Archive for January, 2010

SEGA Casino, A Trap for Underage Online Gamblers?

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

segacasinoOkay, so finally I have some confirmation on this SEGA casino that I’ve been hearing about. Yep, I’m a little slow on the uptake, so please bear with if you already know the down-low about SEGA casino. Not to say that I didn’t know about it myself, I just wasn’t sure if they were actually something worth writing up, and whether or not this was the same SEGA that brings you SEGA video games.

So, I’m still not sure they are worth writing up, but I’m going to anyways simply because I have to get some things off my chest. Thus far, all I’ve been hearing about from gambling news portal sites are rewrites of a press release announcing the launch of SEGA Casino. It’s basically been one huge advertisement for SEGA Casino. In a way, me just talking about them is an advertisement, but I am definitely not going so far as to promote SEGA Casino. Here’s why.

I don’t know about you, but it kind of rubs me the wrong way when a video game supplier enters the online gambling market, being that the core market of video games are kids. Sure, there are lots of grown adults who enjoy their video games as well, but it can’t be denied that SEGA is a name most video gaming kids under the age of eighteen know about.

Granted, I would think that Japan-based SEGA would not be cross-promoting their video gaming package with their online casino games. However, we’re talking just a few degrees of separation between a young kid excited about playing SEGA video games on his Play Station, and the same young kid excited about playing the same video game but with the chance of winning money.

I decided to give an in-depth look at the main SEGA website (Sega.com) including their corporate website. Thus far, it looks like there is no mention of the word “online casino” throughout the site. The only thing close to alluding any online gambling is a section in their forum called “Microgaming Platform”, which is apparently all about Microgaming’s non-gaming applications.

But here is where things get concerning. Type in Sega or Sega Gaming in Google and you’ll find the PlaySega.com website on the first page of search results. Now, this isn’t the Sega Online Casino, per say, but you’ll notice their title and description tags are all about playing free online games. Give the site a visit and you’ll definitely find free SEGA video games to play. You’ll also see the second prominent link down on the main navigating menu, “Card and Casino” with links to Sega branded Blackjack, Texas Hold’em and all kinds of casino slots. If you ask me, that’s less than two degrees of separation.

Am I just being too nit-picky here, or should I have some legitimate concern? The online gambling industry has a major responsibility to prevent underage online gambling. Merging video games – and let’s not forget comic books – with online casinos may be inevitable, i.e., Microgaming’s Lara Croft tomb raider slot, Cryptologic’s marriage with comic book charaters, but is the industry doing enough to prevent leaky cross promotion and sloppy affiliate advertising?

Oh, and by the way, Sega Casino is powered by Playtech software and is licensed in Alderney. So, at least there’s some credentials. The online casino is not open to residents in the States.

Discuss this story in the Online Casino Suite Forum

The First Online Casino: Who, What, When, Where, and Most Importantly, Why?

Monday, January 18th, 2010
portrait of old man

Is being the first and oldest all that it's cracked up to be?

Here’s a history lesson for you:

I remember back at the turn of the Century (Oh Lord, I say that way too much…and yes, I’m getting way too old), when it was a big deal to be the “first online casino”. You know, being the first online casino to go live on the Web, and thus earning the connotation that “first” equates to being ahead of the pack? Obviously, this is true to a certain extent. I mean, with age also comes a certain amount of respect, should it not?

In this business, it is hard to stay in business if you’re cheating players. Indeed, it does happen. Some of the smallest trees in the online gambling industry cast the deepest shade, if you know what I mean. Information travels fast online, and when enough players get swindled and enough blacklists get published, rogue online casinos have no choice but to shut down. The only problem is that they often rebrand themselves only to begin the process all over again :(. For those online casinos that have endured the test of time without going rogue, however, respect is earned and respect is given.

So the question remains, does first necessarily mean better, or even, best? And, who was the first online casino anyways?

Surprisingly, verifying who was actually the “first”, and consequently, the oldest online casino, poses more difficulty than gauging the benefits of being first. You see, the title of “first” is highly contested, and everybody wants to be first for bragging rights and the prestige and reputation that comes from the title. Of course, for the online casino that is no longer in business, the title of first absolutely doesn’t mean a thing. Nor does it mean a thing when the title has been self-endowed – and there are plenty of online casinos self-endowing themselves with the title of first or best or largest etc.

What does mean a thing and is actually more important than being the first online casino, in my opinion, is the history of the operator. For example, these days, the best online casinos are usually apart of a network of sites, often growing in sync with the successes of the network itself. The longer a network has stayed in business, without having earned a tarnished reputation mind you, the more trustworthy and dependable it’s casino’s ought to be.

So, instead of trying to pin who was the actual first online casino, which really could be any number of sites launched in the mid-nineties (Inter Casino, First Web Casino, Lasseters etc.), pay mind to who are the more established online casino networks. A good place to get started would be the English Harbour Gaming Ventures (EHGV) Network (for U.S. players) and the Jackpot Factory (for UK and Euro players). EHGV has been in business since 1997/98 and indeed launched one of the first online casinos – flagship property, English Harbour Casino. EHGV now operates a medium sized network of eight thriving online casinos, including OCS favorites, Super Slots and Millionaire Casino.

As for the Jackpot Factory, they have been in business since the mid-nineties, launching what could actually be the first online casino. Are you ready for it? You’ll never guess the name. First Web Casino. The Jackpot Factory now maintains a network of seven online casinos, including OCS top picks, All Slots Casino and All Jackpots Casino.

What is most important about EHGV and the Jackpot Factory is that they have been in business for many years, all the while earning a solid reputation and continually expanding their reach on the internet. That is the value of history, people! It should stand for something, and in my opinion, carries much more weight than simply launching the first online casino. Don’t be fooled by titles. Learn your history!

Online Gambling Entrepreneur, Calvin Ayre, to Match Haiti Relief Donations

Sunday, January 17th, 2010
Calvin Ayre

The Ways of Online Gambling Entrepreneur, Calvin Ayre

If you’ve been around the online gambling world for a long bit – even a short bit – there’s a good chance you’ve heard of the name Calvin Ayre. No, it’s not the cologne of choice for professional poker players on the WSOP tour (Although it very well could be). Calvin Ayre is the name and brand (get it, name brand?) of online gambling entrepreneur and Bodog founder, Calvin Ayre. And although having stepped down from his post behind the scenes at Bodog, Calvin Ayre has certainly remained active in the online gambling community, not to mention the playboy lifestyle that is….you guessed it….all part of the brand.

Let me first state that I have never been a huge fan of Bodog, or Calvin Ayre for that matter. It is neither here nor there for me to go into details about my lack of support (Who knows? Maybe there’s a part of me that’s jealous of the bachelor lifestyle and having “eighteen” year old girlfriends…that’s girlfriendssss, plural), however, I will say that I have since come around to embracing a more tolerant air for Ayre…pun somewhat intended. You see, I have recently come to develop a newly found respect for the billionaire, Mr. Ayre, in light of recent events. Or perhaps I should say, recent tragedy.

That said, you probably don’t even need me to mention the devastating earthquake in Haiti to know what I am referring to when I say “recent tragedy”. There is no other greater global tragedy taking place in the world RIGHT NOW than what is happening in Haiti. The tragedy is far from over, and the people of Haiti need as much help and prayer’s as they can get. And Calvin Ayre, folks, is helping out to say the least. Ayre recently blogged that he has donated 10,000 Euros to Oxfam, and is pledging to match every donation made by online gaming industry professionals up to 1 million Euros.  If that happens to be you, simply scan your Oxfam donation receipts (or those of any reputable Haitian relief fund, such as Doctors Without Borders, Red Cross etc.) to Haiti @ Calvinayrefoundation.com.

Here’s something else you might not know about Calvin Ayre. He has his own foundation, called the Calvin Ayre Foundation, and it’s doing some needed work in the world apart from Haiti right now – specifically in Antigua, Costa Rica and Russia. So yes, the online gambling playboy billionaire, Calvin Ayre, is also a philanthropist. Ayre’s foundation website, CalvinAyreFoundation.com is worth checking out, and if you’re not offended by naked girls boobs (God knows I’m not), Ayre’s blog, CalvinAyre.com, is also worth a stop-by.

Characteristic of Ayre, in his recent Haiti blog pledge, he also did some ranting and expressed his misgivings about the “ruling elite” in Haiti who have long profited off of the “innocents” in Haiti and exposed the country to extreme poverty for their own benefit. Well, cheers to speaking up to that, Mr. Ayre. There certainly is no good to come from the suffering and devastation that is happening in Haiti right now. But perhaps the world focus on one of the poorest country’s in the world, will look further beyond the earthquake in helping rebuild Haiti and the government of Haiti.

New Jersery Senator Proposes Legislation to Regulate Online Casino Gambling

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

newjersey-gambling

The State of New Jersey could be the next U.S. State – oh, wait – the first U.S. State to get some serious regulations passed to liberalize the online gambling industry. The news comes shortly after New Jersey passed a law to legalize the medical use of Marijuana, followed by each of the State Senators taking a puff off a joint to make sure it was indeed safe for medical use.

While I truly wish it went down like that, my sarcasm comes from the fact that I personally don’t believe online gambling regulation stands a chance in New Jersey. Let’s face it –  this is coming from a State that recently shot down a provision to legalize gay marriage and is home to the second largest land-based casino Mecca in the United States. Of course, the latter could go in favor of New Jersey if there was full support from the brick ‘n mortar casino operators, who are no doubt financially struggling in these pressing times. However, there is no word on their feelings just yet.

The proposed bill, which is being spearheaded by Senator Raymond Lesniak doesn’t just call for the regulation of internet poker, it also seeks to liberalize online casino gambling as well. And Lesniak thinks he can muster support from the land-based industry by mandating that online casino companies are located in Atlantic County, thereby making it as simple as launching an online casino website for Atlantic City’s land-based casino operators. The other provision in the bill that would help streamline the regulatory process is that all of the current casino game rules and age requirements in Atlantic City would be used a template for the online sector.

In essence, Lesniak’s bill would simply set forth regulatory/taxation provisions to govern the online gambling industry if and when the industry becomes regulated on a Federal level. Following in the steps of California (which is only attempting to legalize online poker), Lesniak and his fellow New Jersey supporters are preparing the bill ahead of time, so as to give New Jersey casino gaming operators the ” first pick of customers from the State” if Congressman Barney Frank’s bill to overturn the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act is passed.

And that’s another matter altogether. While the U.S. economy could certainly stand to benefit from a surge in tax revenue, many of the same Senator’s who voted for the UIGEA (unknowingly or not) still hold their seats. Furthermore, the Obama administration, and Democrats as a whole, may be reluctant to act in a liberal manner toward something so contested as gambling, considering their current battle to pass health care legislation and the continual lambasting by Republicans for trying to liberalize, or should I say, reform the health care system as a whole.

Online Gambling Disputes Part III – When the Player is the Rogue

Thursday, January 14th, 2010
Do you have the brain of a rogue online gambling criminal?

Do you have the brain of a rogue online gambling criminal?

Continuing with our series about online gambling disputes, it’s only fair to now shed some light on the ugly side of “player complaints”, not to mention criminal brains as deemed by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Disorders.

I don’t know about you, but it sure does seem to me like there are a lot of crooked online casinos in business today. It sure doesn’t take any time at all to find complaints and rip-off reports and accusations and disgruntled rantings, whether it be on forums, blogs or review sites…the list goes on.When I first began working in the online gaming industry back at the turn of the new millennium (man, do I feel old), I would constantly be hearing about this and that online casino cheating this and that player, along with online casino blacklists longer than the eye could see. And considering there was hardly any good regulation back then (mainly just Kahnawake and Antigua & Barbuda), you could say that online gambling truly was something of a Wild Wild West.

Naturally, you can imagine why it was easy for sites like Online Casino Suite to evolve into “player portals”, where solid, factual information about online casinos could be found – not the standard fare of cheap car salesman talk and flashy banners. And while OCS certainly makes the player its topmost priority, the player is not always cracked up to be who he or she claims to be. In other words, a lot of those complaints you run across on the forums and such (heck, even our own online gambling forum), do not always tell the full story.

For example, there are players out there known by online casino operators as “bonus hunters”. While there is nothing wrong with tracking down the best casino bonuses and playing with as much free money as you can get, when it involves knowingly violating an online casino’s terms and conditions in order to get more bonus money, that’s another matter altogether. A trick that some players like to use for claiming a bonus more than once is to open an account under a different name or address. Some will go so far to use fake documents and stolen driver’s licenses. Then, when it comes time to cash out their winnings, only to be denied by the online casino, the player starts crying bloody murder, usually accompanied by a fabricated story justifying why the online casino was able to track their IP address to two different accounts. My favorite is the one about the long lost brother who decided to open an account and unknowingly logged into the online casino while staying with his brother, and hence the duplicate IP address.

The worst rogue player of all, however, is the one who doctors supposed screen shots of winnings, ala Photoshop. It’s happened before, only to end up with the player showing his ass. But unlike the online casino whose reputation can be damaged forever, the player usually walks away unscathed, only to try his exploits again at another online casino network.

I guess the lesson to learn from all of this is that you can’t always believe what your read. That goes for complaints, reviews, positive testimonials….everything under the sun. You can, however, begin to gauge a larger picture about an online casino after taking in several sources of information. The only problem is that there truly are not very many reliable sources out there. Not trying to trap you in a box of anything, but this is precisely why Online Casino Suite has expanded to offer a forum and will soon be offering players the ability to comment on online casino reviews and share their two cents worth. That way, you don’t have to solely take the word of OCS – you can temper it with player comments…good and bad.

I suppose the second lesson to learn from this post is that it doesn’t pay to be a rogue player. Believe me folks – Online casinos use some pretty sophisticated fraud detection platforms these days. If you think you can get by with a proxy to block your IP address, think again.  Besides the fact that what goes around, comes around, there are simply way too many good online casinos and bonus offers out there to take advantage of anyways. For instance, online casinos like Rushmore Casino and Go Casino have more reload bonus money available than you’ll know what to do with.  So do yourself a favor –  Check the chart above to make sure you don’t have a criminal brain as deemed by the Massachusetts Deparment of Mental Disorders and BEHAVE!

New Wok and Roll Bonus Video Slots at RTG Powered Online Casinos

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010
Wok and Roll Real Series Video Slot

Play Wok and Roll Video Slot for Free at RTG Casinos

Online casino games software developer, Real Time Gaming, has released a new 5-reel, 20-payline video slot called Wok and Roll. I’ll let you guess what the theme is, although it’s pretty obvious to me. I mean, c’mon, everybody knows how well Asian food and Rock ‘n Roll music go together.

What is most definite is that, “Wok and Roll” is sure to entertain…not to mention pay out some big jackpots to lucky players. Sorry to disappoint everyone, but that’s one thing about “Wok and Roll” that is just like every other online casino slot machine – there is no strategy you can use to win. Just the luck factor is what will determine if you walk away with thousands more than you started off with.

As for these potential winnings, “Wok and Roll” pays out large via two different bonus rounds, triggered by two different symbols. The first of these bonus rounds awards from 2x to 10x winnings, which is not shabby at all. The second bonus round simply doubles the winnings on every free spin in the bonus round.

The first free spins bonus feature, which awards up to 8 free spins with 2x-10x winnings, is triggered when 3 Wok and Roll symbols are hit. The second of these bonus rounds kicks in when 3 scattered Chef symbols show up on the screen. This round awards 10 free spins with double winnings when an “Extra Wild” symbol hits. Free spins can be retriggered in both bonus rounds, with maximum base winnings ranging from $50 on a $0.01 wager to $25,000 on a $5 wager.

The largest winnings, however, come from the multiple random jackpots offered – a minor and a major. No, we’re not talking college degrees here, although you will be able to pay for your way to college if you just so happen to win one of these jackpots. The best possible case scenario is when these jackpots have had time to accrue winnings, being that they are not wide area progressive jackpots, but rather, grow in time as you play. The minor jackpot starts at $250 and the major has a default value of $1,000.

Online Scratch Off Card Pays 100,000 Euros to on Lucky Player at Scratch 2 Cash

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

scratch2cashwinnerIf you ever thought there wasn’t any “big” money to be won playing online scratch cards, just take a look at the recent €100,000 check of Ivan C. over there to the right :). He looks, happy, doesn’t he? And with good reason. I think we can all agree that €100,000 is a lot of money!

Granted, not every online gaming destination offering scratch card games is not going to dish out the same amount of money. In other words, it’s always good to verify what the maximum payoffs are, and whether or not there are any progressive jackpot games. While many online casinos do indeed offer scratch-off games, most of them do not come close to the jackpots offered at Scratch 2 Cash.

Yes indeed, Scratch 2 Cash was home to Ivan C’s €100,000 win. Take a look at Ivan’s check again (it’s big, isn’t it?). Now, I realize some of you might be thinking, “sure, that’s a nice jackpot….but how often does it really happen”. Well….let me the count the ways. Let’s just say that over €29 million was won just month by players at Scratch 2 Cash. Yep, we can assume it’s a pretty popular place.

Focusing mainly on scratch-off games, Scratch 2 Cash has become one of the “go to” online destinations for playing scratch cards. There are over fifty to play, many of which have an interactive dimension to help raise the entertainment value even more. Unlike traditional lottery scratch-off cards which are often so confusing you don’t know if you’ve won or not (curious how they do that, isn’t it?), Scratch 2 Cash’s games are simple, fun and to-the-point.

In the case of Ivan’s €100,000 win, it was the “Super Chance” scratch-off that paid out. Super Chance is a fun game that involves scratching off three boxes to reveal potential prize amounts, then spinning a large wheel (kind of like Wheel of Chance), with the hope that it will stop on one of the prize amounts. There are different denomination cards available ($0.50 to $20), and in fact, Super Chance can award up to €200,000. Since Ivan C. was playing a €10 card, he was given the €100,000 (still not too shabby).

It’s always great news to hear about a player winning big gambling online. My favorite part of the press releases are the pictures (Ivan still looks he’s in shock), and their initial reactions. One of my favorites of all-time, Ivan C’s press statement was, “At first I thought it was €1,000, but after looking closer I thought I saw €10,000. I began to count the number of zeros after number 1: there were five. I had won €100,000! I could not believe it. I stayed for fifteen minutes in front of my screen to watch the jackpot flash. Looking at my credit balance, I realized that this was reality.”

Check out Scratch 2 Cash to open a free account today or read the OCS Scratch 2 Cash Review for more information. Open to U.S. players.

Online Gambling Disputes Part II – How to Avoid Getting into an Illegitimate Dispute

Sunday, January 10th, 2010
prevention01

Do Yourself a Favor - Read the Online Casino Terms & Conditions

I know what you’re thinking…Why the “Preventable Causes of Death” graphic? No, online gambling is not a preventable cause of death (thank God…although, the opposition will probably tell you otherwise). I use it as an extreme analogy. Obviously, if you quit smoking you are drastically increasing your chances of preventing death (for the time being, of course). That said, this blog post will teach you how to prevent getting into a dispute with an online casino, which if we’re talking thousands of dollar’s, could be like dying for some of you.

Continuing with our blog series covering online gambling disputes, let’s go back one step, shall we? In the last post, I dished out my two cents worth about how to behave yourself while attempting to resolve a dispute with an online casino. How about not getting into a dispute to begin with? Now, I’ve never been a huge proponent of holistic living (I drink way too much beer for that); However, it’s obvious to me that if you want to avoid getting sick, one of the best things you can do is to incorporate some preventive measures.

In the world of online gambling, the best preventive measure you can take, so as to avoid getting into a dispute come withdrawal time, is to get yourself educated. Of course, part of that includes sorting out the rogue online casinos from the good guys, and the mediocre from the best online casinos – by the way, only settle for the best :). But it shouldn’t end there, although it unfortunately often does with many gamblers.

After picking out a place to wager online, whether it be the bonus offering or customer service that becomes the deciding factor, the next best thing you can do to educate yourself is to read the general terms and conditions imposed by the online casino. Now, I know it can be one of the most boring activities ever to do online. Then again, I’m reminded of the painful experience of filing my taxes online and that driver’s correction course….So ya, it could be worse. And if you happen to break one of the T&C’s, it most definitely will be “worse” come withdrawal time.

Like most anybody out there, I hate to see when a player is denied their withdrawal, simply because the player unknowingly violated one of the casino’s terms and conditions. It is definitely heartbreaking when we’re talking about a huge jackpot win. And as much as I want to cry out “injustice”, the whole debacle could have been avoided if the player had simply read the T &C’s when signing up AND before making a wager or claiming a bonus. Speaking of bonuses, in addition to reading the regular T&C’s, which generally covers withdrawal policies and account activity, players need to always read the full terms and conditions governing a bonus BEFORE claiming any bonus money.

T&C’s are usually posted on separate pages of an online casino’s website, and will take a little digging around in order to find them. See, online casinos, like most businesses in high-volatile industries, don’t like to be up front with everything. They just want to get you in the door. However, they also know that keeping any information from you as required by law is…well…against the law. So, everything you need to know so as to avoid any disputes come withdrawal time, is available for you to read. You just have to know where to look for it.

Now, the general Terms & Conditions are the easiest to find – usually at the very bottom of the casino’s webpage. Like I said before, they mainly cover the terms for opening and maintaining an account, as well as financial matters. Although I know you are going to be a good little newbie online gambler and read the T&C’s even after reading this, here’s the main points covered in the general T&C’s you need to know about:

1) Don’t open two accounts per household. Yes, that means if you have a companion who likes to gamble online, they need to do it at another online casino. And, for that matter, an online casino that is NOT part of the same network at the casino you are playing at. Do some research and ask some questions if you’re not sure.

2) Don’t open another account under a different name. And don’t try to register it at another address (like that of a friend). First off, you know it’s wrong. Secondly, online casinos use very high tech IP address tracking solutions that not even a proxy is going to block.

3) Know your withdrawal limits. Yes, all online casinos impose weekly withdrawal limits, unless we’re talking about a progressive jackpot win, in which the whole thing is eligible for withdrawal at once. If you don’t like the fact that you can’t withdrawal more than $2,000 per week, look for another online casino to open an account with. Don’t worry, the better casinos do indeed offer higher weekly maximums. For example, Go Casino is $8,000/week.

4) Don’t make a single wager until verifying if a bonus is in your account or not. Even if you don’t claim a bonus, some online casinos like to trick you by automatically putting the bonus there. Isn’t that nice of them? They like to call it free money, but we know it’s not. Granted, there are some good bonuses out there. But if you don’t want to be subjugated by bonus T&C’s, don’t make a wager before verifying that your account is clear of any bonuses. It is best to send an email to customer support, who can remove the bonus for you. After making you first wager, however, it’s usually too late, and you will likely have to play out the bonus. If in doubt, ask.

5) Check to see if there are any maximum withdrawal limits on bonus money. This is another trick online casinos like to use. Rather than stating this in the bonus terms and conditions, which are generally posted somewhere else, casinos often will stick this clause in the general T&C’s. The reason they do it is because if most people read it, they won’t claim the bonus. For example, there’s a casino out there (I won’t say who….just know they will never be listed at OCS), that gives away a $25 no-deposit bonus, but in the general T&C’s says the maximum amount of money that can be cashed out from bonus money is only half the amount of the bonus. In other words, if you are working on meeting the 60x play-through on this $25 bonus (see the bonus terms below, if you don’t know what play-through means), and happen to hit a $10,000 jackpot, you will still only be able to cash out $12.50. After doing so, your remaining balance will be set to zero. Ya, I know it sucks. And you know what else? It’s happened to players before – players who did not read the full T&C’s. So, if you do decide to claim a bonus, make sure you also read the general T&C’s.

BONUS TERMS

As for bonuses, their terms and conditions are generally split up on three different screens. One is the aforementioned general casino T&C’s. Another is the main promotions page. The third is generally linked to the main promotions page. In fact, if the full bonus T&C’s are not published on the main promotions page, the online casino is required by law to have the remaining terms accessible from this page. Look for something along the lines of “Click Here for Bonus Terms” or “Further Conditions”. It’s generally in small writing. Go figure, right? Now, here are the bonus terms to be aware of (generally posted on this secondary page).

1) Don’t request a deposit before meeting the play-through. The play-through is the amount of money you must wager before becoming eligible to make a withdrawal. It is a number multiplied by the amount of the bonus and corresponding deposit. For example, a 100% match bonus with a $100 deposit equated to $200. A 20x play-through on this bonus would be $200 x 20 = $4,000. Here’s the catch. If you request a withdrawal before the entire play-through is met, all of your winnings will be deemed null and void. So don’t get excited after making a big win and instantly requesting a deposit. You’ll be in for a big surprise when all you see is your original deposit amount.

2) Don’t wager at online casino games that are not eligible for meeting the play-through. Most bonuses only permit wagers at specific games – slots mostly. Even if you know that a wager won’t go toward the play-through, but simply want to make a bet on a non-eligible game anyways, don’t do it. Not only will the wager not go toward the play-through, it will turn all bonus winnings null and void. Ya, another little term online casinos like to use to slip you up with.

Other than these, there’s not really any more tricks in the bag online casino terms – at least that I know about. If so, please do tell us about it. Above all else, if you want to avoid getting yourself into an illegitimate dispute (meaning one in which you didn’t know you violated a T&C, and consequently, one in which you won’t win), ALWAYS read the full terms and conditions (general AND bonus terms) BEFORE opening an account and/or depositing money with an online casino.

In our next post, we’ll be discussing how not to be a cheating player. As if that will dissuade. Well, let’s hope so.

Online Gambling Disputes Part I – How to Go About Resolving a Legitimate Dispute

Sunday, January 10th, 2010
Honey absolutely catches more rogue flies than vinegar!

Honey absolutely catches more rogue flies than vinegar!

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Honey catches more flies than vinegar”? Well, I’m hear to tell you that it’s true…and it applies to online casino gambling in more ways than you might think. Case in point: We receive a lot of complaints here at Online Casino Suite. Thankfully, these complaints are not about us, nor the online casinos listed and recommended in our online casino reviews section. Take a look at our  casino complaints forum, which we just launched little over a month ago, and you will see what I mean.

Dealing with complaints has certainly been a learning experience. I have to admit that, considering some of the shadiness that has been perpetrated by a number of online casinos over the years, I am quick to immediately jump to the side of the player who says they have not been paid out their rightful winnings. And rightfully so – I mean, we are, after all, an online gambling guide for player’s. But you know what? Sometimes player’s are just as bad as the rogue online casinos. Heck, sometimes player’s are worse than the most rogue casinos of all! But that’s for another blog. In fact, let’s just make this a two-part series, shall we? Better yet – a three part series.

Part I: How to go about resolving a legitimate online casino dispute?

Part IIHow do you avoid getting yourself into an illigitimate online casino dispute?

Part III: In defense of the Casino – When the player is the rogue.

So, going back to the “Honey catches more flies than vinegar” analogy, let’s discuss how to go about resolving a legitimate dispute with an online casino.

Now, I know it might sound like common sense to some of you, yet it certainly needs to be said considering how many players actually do it. Don’t start off a complaint by making threats and cursing out the customer service representative. First of all, the person you are dealing with is most likely just going by the “standard protocol”, and really can’t go out of the system, so to speak, to suit your request anyways. Secondly, this person can potentially be your asset. If you are downright rude to them, you can expect them not to give you a positive report card to their superior – aka, the person who can make you a happy online gambler. In other words, don’t burn your bridges early on by spitting out vinegar. Honey always works better.

Of course, I can understand if you have been waiting several months for a withdrawal, and keep being told that your money is on the way, that there comes a certain point when you are ready to start making threats. As tempting as it is (and justifiable), don’t do it. Remember, your ultimate goal is to get paid. The sooner the better of course. So, what do you do when you find yourself at a roadblock? Simply and quietly, begin contacting third party mediators, one-by-one. The first thing to do is to contact the software licensor and the licensing jurisdiction. If the casino happens to be approved by a reputable third-party offering mediation services, contact them. A good example is eCOGRA (However, if the casino is not approved by eCOGRA, don’t contact eCOGRA….make sense?).

Granted, if you go through the software provider and/or regulatory jurisdiction, it will probably take longer to get your dispute resolved. You may also want to contact a third party watchdog that has some credibility in the industry. Not to brag or anything, but Online Casino Suite is a good example. Another would be Casino Meister. Having a strong player community, not to mention affiliate relationships with some operators, gives portals like ourselves a good amount of weight in helping resolve disputes. Just be sure to abstain from engaging several mediator’s at once. There will most likely involve negotiations in coming to a settlement – and there will only be ONE settlement.

Some people might disagree and say that online casino operators won’t come around unless you “make a stink”. However, our experience shows us that Teddy Roosevelt got it right when he said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick”.

Online Casino Suite Finds Exclusive VIP Bonus at Club World Casinos This Weekend

Friday, January 8th, 2010

The Club World Casinos Group probably has to be the busiest and most loaded online casino group right now, judging by the size of the bonuses they are dishing out across their network of US, UK and Euro online casinos. Just yesterday, we reported on a huge batch of weekend bonuses being given out by Club World’s newly vamped Aladdin’s Gold Casino (see previous blog entry). Now, ClubUSA Casino and friends are giving away what some affiliates are calling a VIP high roller bonus.

Let it be known that Online Casino Suite received an “insider” email (if that’s what you can call it), announcing a massive 450% bonus using the claim code WEEKEND450. Only available this weekend, it is a generous offer that can be claimed for up to $4,500 Free. Judging by the wager requirements, it is a great bonus for slots fans – The play-through is a reasonably low 25x, and there is no maximum cashout on bonus winnings (just the normal weekly withdrawal minimum of $3,000, excluding progressive jackpot wins).

Two additional complimentary bonuses are GOODSTART75 and GOODSTART40 – the former being a 75% slots bonus worth up to $1,000 Free, with 25x play-through that can be claimed up to thirty (30) times between now and 11:59 pm, Monday, January 11, 2010. GOODSTART40 is the same bonus, but allowing wagers on Blackjack, Video Poker and all table games with a 45x play-through. This too can be claimed between now and Monday (11:59 pm EST), up to twenty (20) times.

As I said, this is an insider bonus, so you won’t see it listed on Club USA Casino’s Promotions Page. You will have to claim it within the cashier section of the software platform after logging in. Please do leave a comment on this blog if you have any problems claiming any of the aforementioned offers. And as always, even though we have disclosed the terms and conditions you need to know about, it is always advised that player’s read the entire bonus terms and conditions, as well as general terms and conditions if you are new and/or unfamiliar with your casino host. As for Club World, there are as transparent and forthcoming as online casinos get. Just don’t open more than one account per household, per name (I hope you only have one name), don’t make any charge backs and stay away from wagering on restricted games and you will be fine.

Read the OCS Club World Casinos Review for more information on this highly-rated, RTG-powered online casino group managed out of the UK.

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