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Thursday, July 30, 2009

William Hill Casino Club and The Daily Star: tacky advertising and a vastly misleading jackpot winner claim

William Hill Casino Club is a Playtech-powered casino licensed to UK bookmaker William Hill and operated in Gibraltar under the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority.

I recently came across this Daily Star news report, "Flu-hit Kevin wins 100K from sickbed":

A man suffering from swine flu has won £100,000 at an online casino while recuperating in his sick bed.

Kevin Packer, a 28-year-old carpenter from Surrey, had never tried online gambling before, but that didn't prevent him from winning the jackpot at William Hill's Casino Club, reports the Daily Star.


The win is also listed on the William Hill Casino winners page:

William Hill Casino winners' page

The article itself makes some bizarre claims: it doesn't take £100,000 to become a PE teacher, since assuming your local council will not fund the course, which is unlikely considering the high demand for teachers, then a PGCE qualification costs about £5000 to complete.

It also seems strange to be downloading online casino software, setting up an account and playing a slot machine, none of which you have any previous experience, at a time when you're recovering from a potentially fatal illness.

However, the most interesting aspect of the claim is that the player could not win £100,000 from a £30 freebie at William Hill Casino.

He could, in fact, only claim £200.

Take a look at the William Hill bonus terms and conditions:

6. Please note: A player may make only one withdrawal of any winnings earned using a No Deposit Bonus, and this withdrawal is limited to a maximum amount of £200. Any remaining winnings will be deleted from the player's account, upon making this one-time withdrawal request up to such maximum amount.

So, according to the letter of bonus law, Mr. Packer will only be paid £200 of his £100,000 jackpot, one five hundredth of the total win. William Hill will remove the additional £99,800.

What a pity he didn't read the terms and conditions.

Funnily enough, William Hill Casino is not lying about anything, assuming the basic facts are correct: the player did, in fact, win a jackpot of one hundred thousand pounds. The fact that the casino will reclaim ninety nine thousand eight hundred pounds, and pay him two hundred, doesn't change this.

I reckon, however, that losing the vast majority of the win, and receiving a relative pittance in its place, will make a bit of a difference to Kevin Packer.

What shabby, misleading marketing tactics on the part of a reputable UK bookmaker.

This is not, in fact, the first occurance of misleading advertising on the part of a Playtech casino.

Two months ago, Joyland Casino withheld fully £2,000,000 from a £4,000,000 jackpot winner, again misleadingly stating that she had "won" the full amount - see my William Hill, Joyland Casino and Playtech article. Ironically, William Hill were again involved, but on this occasion they had acquired the casino in question from Playtech after the winnings' confiscation had taken place, so their liability was limited.

Since Silvia P was denied two million dollars of her $4,000,000 win, maybe William Hill will do the decent thing and pay Kevin Packer his full £100,000 win?

I won't be holding my breath.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Betfair Zero Lounge video poker: fixed denomination

It's been brought to my attention that the denominantions of the Betfair Zero Lounge videopoker game are fixed at £1 and cannot be adjusted up or down - mousing over the up or down arrow brings up the "click to increase / decrease" instruction in the bottom left hand corner, but clicking has no effect -

Betfair Jacks Or Better


However, since the royal pays the same effective amount at all coin levels, you do not need to play maximum coins; as such, any initial bet amount between £1 and £5 will achieve the same full 100% return with perfect play.

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I have had this problem - a little annoying.

By Anonymous roulette wheel, at 7:43 pm  

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

The APCW uses underage children in their online gambling propoganda

The APCW - either the "Association of Professional Casino Webmasters" or "Association of Players, Casinos and Webmasters" after they re-interpreted their acronym in 2006 - is an association of casino affiliate webmasters, now owned by the GPWA.

The APCW produces a twice-weekly video series, "Perspectives Weekly", which presents select online gambling news items. The videos have a heavily pro-industry slant, particularly when discussing the US government's anti-gambling stance.

On 17th July 2009, the APCW produced what was intended as a joke video, using ten or eleven year old children in a mocked-up gambling discussion in a classroom setting. The mock discussion, revealed as such at the end in a one-minute disclaimer, revolved around online gambling payment processors, online poker, the UIGEA, and Befair's move into the US market. Here are some highlights:

"Teacher" addresses the class.


A little boy asks about the UIGEA and online poker.


Anyone heard of Betfair?


Irrespective of the disclaimer tucked away at the end, this was a cheap, tacky and inappropriate episode.

In the first place, underage gambling is illegal. There are good reasons for this - young children do not need encouraging into financial activities they are incapable of understanding.

In the second place, using children for propoganda is questionable at any time, but when the purpose of the propoganda is the promotion of gambling, it crosses the line into unacceptable immorality. And make no mistake about it, these are promotional videos.

In the third place, You Tube is accessed by tens of millions of children on a daily basis. Most are unlikely to get as far as the disclaimer, particularly when the classroom setup is concluded with great finality and children's attention-spans aren't good at the best of times. They will, however, most likely get as far as the mocked-up online payment solutions and online poker discussion, as well as Betfair's successful legal sidestepping of the US regulations.

Children don't always listen to adults, but they are acutely affected by the behaviour of their peers; here, we have a group of ten year olds effectively telling the world that online gambling is good, politicians are all corrupt, Betfair is coming to the US and that horse racing and lotteries are legal.

What a message to be sending out to the future potential customers of the online gambling industry at a time they're at their most impressionable.

And what a message to be sending to the politicians and the country at large: "This is what we are. Let us into your country and this is what we'll do."

Although her comment was made "blind", I agree with this little girl at the end:

I'm very disappointed with you.



I suspect there'll be a lot of that going around.

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I hope you will share such type of impressive contents again with us so that we can utilize it and get more advantage.
Casino Games

By Blogger Jennifer Avina, at 10:52 am  

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Friday, July 10, 2009

Odds and probability page updates

I've updated the odds and probability page to include a resources section of links to other relevant online information.

The catalogue of links to BJ Math and Wizard Of Odds is fairly standard, but the Probability Theory site was a new find, one of whose articles led me to the Sierpinski triangle, examples of which I spent a happy hour or so drawing and generally messing around with this afternoon.

Addictive stuff.
sierpinski triangle

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