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Lou Fabiano responds to the charge of selling a confidential player database

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Lou Fabiano responds to the charge of selling a confidential player database

Update 31st August 2010:

Lou Fabiano, aka "The Professor", died as a result of complications from a congestive heart disorder last week, on 24th August 2010 at the age of just 47. I considered removing these articles, but since they are a historically factual record of an incident the reading of which will hopefully discourage others from repeating, I'm going to keep them intact. This does not reflect any abiding ill will that I, or anyone else, feel towards Lou, to whom I can only say I wish the best in whatever realm he may have moved to.

Best wishes, Lou.

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Casinomeister tribute thread


There has been much discussion of, and opining on, the matter of the sale of confidential player databases since the re-emergence of the database sale offer revolving around well known online casino affiliate and owner of the CAP affiliate board, Lou Fabiano - see my previous article Casino Affiliate Programs owner Lou Fabiano selling confidential player details for background information.

Player database sale offer

At the end of a lengthy discussion on the GPWA forum, in the Player database sales discussion thread, Lou Fabiano finally emerged to make the following comments, after which the GPWA owner Michael Corfman immediately locked the thread, curtailing any further discussion and thus permitting no response from those who were unhappy about the situation or felt that Fabiano's comments needed redressing.

Lou Fabiano's response:

Fabiano response

If you frequent CAP you know we have ALWAYS advocated responsible marketing practices by affiliates. We have come out on numerous occasions as being clearly against SPAM, Scumware and Blackhat practices. Most of you have known me for years and you already know that about CAP.

The post that allegedly took place was from two years ago. I did NOT make that post. It's either a total fabrication or it's a post made by a person with admin access we had a problem with several years ago and let go. It's not in our database and if I had seen it years ago I would have deleted it. I am not perfect, no one is, but this is really an unfair and hateful attack that has no obvious benefit to anyone.

I don't expect the the antagonists staging this circus to accept that. They dont want an explanation or dialogue, they want blood and to damage me and CAP. They are not trying to change anything or protect anyone, it's just a malicious smear campaign based on a thread that supposedly occured over TWO YEARS AGO. Instead they will hammer away until someone steps in and stops them. That's apparent after two week of this barage.

I believe their self serving motivations are obvious and I am not interested in wallowing in the mud with these dirt bags and unethical liars, so I wont be posting again in this thread.

I hope the next time I post here it will be under far happier circumstances.

Thanks for hearing me out.

Fabiano states that the post in question may be a "fabrication". Yet a clear screenshot was taken, and the post itself was subsequently commented on, both in the same thread and elsewhere on the same day, by GPWA member Michael Bluejay.

There is no way to quote from a fabricated post based on a fabricated screenshot. It is physically impossible to do this.

Additionally, CAP moderator "Dominique" confirmed the thread's existence in commenting on the removal of contact information from the post:

Dominique response

I check CAP several times a day and deleted the contact information when first I saw that post.

Fabiano does not address these matters.

He states that, assuming the post is genuine, it must have been done by another member, who would have had to hack into Fabiano's administrator account, and who proceeded to make a post in Fabiano's own writing style (he frequently begins his comments with "Guys,..."). The post made by this apparent malicious imposter then stood unchallenged for several weeks, while Fabiano was actively posting elsewhere on the board, apparently oblivious to the fact that his account had been used publically and fraudulently.

Dominique's exchange with Michael Bluejay in a CAP portal advert thread, which took place on the same day as Michael Bluejay's response to the database sale offer, 22nd March 2005, is quite revealing on this matter:

Michael Bluejay and Dominique

(Michael) According to the Professor's post, he's offering to sell a casino's mailing list to anyone who wants to buy it. How is that not promoting spam?

(Dominique) Well, since he is out of town it doesn't make a lot of sense to ask this since only he knows what he is thinking.

I must assume though that he will use or has used due diligence. Last thing I heard he had decided against selling it anyway.

Dominique tells us that Fabiano had decided against selling the list, the same list that Fabiano denies offering for sale in the first place.

How do you decide against selling something which you didn't consider selling to begin with?

A check on the web archives for the period also demonstrates the implausibility of this claim: the archive page for CAP 4th March 2005 - the very next day - shows the "professor's" (Fabiano's) post in it's unchallenged top spot in the "Advertising Sales" forum of the "Advertising and Marketing" section, alongside a post in the next section up, "Certified programmes", in the "iGlobalMedia marketing Programme" forum entitled "Party Poker affiiate".

A check on the archives for March 9th and March 10th is even more revealing: posts from "Professor" are found in the "Search Engine Optimisation" section, where the "hacked" post is sitting just four forums above this:

CAP forum list

Apparently, while Fabiano was frequenting the SEO thread four forums away, on consecutive days, he didn't notice that someone had apparently hacked into his account and made a bogus post - this notwithstanding that the thread is clearly visible, just two inches further up the forum list, on logging in to post in the SEO thread. This is strange.

Given Fabiano's fervent - and in the light of the above evidence, most surprising - denial, it bears considering whether or not player data sales are actually uncommon. We can once more turn to Dominique for guidance on this matter.

Webmaster Bryan Bailey from Casinomeister received a similar offer in late 2005, which he publicised as a spam warning in his forum.

Dominique's response is again revealing:

Dominique's database comments

$15,000 is awfully cheap - unless he plans to sell to all takers. Real opt in lists for sale usually cost ten to twenty times that, cover only one property and are only sold once or twice.

Fabiano's fellow administrator appears to have knowledge of these matters: she knows the approximate price of such a list, its general makeup and subsequent resale potential. You cannot speak with such knowledge on a subject if that subject is not a past or present reality.

We can therefore reasonably conclude that player database sales have happened and do happen.

Dominique's above comments also suggest an explanation as to why, rather than just moving the database post, she didn't simply delete it: she took the post as a genuine offer on the part of her boss of something which, unfortunately, happens in the online gambling business. She did not regard it as suspicious, or possibly the work of someone who had hacked into Fabiano's account. If she had, she would have surely removed it. And why would she regard it as non-genuine? The unethical practice of selling confidential player data does happen.

In light of all the evidence, the suggestion that anyone other than Fabiano made this post is rather bizarre.

To briefly summarise the essential contradictions on display here:

Lou Fabiano: "I did NOT make that post. It's either a total fabrication..."

Dominique: "I check CAP several times a day and deleted the contact information when first I saw that post."

Lou Fabiano: "...or it's a post made by a person with admin access we had a problem with several years ago and let go."

Dominique: "I must assume though that he will use or has used due diligence. Last thing I heard he had decided against selling it anyway."

Fabiano followed the denial with some self-righteous rhetoric on the motivations of the people exposing and commenting on the matter, including the following choice comments:

I am not interested in wallowing in the mud with these dirt bags and unethical liars

His mode of expression is rather ironic in light of the fact that the sale of confidential player data is unethical in the extreme.

In a final ironic twist to this, after the suggestion that those exposing this matter "don't want an explanation or dialogue", Michael Corfman immediately stepped in and locked the thread, thereby putting an end to...dialogue.

This does little credit to the GPWA. At this point, I am left to assume that the immense fallout from the passage of the anti-gambling legislation in the US has caused the entire affiliate community to batten down the hatches to protect itself when challenged and exposed.

None of the protagonists in this debacle have done anybody any favours with this, least of all themselves or the online gambling industry. Upfront disclosure of what may have been a simple error of judgement, followed by an apology and assurance to not do it again, would have seen the affiliate industry emerge as an apparently honest entity with a sense of right and wrong. This did not happen.

This is a community I'm very happy to have nothing to do with.

11 Previous Comments

An extroadinary tale perfectly summarised.

The majority of the gaming affiliate industry and player advocates apparently cannot see the wood for the trees.

More easier a task is to call players to account for calling a thief a thief, when the evidence suggests it is so. All the while sitting cheek by jowel with an unethical webmaster at casino affiliate get-togethers.

Not for me thanks.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:58 pm  

Lou Fabiano aka *The Professor* who owns the CAP website and forum, is a perfect example of the type of person that gives the online gaming industry a bad reputation. He lies to cover his ass when caught doing something unethical, he sullies the names of the ones who exposed him, calling them *dirt bags*, and claims that all these people's only agenda is to ruin him and CAP.

Me thinks he has a rather inflated ego problem.

Stop lying Lou, admit you made a mistake, stop blaming everyone else for your screw up, and move on.

Go back doing what you do best, whining and bitching when your affiliate programs are a few days late paying you, or badmouthing a program if they decide to leave CAP.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:43 am  

Mr. Cap makes just under $2000 per month from each certified program. That he needs to resort to the selling of player data to make money seems really low.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:27 pm  

Check out this link from the Wayback Machine internet archives. Scroll all the way down to where it says Advertising Sales as in the screenshot above you'll see there's a thread in Advertising Sales called "UK Player Database for sale" and Professors name under it.


So the post was really there. Who started the post or what it said exactly, we only have the above screenshots to go by. Unfortunately the Wayback Machine didn't seem to archive the inside pages. But... given the recent deception and manipulation from CAP/Professor, it's not hard to believe he has tried to put a spin on this blunder of his when the Wayback Machine proves what was alleged is true.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:02 am  

"Who started the post or what it said exactly, we only have the above screenshots to go by. Unfortunately the Wayback Machine didn't seem to archive the inside pages."

The screenshot is a straight copy of the post, before it was all deleted.

Nothing is alleged; the above is a straight account of what happened.

By Blogger 100% Gambler, at 1:45 pm  

I didn't mean to say that the screenshots weren't truth. I just meant that The Wayback Machine further proves what you've already proved. :)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:59 pm  

Way to have an extremely biased report on something. What are you cnn?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:32 pm  

In what way biased? The reports are solidly corroborated.

However, I've been meaning to update these articles with a note about the unfortunate recent death of Lou Fabiano, which I'll get onto ASAP.

By Blogger 100% Gambler, at 8:50 pm  

So guys,

I am not in your business and do not pretend to know the significance of selling a player list. I am, however a good friend of Lou for over 25 years. Lou was a pioneer in your field who most likely enriched your lives monetarily or intellectually, if not, you did not know him.

Let's show due respect for a great contributer to your field, husband, father and grandfather. I ask that you please take down any true or untrue derogatory comments. let's let him rest in peace.


By Blogger Unknown, at 2:33 am  

I'd like to sign off this thread now with the update I posted at the top. I'd rather leave it neatly topped & tailed thuswise, and would request that no further comments now be made.

I'll post the same update in comment format at the end of the other article, and will consider it closed also.

By Blogger 100% Gambler, at 3:26 pm  

Louis Fabiano, aka "The Professor", died three weeks ago as a result of complications from a congestive heart disorder, on 24th August 2010 at the age of just 47. I considered removing these articles, but since they are a historically factual record I'm going to keep them intact. This does not reflect any abiding ill will that I, or anyone else, feel towards Lou, to whom I can only say I wish the best in whatever realm he may have moved to.

Best wishes, Lou.

By Blogger 100% Gambler, at 3:31 pm  

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