clothe the toddler in their logo and apparel for one month, and GP took them up on the offer. All it cost was $999.99.

During the month of July, the tot will have GP shirts, hats, shoes, bibs, and anything else they can get the company logo on- possibly even the stroller.

The ebay seller thinks this is a great idea. "Now who doesn't look at babies? We all stare and look at newborns when we see them out in public and say how cute they are so by putting your ad on our infant you know your ad will be looked at!"

The auctioneer also defends the act of selling her baby for marketing.

"We put on clothing everyday on ourselves and on our kids that have name brands/company logos on them and we advertise for them on a daily basis for free. So why not get paid to sport a company logo.

He or she does make a good point. Furthermore, he is just a baby. He wont know what's going on, let alone that he is advertising an online casino. All he will know is that he's the centre of attention. What more could a baby want??"



After some examination of the birth certificate of "Goldenpalacedotcom Sliverman", there were suggestions made at in the Casinomeister "Golden Palace babies" thread that it might be a fake. This remains to be seen.

However, this latest prank is most undeniably genuine: you can view both the Ebay action item and also a list of all the bids that took place prior to Golden Palace winning the day with a bid for $999.

There is no question that this happened. This was not a ruse to get media attention without the subsequent vilification for repugnant marketing practices by revealing that the claimed action never actually took place.

The most telling remark in the above article comes in the last paragraph:


Furthermore, he is just a baby. He wont know what's going on, let alone that he is advertising an online casino.



It appears that Golden Palace consider new-born babies to be fair game for online gambling advertising, based on the theory that what they're unconscious of cannot hurt them.

Maybe the idea will catch on with cigarette manufacturers.

Or liquor merchants.



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