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Monday, August 31, 2009

Rushmore Casino payment problems and possible solvency issues


Rushmore Casino, Slots Oasis and Cherry Red Casino are the three RTG members of the "Rushmore" group owned by Isagro Holdings, Cyprus.

All three are Casinomeister accredited casinos - a list which currently also includes casinos with a track record, amongst others, of mathematically proven non-random software and a penchant for marketing to the elderly, underpriviledged and terminally ill.

The Rushmore group has payment problems.


In this Slots Oasis Casino discussion, several badly-delayed payments and improbable excuses have been reported, along with calls for management comment about the situation, which has not been forthcoming:


August 9th

...a customer service rep who gave me the skinny as to what's going on feels bad that there is nothing he can do about it as far as getting folks paid, as there is a problem with back logged withdrawals.


August 10th

The Rushmore group has stated that there has been "processor issues" which have caused the delays in payments.



The casino representative here acknowledges that priority is given to Casinomeister members:


August 12th

...the idea is that I can help out players through this forum and offer flushing of withdrawals etc, which we currently don't offer for other players



Prioritising players of one affiliate webmaster over others is in itself disgraceful, but if these delays represent payment prioritisation, those players unaware of this facility must be waiting a very, very long time indeed.


A player who has now been waiting almost three weeks for a withdrawal had this to say:


27th August

I play at Slots Oasis and processed my first withdrawal on August 13th. Tomorrow will be 2 weeks since I did this and I still haven't received my payout.



The "payment processor delay" excuse is so old now that I'm a bit surprised casinos still use it. If you look at my Hippojo and Eurolinx articles, this was the excuse given just prior to collapse.

As such, "payment processor delays" often translates as "we haven't got any money".


Online gambling industry insider Bryan "Jetset" Cullingworth is of a similar opinion, having seen himself many such scenarios played out:


13th August

I really hope this does not apply to Rushmore et al, but in the past this sort of stalling and slow pay behaviour has too often flagged a casino cashflow problem and possibly even imminent failure - that's why experienced players who have seen this sort of thing before get worried and upset.


Cullingworth goes on to comment about the role given the customer service rep when things are looking bad:


17th August

There are occasions when the public representative is deliberately kept in the dark by unscrupulous managements who want to position a buffer between themselves and the public whilst creating the impression that they really give a damn about the customer.


This does appear to be the current situation with Rushmore, where the customer service rep has the increasingly difficult task of answering for the management.


Things seem to get worse in the Cherry Red slow withdrawal discussion:


30th August

...chatted with various people - "they are experiencing some delays," "should be processed tomorrow," "oh, it's always 48 hours" (this was on day three), then again yesterday "should be processed tomorrow." Tried Louise - said she can't really help with wire withdrawals.



31st August

I've been waiting for my last check for, if it comes Monday, 16 business days. A previous one took 17.



31st August

I dont know why anybody is bothering with the Rushmore Group right now. A very short-term processor issue etc is one thing, but up to 2 weeks for a Neteller transfer and 3 weeks for a wire is ridiculous.



The Rushmore casino group has also been involved with dubious confiscations of substantial cashouts - see my Cherry Red Casino and Moneybookers article, where Moneybookers transfers were given as excuses to withhold payment, as well as an extraordinary apparent disregard for whether or not the player had actually done anything wrong on the part of Bryan "Casinomeister" Bailey:


Whether you are innocent or not, your activities make you indistinguishable from people that are cheating the casino and/or violating casino terms. As such, we support Rushmore's decision.



Things are not looking good at Rushmore right now. I strongly suggest avoiding this group.



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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Modern Blackjack volume one


Modern Blackjack is a blackjack advantage play-orientated ebook in two volumes by Norman Wattenberger, author of the Casino Veritè blackjack card counting software. It's freely available, which makes it a unique, as well as comprehensive, addition to the literature on blackjack advantage play.

The start, contents and index are all conveniently listed on the home page.

The author has gone for a quirky chapter notation system - the initial three chapters, which do not include positive expectation techniques, are assigned "minus" or "zero" numbers. From chapter four onwards, where advantage play is first described, a positive numbering system is used. As such, the fifteen chapters range from "minus 2" to "plus 12". The purpose of this odd system is to tie in with the mechanics of card counting, where both positive and negative numbers are used to measure the differing levels of player advantage / disadvantage.


Chapter Minus 2 - My First Trip. An account the author's first trip to Las Vegas, including at the end a list of the mistakes he made (and didn't make). As with all the other anecdotes in the book, it's printed on a grey background for easy identification.

Chapter Minus 1 - Blackjack Rules. The logistics of the blackjack table, the mechanics of play and the rules of the game. There is also a section on the effects on the house edge of the various rule combinations, both absolute and relative to a typical standard.

Chapter Zero - Basic Strategy. An explanation of basic strategy. The author has chosen to discuss the various options - hit, surrender etc - in almost the exact reverse order to that in which they are usually presented, on the basis that this is the order of the player's actual decision-making. The strategy is also initially broken up into separate tables, then rolled into the standard one-chart format at the end.

Following on from here are the first of many practice drills using Casino Veritè. For reasons of brevity I will not list the subsequent references throughout the book.


Chapter Plus One - REKO Card Counting Strategy. The principles of card counting and the REKO count, "Really Easy KO", which is a simplification of the Knockout unbalanced system developed by Fuchs & Vancura (see also my KO recommendation.).

(I had a discussion with the author on the re-branding of the KO count at the Beating Bonuses forum, in the New Free Blackjack Book thread.)

Chapter Plus Two - The FELT Count. A more accurate but more complex system, "Fairly Easy Level Two", a simplification of the Revere Point Count developed by counting legend Laurence Revere.

Chapter Plus Three - Performance Comparisons. Comparison of the performance of the two count systems using the "SCORE" system developed by blacjack guru Don Schlesinger, here based on a $10,000 bankroll and a 13.5% risk of ruin. At the end of the chapter there is a comparison of the expected value of the basic strategist against a counter with a true count of zero.

Chapter Plus Four - Betting/Risk. Bettings spreads based on penetration levels, given the above $10,000 bankroll and a 13.5% risk of ruin, either playing all hands or back-counting; later in the chapter the effect of playing more than one hand is discussed, and also the allowable betting spreads for a range of much smaller risks of ruin.

Chapter Plus Five - Heat. The myriad ways that a card counter can generate unwanted attention from the casino personnel, how to avoid it and how to handle confrontations. This chapter contains a lot of illustrative stories from the author's playing career.

Chapter Plus Six - Cover. The cost to the counter of various betting and playing strategies designed to reduce unwanted attention from the casino personnel.

Chapter Plus Seven - Casino Conditions. This chapter moves away from the mechanics of the game and looks at the geographical locations, in the USA, of blackjack games by number of decks, rules and penetration level. Interesting facts to emerge are that one in 20 games in the USA is still genuine single deck, and that the lowest average basic strategy disadvantage is found in Atlantic City, with Las Vegas coming in worst thanks to its plethora of 6:5 games.

Chapter Plus Eight - Strategy Comparisons. Comparison of all the standard published counting systems, based on betting and insurance correlation, playing efficiency, ease of use, strategy type and use of side count. The comparisons are summarised in table format at the beginning; also, comparative SCORE tables, and advantage by count level.

Chapter Plus Nine - Scams/Myths. The number-crunching is put aside once more for a discussion of various nefarious practices - progressions systems, online scams, preferrential shuffles, blackjack 6:5 and others. The harbinger of the future page, a collection of absurd proposed marketing slogans for casinos to dupe the customers with, is a fun read - I had to go over "Blackjack paid at an amazing 2 for 1 instead of just 1.5 to 1!" twice before I got it.

Chapter Plus Ten - Side Bets. It should be "side bet", as the only side bet discussed is a payoff on any player two-card twenty, which is profitable above a certain count level.

Chapter Plus Eleven - Parables. A collection of the author's expriences in the blackjack firmament.

Chapter Plus Twelve - Untying the Knots. Billed as a "summary", this is actually a section of reasonably ad hoc bits of advice on various aspects of the card counter's craft - bankroll, emotions, and general attitude. The volume is wound up with a well-crafted encouragement to the effect that counting is the right, not wrong, way to play. It bears quoting:


Keep in mind that you are doing nothing wrong. All you are doing is playing cards and using your brain. Card counting is simply the correct way to play. It's nutty to ignore the cards that have passed by. Why would you ignore the fact that all the aces have been dealt in a single-deck game and still bet that you will get a Blackjack?

Completely erase from your mind any concept that card counting is anything other than an obvious part of the game that everyone should use. Non-counters are doing something wrong, not counters.


Casinos would largely have the player believe the exact opposite; as such, these are words the neophyte counter would do well to often reflect on.

Appendix A - Indexes. Full indices for the two counts, "REKO" and "FELT", described in the book.

Appendix B - Reference Material. A reference section of books, DVDs, web sites and the author's proprietry software.

I'll review volume two in a subsequent article.



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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Eurolinx: withdrawal problems and cashflow concerns for this formerly well-regarded Microgaming poker licensee


(Editor note: this is an exact replica of my Eurolinx article of last week, which has for some reason vanished from the Google database.)


Eurolinx
Discussion
Casinomeister warning
Licence jurisdiction
What happened?


Eurolinx is a member of the Microgaming poker network. If you read my news articles or follow the online poker scene you'll probably be aware of the ongoing Microgaming / Tusk scandal, in which licensee "Tusk Investment Corporation" went into insolvency leaving approximately $5,500,000 owed to players, and from which Microgaming emerged with their credibility around their ankles having failed to provide any assistance to players, or even reply to their emails.


Just eighteen months after the Tusk collapse, a very similar situation appears now to be unfolding at yet another high profile Microgaming poker room. In fact, with the possible exception of Ladbrokes, Eurolinx was probably the single most well-regarded of all the Microgaming poker operations.


The entire situation is well documented in the unfolding slow Eurolinx withdrawals discussion at 2+2 Poker.

Delays seem to have started emerging in April 2009. On May 15th a player reported:


The live chat rep told me that it is a delay on the bank side and the transfer was initiated on April 23. Forgive my ignorance of the banking industry but why does an electronic transfer take in excess of 3 weeks to clear?


On May 28th, a player waiting seven weeks for a cashout heard thus from a CS rep:


As far as I know we have been paying players normally, so in your case I am really sorry that they have not paid you on time.


On June 1st problems were acknowledged for the first time:


I spoke to the managing director on the phone earlier. He explained to me that they are having problems with their payment processor that is returning a lot of transfers without proper notice.


The manager in question agreed to pay this player at a face to face meeting in malta, which he did.

Nice way to do business.


The next day, a player called, having been told that at that specific time a member of the finance team would be available to talk to him. So he called as agreed. The response?


Unfortunately my supervisor is not here at the moment.


Two days later, some excuses had been added:


Yes we do have few players experience longer. Either they have provided us the wrong bank details, or our bank is very strict on big amount withdraw, they will take longer time to check, to ensure there is no money laundering.


All of which is some way from "...we have been playing our players normnally".


On June 13th, "security reasons" are still causing delays:


Our Investigations Team is reviewing withdrawals for security reasons which causes some delays. But I can assure you that there is nothing to worry about.


Why were there never "security reasons" before April 2009?

On June 23rd, a CS rep denies that Eurolinx is heading towards bankruptcy:


But we are really expanding. I am new employee for instance. Why would they hire me if they were going bankrupt?


On June 25th a player with experience in financial administration gives his take on the "security delays":


From an administration perspective withdrawals to moneybookers/netteller are all but instant. The company I work for have a 24hr fraud team who approve our withdrawals - basically pending withdrawals appear on a ticker - fraud team take a quick look and once satisfied that everthing is fully legit they press the cash out button. On a bad day you may be waiting an hour, on a good day you are waiting 10 mins.

Generally speaking if you are waiting for more than 24 hours the reasons behind it are not ones I would be comfortable with.


I suspect none of the players were particularly comfortable with Eurolinx's excuses at that point.


By July 2nd a CS rep's apologetic explanation seems to be verging on the truth:


Kindly note though that there are some delays in processing at the moment, due to tightened security checks on withdrawals. I am afraid I do not have a strict time frame to provide you with. Your withdrawal will be processed as soon as possible.


On July 5th, a player waiting fully three months for a "completed" $20,000 withdrawal had this to say:


This withdraw still hasn't been received. Every time the live support member claims they are talking to the finance team, and I beg for an email response from the finance team to confirm the situation, but every time I am ignored and forced to wait a week and then go back to contacting live support.


Some players did report withdrawals along the way, some quite large. Eurolinx clearly had money, but they did not appear to have enough to cover all withdrawals, let alone all player balances.


On July 16th, a bad sign - a bonus offer and a new rakeback deal:


Due to certain payment processor issues we encountered within the last months, we experienced some delays when processing withdrawals. I am aware that you have been affected by this problem and I hope you accept our sincere apologies. In addition, I would like to offer you a special bonus as a form of compensation.

Please find a $500 bonus credited to your Eurolinx poker account; these funds are yours to keep and no deposit is required. The only requirement is that you will need to play minimum 6,000 raked hands before being able to withdraw the bonus amount. We will also DOUBLE the bonus if you play another 6,000 raked hands after clearing the first $500!

Furthermore, I have a brilliant rakeback deal to offer you which opens at 50% over a 3 month period. Please contact me via MSN (vipeurolinx@hotmail.com) or Skype (eurolinxjackie) so that I can provide you with further details, terms & conditions.

I hope that you can accept this offer as compensation for your delayed withdrawal and as a gesture of good will from Eurolinx. Please make sure to contact me to for more information and to confirm this offer!

One more thing: Don't miss out on the great VIP special promotions we will be releasing in the coming months, including Invitational guaranteed tournaments, live tournament packages and many more!



But the delays continued, always because of "increased security checks". However, as mentioned by the player above, security checks can be done in an hour. Security checks which take three months are not security checks, they are excuses.


By July 20th things appeared to be looking up:


The problem has now been fixed, however, we have some withdrawal backlog to deal with. That is why your withdrawal was not able to process on time.


I thought it was about security checks? So there was a problem after all?

The CS reps' excuses are a little inconsistent at this point. Anyway, all's well now, apparently.


On July 31st, a withdrawal had been processed...but it hadn't:


I have checked your bank wire again and the problem is although we have completed the withdrawal process, it was in fact still pending in the bank system. I have informed the bank to reprocess it again. When I have more information regarding your bank wire I will let you know.


...followed, a day later, with a return of the "wrong bamk details" line:


We have just been informed by our bank that your wire withdrawal cannot be processed with the information that we have.

Could you review those details and get back to us if anything should be changed? According to our bank, the bank name and Swift code do not match.



Noone at his point believes Eurolinx is anything but bust. On August 3rd, a player waiting ten weeks for his money:


13th of May here, still waiting. Yes, I do believe they are broke at this point. There is no other reasonable explanation and there hasn't been one for a long time.


On August 4th, a player started to keep a rough tally of money owed. At the time, around a quarter of a million dollars was outstanding.


At this point, CS reps had stopped fielding excuses and were instructing players to contact the finance department. In fact, this appeared the de facto response to all enquiries, as requests about Eurolinx's licensing jurisdiction got the same response.


The above has all the classic indicators of an insolvent gambling operation - extended and implausible excuses about "payment processor delays" and the inevitable bonus offers, a desperate attempt to hold onto customers and generate business.


A Casinomeister warning was issued, and Eurolinx was put on Bailey's no help possible list, for "reasons of veracity", which I assume means that Bailey thought they were lying to him about the situation, which is extremely likely.


Around the same time, an affiliate posted about a Eurolinx non-payment of affiliates issue at the same forum. It would seem that players and affiliates alike are now receiving the big heave-ho from Eurolinx.


Eurolinx is actually licensed in a jurisdiction which borders on reputable - see the terms and conditions page:


"Eurolinx" is a company owned by Eurolinx International NV, whose offices are held at PO Box 6052, Curacao, Netherlands Antilles. It is marketed by same through an exclusive agreement with Eurolinx Ltd, whose offices are held at Vincenti Buildings, Suite 409, 14/19 Strait Street, Valletta Malta. Eurolinx shall heretoafter be referred to as the "Company."

Eurolinx is licensed in Curacao under the master license #5536/JAZ.



The Caracao Licensing Authority would appear to be the organisation responsible for all online gambling operations in Caracao. There is no list of licensees. The contact page lists physical address and an email, as well as a contact form.

Assuming this is the relevant authority, players would be advised to contact them.


So what happened to Eurolinx?

Players' deposits at a poker room simply get passed between the players, with the room taking a percentage of each pot. As long as bonuses are subject to the right raked hands wagering requirement, the room cannot lose.

The only circumstances in which a poker room can lose is when the profit from the rake does not sufficiently counterbalance any or all of the following:

• Licence fees
• Staff costs
• Affiliate payments
• Bonuses

That is, assuming that the room does not actually plunder the bankroll of player deposits. However, controls from both software provider and licensing authority should take care of this, to ensure the saftey of all player deposits.

But something has gone wrong. What, we do not yet know.


We also do not yet know the full extent of Eurolinx's liability to players. The rough estimate from the 2+2 discussion thread, standing at around $500,000, is clearly well below the full total.


Microgaming poker is a mess. In February 2008, the first big licensee collapsed, leaving players vastly out of pocket and with no help from Mirogaming. Exactly one year later, one of the biggest individual licensees, Eurolinx, appears insolvent.


Will Microgaming poker recover for the current blackening their name is currently receiving? I'm not sure it deserves to. Microgaming used to be synonymous with player safety, a software provider that policed its licensees and kept them in check, going as far as compensating players when they failed. The Tusk fiasco showed that this was no longer the case, and I highly doubt they will step up to the plate if and when Eurolinx is officially insolvent.



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Sunday, August 09, 2009

Eurolinx: withdrawal problems and almost certain insolvency for this formerly well-regarded Microgaming poker licensee



Eurolinx
Discussion
Casinomeister warning
Licence jurisdiction
What happened?
Update: Eurolinx in liquidation


Eurolinx is a member of the Microgaming poker network. If you read my news articles or follow the online poker scene you'll probably be aware of the ongoing Microgaming / Tusk scandal, in which licensee "Tusk Investment Corporation" went into insolvency leaving approximately $5,500,000 owed to players, and from which Microgaming emerged with their credibility around their ankles having failed to provide any assistance to players, or even reply to their emails.


Just eighteen months after the Tusk collapse, a very similar situation appears now to be unfolding at yet another high profile Microgaming poker room. In fact, with the possible exception of Ladbrokes, Eurolinx was probably the single most well-regarded of all the Microgaming poker operations.


The entire situation is well documented in the unfolding slow Eurolinx withdrawals discussion at 2+2 Poker.

Delays seem to have started emerging in April 2009. On May 15th a player reported:


The live chat rep told me that it is a delay on the bank side and the transfer was initiated on April 23. Forgive my ignorance of the banking industry but why does an electronic transfer take in excess of 3 weeks to clear?


On May 28th, a player waiting seven weeks for a cashout heard thus from a CS rep:


As far as I know we have been paying players normally, so in your case I am really sorry that they have not paid you on time.


On June 1st problems were acknowledged for the first time:


I spoke to the managing director on the phone earlier. He explained to me that they are having problems with their payment processor that is returning a lot of transfers without proper notice.


The manager in question agreed to pay this player at a face to face meeting in malta, which he did.

Nice way to do business.


The next day, a player called, having been told that at that specific time a member of the finance team would be available to talk to him. So he called as agreed. The response?


Unfortunately my supervisor is not here at the moment.


Two days later, some excuses had been added:


Yes we do have few players experience longer. Either they have provided us the wrong bank details, or our bank is very strict on big amount withdraw, they will take longer time to check, to ensure there is no money laundering.


All of which is some way from "...we have been playing our players normnally".


On June 13th, "security reasons" are still causing delays:


Our Investigations Team is reviewing withdrawals for security reasons which causes some delays. But I can assure you that there is nothing to worry about.


Why were there never "security reasons" before April 2009?

On June 23rd, a CS rep denies that Eurolinx is heading towards bankruptcy:


But we are really expanding. I am new employee for instance. Why would they hire me if they were going bankrupt?


On June 25th a player with experience in financial administration gives his take on the "security delays":


From an administration perspective withdrawals to moneybookers/netteller are all but instant. The company I work for have a 24hr fraud team who approve our withdrawals - basically pending withdrawals appear on a ticker - fraud team take a quick look and once satisfied that everthing is fully legit they press the cash out button. On a bad day you may be waiting an hour, on a good day you are waiting 10 mins.

Generally speaking if you are waiting for more than 24 hours the reasons behind it are not ones I would be comfortable with.


I suspect none of the players were particularly comfortable with Eurolinx's excuses at that point.


By July 2nd a CS rep's apologetic explanation seems to be verging on the truth:


Kindly note though that there are some delays in processing at the moment, due to tightened security checks on withdrawals. I am afraid I do not have a strict time frame to provide you with. Your withdrawal will be processed as soon as possible.


On July 5th, a player waiting fully three months for a "completed" $20,000 withdrawal had this to say:


This withdraw still hasn't been received. Every time the live support member claims they are talking to the finance team, and I beg for an email response from the finance team to confirm the situation, but every time I am ignored and forced to wait a week and then go back to contacting live support.


Some players did report withdrawals along the way, some quite large. Eurolinx clearly had money, but they did not appear to have enough to cover all withdrawals, let alone all player balances.


On July 16th, a bad sign - a bonus offer and a new rakeback deal:


Due to certain payment processor issues we encountered within the last months, we experienced some delays when processing withdrawals. I am aware that you have been affected by this problem and I hope you accept our sincere apologies. In addition, I would like to offer you a special bonus as a form of compensation.

Please find a $500 bonus credited to your Eurolinx poker account; these funds are yours to keep and no deposit is required. The only requirement is that you will need to play minimum 6,000 raked hands before being able to withdraw the bonus amount. We will also DOUBLE the bonus if you play another 6,000 raked hands after clearing the first $500!

Furthermore, I have a brilliant rakeback deal to offer you which opens at 50% over a 3 month period. Please contact me via MSN (vipeurolinx@hotmail.com) or Skype (eurolinxjackie) so that I can provide you with further details, terms & conditions.

I hope that you can accept this offer as compensation for your delayed withdrawal and as a gesture of good will from Eurolinx. Please make sure to contact me to for more information and to confirm this offer!

One more thing: Don't miss out on the great VIP special promotions we will be releasing in the coming months, including Invitational guaranteed tournaments, live tournament packages and many more!



But the delays continued, always because of "increased security checks". However, as mentioned by the player above, security checks can be done in an hour. Security checks which take three months are not security checks, they are excuses.


By July 20th things appeared to be looking up:


The problem has now been fixed, however, we have some withdrawal backlog to deal with. That is why your withdrawal was not able to process on time.


I thought it was about security checks? So there was a problem after all?

The CS reps' excuses are a little inconsistent at this point. Anyway, all's well now, apparently.


On July 31st, a withdrawal had been processed...but it hadn't:


I have checked your bank wire again and the problem is although we have completed the withdrawal process, it was in fact still pending in the bank system. I have informed the bank to reprocess it again. When I have more information regarding your bank wire I will let you know.


...followed, a day later, with a return of the "wrong bamk details" line:


We have just been informed by our bank that your wire withdrawal cannot be processed with the information that we have.

Could you review those details and get back to us if anything should be changed? According to our bank, the bank name and Swift code do not match.



Noone at his point believes Eurolinx is anything but bust. On August 3rd, a player waiting ten weeks for his money:


13th of May here, still waiting. Yes, I do believe they are broke at this point. There is no other reasonable explanation and there hasn't been one for a long time.


On August 4th, a player started to keep a rough tally of money owed. At the time, around a quarter of a million dollars was outstanding.


At this point, CS reps had stopped fielding excuses and were instructing players to contact the finance department. In fact, this appeared the de facto response to all enquiries, as requests about Eurolinx's licensing jurisdiction got the same response.


The above has all the classic indicators of an insolvent gambling operation - extended and implausible excuses about "payment processor delays" and the inevitable bonus offers, a desperate attempt to hold onto customers and generate business.


A Casinomeister warning was issued, and Eurolinx was put on Bailey's no help possible list, for "reasons of veracity", which I assume means that Bailey thought they were lying to him about the situation, which is extremely likely.


Around the same time, an affiliate posted about a Eurolinx non-payment of affiliates issue at the same forum. It would seem that players and affiliates alike are now receiving the big heave-ho from Eurolinx.


Eurolinx is actually licensed in a jurisdiction which borders on reputable - see the terms and conditions page:


"Eurolinx" is a company owned by Eurolinx International NV, whose offices are held at PO Box 6052, Curacao, Netherlands Antilles. It is marketed by same through an exclusive agreement with Eurolinx Ltd, whose offices are held at Vincenti Buildings, Suite 409, 14/19 Strait Street, Valletta Malta. Eurolinx shall heretoafter be referred to as the "Company."

Eurolinx is licensed in Curacao under the master license #5536/JAZ.



The Caracao Licensing Authority would appear to be the organisation responsible for all online gambling operations in Caracao. There is no list of licensees. The contact page lists physical address and an email, as well as a contact form.

Assuming this is the relevant authority, players would be advised to contact them.


So what happened to Eurolinx?

Players' deposits at a poker room simply get passed between the players, with the room taking a percentage of each pot. As long as bonuses are subject to the right raked hands wagering requirement, the room cannot lose.

The only circumstances in which a poker room can lose is when the profit from the rake does not sufficiently counterbalance any or all of the following:

• Licence fees
• Staff costs
• Affiliate payments
• Bonuses

That is, assuming that the room does not actually plunder the bankroll of player deposits. However, controls from both software provider and licensing authority should take care of this, to ensure the saftey of all player deposits.

But something has gone wrong. What, we do not yet know.


We also do not yet know the full extent of Eurolinx's liability to players. The rough estimate from the 2+2 discussion thread, standing at around $500,000, is clearly well below the full total.


Microgaming poker is a mess. In February 2008, the first big licensee collapsed, leaving players vastly out of pocket and with no help from Mirogaming. Exactly one year later, one of the biggest individual licensees, Eurolinx, appears insolvent.


Will Microgaming poker recover for the current blackening their name is currently receiving? I'm not sure it deserves to. Microgaming used to be synonymous with player safety, a software provider that policed its licensees and kept them in check, going as far as compensating players when they failed. The Tusk fiasco showed that this was no longer the case, and I highly doubt they will step up to the plate if and when Eurolinx is officially insolvent.


***UPDATE 21st August 2009***:

Eurolinx is in liquidation - this is now posted on the homepage:


Linx Media Group Company Statement

21. August 2009

MALTA - The Linx Media Group has today announced that it is seeking to put its businesses into liquidation and will cease trading with immediate effect.

As yet, the Linx Media Group does not know how long this process will take, but it will provide updates on the situation as and when information becomes available and when liquidators are appointed.

A company spokesperson from the Linx Media Group stated: "It is with great regret that we make this announcement. I appreciate the concern and frustration that this will inflict on the Eurolinx, BetOnBet, and Linx Casino player community. Affected account holders are those individuals who have agreed to a contractual relationship with the Linx Media Group through Eurolinx, BetOnBet and Linx Casino. All available player funds are held by these businesses. As soon as we have information on how to lodge claims with the liquidators, we will communicate this via www.eurolinx.com, www.BetOnBet.com and www.linxcasino.com."



8 Previous Comments


Microgaming poker is surely a mess & the software provider and licensing authority should take care of bankroll of player deposits.

By Anonymous Arcade Games, at 7:19 am  


Update 19th August:

Since writing this ten days ago, three players have reported payments: one for $10,000, from 28th July; one for $1000 on 10th August; and one unspecified but small amount on 17th August. Apart from that, noone reporting in the 2+2 discussion has received anything from Eurolinx.

Interestingly, it appears that Eurolinx opened a casino only a couple of months ago, well after the payment delays had started. One can hypothesise that this was an attempt to generate revenue on the part of a failing operation. If so, fees would most likely have been incurred, unless software provider Microgaming extended the hand of friendship. As such, this may have ended up hurting rather than helping the situation.

By Blogger 100% Gambler, at 10:38 pm  


Eurolinx is in liquidation - this is now posted on the homepage:

Linx Media Group Company Statement

21. August 2009

MALTA - The Linx Media Group has today announced that it is seeking to put its businesses into liquidation and will cease trading with immediate effect.

As yet, the Linx Media Group does not know how long this process will take, but it will provide updates on the situation as and when information becomes available and when liquidators are appointed.

A company spokesperson from the Linx Media Group stated: "It is with great regret that we make this announcement. I appreciate the concern and frustration that this will inflict on the Eurolinx, BetOnBet, and Linx Casino player community. Affected account holders are those individuals who have agreed to a contractual relationship with the Linx Media Group through Eurolinx, BetOnBet and Linx Casino. All available player funds are held by these businesses. As soon as we have information on how to lodge claims with the liquidators, we will communicate this via www.eurolinx.com, www.BetOnBet.com and www.linxcasino.com."

By Blogger 100% Gambler, at 6:09 pm  


Microgaming issued this statement two days ago:

ISLE OF MAN - Microgaming announced today that it has terminated its software licence agreements with the Linx Media Group, with immediate effect. It has been advised that the group Companies are insolvent.

Microgaming is presently gathering all facts relating to this matter and will provide further announcements as and when information becomes available.

Microgaming recommends that any Eurolinx, BetOnBet and Linx Casino players affected by this situation submit their enquiries directly to the relevant liquidator as soon as contact details become available.

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Friday, August 07, 2009

Buzzluck: winnings confiscated on the basis of an increasingly confused and improbable series of excuses


Buzzluck is a relatively new casino using Realtime Gaming software.

There is no license information listed anywhere.

The terms and conditions page lists business registration and server location, neither of which exactly inspire confidence:


buzzluck business and server location



Buzzluck.com is a trading name of Egaming 2.0 SA. Egaming 2.0 SA is a company registered under the laws of Uruguay; with its address being Plaza Independencia 753 piso 7, Montevideo, Uruguay.

Buzzluck.com is registered as a gaming provider with hosting services out of Costa Rica.


These factors combined - software license with a provider many of whose licensee are problematic and a location in the weakest possible of banana republics - does not leave one with much confidence as to the solidity, financial or otherwise, of this nascent operation.


Buzzluck is one of the Casinomeister accredited online casinos.


I was contacted by a player from whom Buzzluck had confiscated winnings of €33,000, and who had unsuccessfully elicited the help of Bryan Bailey of Casinomeister. This large win was achieved through a combination of reload bonuses and a big hit on the slots.

The casino's justification was initially twofold:


• The player claimed a bonus coupon for which he did not qualify, not having clicked through from the appropriate affilate site, viz a viz Casinomeister.

• The player's telephone number was inoperative.


Neither of these excuses bear too much scrutiny.


Whether or not the bonus coupon in question was invalid is a somewhat beside the point, as the player never actually used it - the €33,000 slot winnings were achieved from an earlier coupon, so he never got around to redeeming the disputed bonus.

If he had used the disputed coupon, incorrect affiliate tracking could reasonably explain the issue - it seems rather unlikely that a player would willfully redeem an unclaimable coupon and create an obvious problem for himself.


As it stands, the coupon was never redeemed, and the winnings were achieved via an entirely undisputed bonus. But the casino saw it otherwise:


You were eligible for the same bonus anyway, but because you said you came from casinomeister bonus you will lose your winnings.



As to the disconnected phone issue, it seems beyond absurd and utterly unreasonable to deny so much money on the basis of a phone apparently not working for a period of three days! Would it not be fair to at least try a few days later?

But again, the casino had a different take on the matter:


Our security team tried on 3 separate occasions, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, to reach you at the number you listed on your account. On ALL three attempts, we received a message stating that this number is not in service. As opposed to the phone being turned off or out of range, an "out of service" message means that the line is not operational.

If the phone was off, as you mentioned, it would either go to your voice mail or request that the call be tried again later as the person in unavailable.

Ultimately, the number you provided was not operational, and therefore puts your account in breach of the General Buzzluck Terms and Conditions, to which you agreed when you created an account with us.



So, in summary: the phone was inoperational and the bonus code, which the player didn't actually use, was regarded as invalid.

On this basis was €33,000 confiscated.

Something doesn't add up; you don't take such arbitrary, draconian action on the basis of so little.


However, things got a little more confusing at this point.


On the basis of an enquiry from another affiliate, Buzzluck claimed that the €33,000 had not been confiscated because of inoperative phones and unredeemed bonuses.

The player was, in fact, a fraudster.


Strange that they somehow failed to mention this rather crucial issue at any point of the proceedings, preferring to offer those two rather weak excuses.

Buzzluck did, however, have a reason for not coming out with the fraud allegation sooner: they did not want other fraudsters to get any ideas, or otherwise expose their "fraud detection" procedures.


At this point, I remain as confused as before: how does a simple claim that a player is a fraudster tell anyone anything about anything beyond the simple ostensible fact contained in the words?


To summarise this affair:

• Player wins a substantial amount of money from new casino Buzzluck, licensed in a banana republic.

• Casino denies win on the basis of a couple of weak, doubtful excuses.

• After being pressed, the casino adds to the story with a more serious allegation, which was not, funnily enough, mentioned previously.

• No evidence for any of this is presented to anyone, beyond claims from Buzzluck Casino.


My take?


Buzzluck is not well funded, and paying €33,000 to one player would put a dent in the budget. When faced with the prospect of such a hit, a couple of weak excuses were cobbled together without too much thought as to the justifiability of such actions on such a poor basis. When it became apparent that more was needed, more was presented: a bogus claim about fraud, with no corroboration offered.

I think that is a reasonable hypothesis which fits the facts.


As general advice: don't patronise casinos located in banana republics on the basis that they happen to be recommended by questionable affiliates.


On a more specific note: do not patronise Buzzluck. If you do, then make sure you don't win too much. If you win too much, you may find that your legitimately-redeemed bonus code was in fact illegitimate.

You may also find that you phone suddenly doesn't work.


Either way, you will run the very strong risk of not seeing a penny of your money.



7 Previous Comments


This is very disturbing news

By Blogger sharon, at 5:42 am  


Hi I sent my affiliate manager this like and heres his response

hi, it was a case regarding a fraudulent account. It was brought up by both casinomeister and beatingbonuses and both cleared us. As for this specific website, we don't know who the person is and instead of him/her doing his due deligence and reaching out to us for clarification, he/she made that post.

By Blogger onlinbonusforum, at 5:59 am  


Thanks for the feedback.

1) I rarely, if ever, waste my time talking to rogue RTGs.

2) Assuming I DO talk to them, they will blow me off with the same uncorroborated nonsense they blew Casinomeister and BeatingBonuses of with. So why bother? Casinomeister bought it and, as far as I can tell, barred the player before he could comment; BeatingBonuses bought it in the main, and deleted all forum content after a fair discussion.

So much for a fair hearing.

3) This page ranks Google two or three for a search for "buzzluck".

By Blogger 100% Gambler, at 2:19 pm  


I've sent an email to the affiliate address listed, as they do not offer a player email - see the contacts page at Buzz luck.

If they respond, I will report on the matter.

By Blogger 100% Gambler, at 2:38 pm  


Thank you, please keep us posted

By Blogger onlinbonusforum, at 10:03 pm  


Do you have an email address for them? The only one available on the site is the affiliate one (the field in the player web form is actually to small for my HPG address, which is ridiculous), and they haven't replied.

By Blogger 100% Gambler, at 2:59 pm  


Many thanks for this info I thought buzzluck was a good place for players, no worth investing a lot of time in them, they can go bananas !

By Anonymous Allbonusbets, at 10:32 pm  


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Thursday, August 06, 2009

PaddyPower recommendation revoked for rogue behaviour


What a shame.

PaddyPower casino has pulled a retroactive bonus terms enforcement stunt on a player, invoking the "management decision is final" clause.


The player in question played Texas Holdem Bonus Poker for the signup bonus. This game was not excluded from the terms and conditions.

This was the jaw-dropping justification offered to the player:


Whilst I accept that there has been an oversight in the enlisted terms and conditions, as per the terms, "Paddypowercasino.com reserves the right to modify, alter, discontinue or terminate this promotion at any time for any reason whatsoever without notice to players." Further to that "In the event of any dispute, the decision of Paddypowercasino.com will be considered final".



Think that's bad?

It gets better. The support rep goes on to say:


Although it does not specifically state that Texas holdem does not contribute, we are aware of this fact, this is still a stipulation of the bonus.



So, PaddyPower seems to consider it acceptable to change the terms of a bonus after a player has cashed in in full accordance with the previous terms under which he played, and withhold the player's payment accordingly.

As justification, PaddyPower claims that although the game was not excluded in the written terms, its exclusion is still a "stipulation of the bonus". What that means is anyone's guess.


As such, this substantial Irish gambling operation appears to have two sets of terms that players are required to adhere to: the written ones, and the imaginary ones. Players can therefore have no way of knowing whether or not they will be paid, as they can have know way of knowing the imaginary terms.


The player in question was paid in the end, after publicising this clear outrage at Casinomeister, one of Paddy's biggest affiates - see the PaddyPower "oversight" in the terms and conditions discussion.


I have been a satisfied customer of PaddyPower for many years, but casinos that pull stunts like these have no place on my site.

What a shame. Bye bye, PaddyPower.



2 Previous Comments


Paddypower Casino Warning!
Over the last two months I have played slots at Paddypower Casino (Wagerworks - IGT) Instant Casino.
Placed small bets and then increasing them if the machine pays, and stopping when it doesn't pay, resulting in a loss of 1398 Euro.
Session Start Session End Win/Loss
28/08/2009 18:50:15 UTC 28/08/2009 23:12:21 UTC (€49.52)
27/08/2009 22:06:53 UTC 28/08/2009 00:21:35 UTC (€450.55)
27/08/2009 21:37:17 UTC 27/08/2009 22:19:20 UTC (€197.05)
27/08/2009 20:44:17 UTC 27/08/2009 21:06:08 UTC €97.40
27/08/2009 20:13:03 UTC 27/08/2009 20:50:06 UTC (€49.70)
10/08/2009 14:51:53 UTC 10/08/2009 15:15:33 UTC (€5.64)
08/08/2009 11:06:30 UTC 08/08/2009 16:33:55 UTC (€24.19)
07/08/2009 15:57:32 UTC 07/08/2009 17:34:58 UTC (€75.93)
07/08/2009 13:55:26 UTC 07/08/2009 16:10:50 UTC (€99.40)
02/08/2009 17:39:58 UTC 02/08/2009 20:09:32 UTC (€204.45)
20/07/2009 17:15:29 UTC 20/07/2009 18:17:19 UTC (€23.04)
08/07/2009 21:25:43 UTC 08/07/2009 21:46:38 UTC €3.00
05/07/2009 22:31:01 UTC 05/07/2009 23:25:05 UTC (€149.30)
05/07/2009 21:42:32 UTC 05/07/2009 22:43:55 UTC (€49.55)
02/07/2009 20:46:24 UTC 02/07/2009 22:09:00 UTC (€17.32)
02/07/2009 20:02:52 UTC 02/07/2009 21:00:57 UTC (€82.80)
In my humble opinion I have either been extremely unlucky or this is not fair gaming. I will take it up with the Alderney Gaming Commission and let you know the results.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:50 pm  


"I will take it up with the Alderney Gaming Commission and let you know the results."

Useless Alderney.

Don't waste your time with Alderney.

Were you playing slots?

By Blogger 100% Gambler, at 1:54 pm  


Post a Comment

Sunday, August 02, 2009

32Red lawsuit against William Hill for trademark infringement


32 Vegas is a Playtech-powered casino, part of the Affiliates United group that was recently acquired by William Hill - see my William Hill and Joyland Casino article for details of this rather confusingly reported issue.


"32Vegas" is an fairly obvious plagiarism of "32Red", 32Red being one of the highest-regarded operations in the business; it seems that 32Red aren't too happy about the matter. According to today's William Hill set to move internet betting to Gibraltar article in the Times Online, they're taking action:



William Hill is also facing a lawsuit from the Gibraltar-based online gaming company 32Red, which has launched a claim against it, alleging trademark infringement.

(more)



Interestingly enough, in spite of William Hill's apparent confidence, according to the Affiliates United news section, 32Vegas is being rebranded as "21Nova":



We are thrilled and proud to unveil our new, improved and revamped casino brand, 21nova. The launch of 21nova, on August 3rd, will mark a new era in online gaming where the focus of play shifts back to the most important element in online gaming; the player.

We have taken our trusted 32Vegas brand and enhanced it to include a second to none game selection, improved around the clock customer support in a variety of languages and a loyalty program which rewards the player for every single wager made. All of these elements combine to pave the way for a new name: 21nova - the New Star in Online Gaming.



So maybe they weren't so confident after all.


32Vegas, as with the rest of the former "CPays" group, has a bad history, with reports of affiliate issues and player payment problems. So, if 32Red has a case against this problem Playtech casino over trademark issues, I hope things work in their favour.



3 Previous Comments


Dear Author www.hundredpercentgambling.com !
You, probably, were mistaken?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:50 pm  


One lie leads to another.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:08 pm  


Such an efficient article!

By Anonymous online casino, at 9:06 am  


Post a Comment


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