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Documenting Your Correspondence and Play While Inside the Online Casino is Always Better Safe Than Sorry

23 July 2010 by Devon Chappell

If only online gambling existed when this movie was made...

If only online gambling existed when this movie was made...

I recently came upon a forum post here at Online Casino Suite, in which our very own, Suitee, made a comment regarding how important it is to document one’s entire betting experience at any online casino. Whether such documentation includes keeping copies of all emails and live chat transcripts and or video taping one’s actual gaming session, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Not that every online casino out there is ready and willing to cheat you at any given moment, it’s simply that – just like in real life – shit happens.

Needless to say, it’s always advised to get things in writing when dealing with customer service at an online casino. Me personally, I wouldn’t even bother making the toll-free telephone call unless it’s about something menial, like what deposit methods are accepted or whether or not there are going to be any free roll slots tournaments in the coming week. Heck, you could even call just to see if someone answers – preferably a person who has a grasp of the English language. When it comes down to money matters, live chat is the best way to go if you want a fast answer, while email is always a surefire way to keep a detailed record of all your correspondences. Just be sure if you are using live chat to correspond with an online casino that you have a chat software module that enables you to record chat sessions downloaded onto your computer.

As for actually using a video camera to record betting sessions while inside the online casino, admittedly, this is something that takes a little more time, and is something which most players find to be a burden. If you don’t have a video camera, you might just want to look into some video recording software programs out there, which you can install directly onto your computer. Either way, you should record all your playing sessions. It’s really easier than you might think. Plus, if you’re ever one of the unlucky one’s to experience a software malfunction on a multi-thousand dollar win, you wouldn’t even think twice about hitting the record button.

Let me first say that software malfunctions are rare. Getting timed out while in the middle of a bet does happen more often (primarily due to one’s internet connection speed and ISP). However, the best online casinos use software that records the finished hand result even if it can’t be seen on the user’s end. Simply log back into the software platform, and the finished hand result (as well as any wager outcomes) will be updated and available for your perusal.

Even if a slot machine freezes immediately after the final spinning reel outcome and does not award the correct winning amount, online casino staff on the backend will be able to see the malfunction and manually adjust any wager discrepancies at a later time. Again, this does happen, albeit a rarity.

Of course, it helps if you have documented proof of such a malfunction – especially when we are talking about thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. For smaller wins, most online casino managers will step up to the plate and make any necessary changes to one’s balance (for the better) to reflect the payout that would have gone through had not the reels frozen up.

However, when dealing with a smaller online casino – perhaps under-regulated in an offshore jurisdiction like Costa Rica – there is a greater chance the online casino will ignore the malfunction altogether, ignore the players request for a balance correction, and in some cases, ban the player from logging back into his or her account.

This, my friends, is where the power of video documentation comes into play. Let’s say you had videotaped your gaming session and it had captured the actual moment in which the slot reels froze, you would then have substantial evidence that would be hard to dispute. Of course, this wouldn’t make a difference with the roguest of the rogue online casinos. But then again, you are an avid reader of OCS, so you wouldn’t even be playing at a rogue online casino to begin with, now would you? 🙂

How would the online casino know your evidence is something that was not doctored in PhotoShop or another graphics editing program of the like? Well, let’s just say that they would. Still frame captures have been used as evidence in the past for some highly noteworthy dispute mediations, and guess what? On more than one occasion, such still frames were found to be fraudulently doctored at the hands of skilled, albeit immoral gamblers looking for big payout.

On the contrary, timecoded videotape is rock-hard evidence. All it takes is setting up a small camera with decent resolution on a tripod just a few feet away from your computer screen. Use the zoom to frame in close on the screen and hit the record button whenever you start a new gambling session. While you will be changing out multiple tapes in rotation, all you really need is just one. At the end of 60 minutes (most mini DV tapes are 60 minutes in length, although I’ve seen 90 minute tapes), simply rewind the tape and begin recording over again.

Of course, if there was an online casino software malfunction that happened along the way, set that tape to the side to use for documented evidence. On that note, you might want to change out tapes with ten minutes padding at the end, just to prevent the tape ending midway in a wager. Also, be sure to label saved tapes and slide the “record over” tab in the direction that prevents the tape to be recorded over in the future. You wouldn’t want to inadvertently erase over your evidence.

Now, in terms of transferring said footage to your computer for use as an MPG4 or .mov attachment, all you need is to open Windows Movie Maker (for PC’s) or iMovie (for Mac’s) both of which are free programs on your respective computer platform. Very self explanatory, these programs will allow you to peruse through your footage and capture the exact section of videotape (by means of firewire…not a USB), which you would like to keep. The footage will then be saved in a format that can be shared via email, and that’s it!

While the primary hope is that you personally will never need to use such footage to dispute a win, I can’t stress enough how much having that record button on will ease your mind. It’s not going to hurt anything – and once you have a software program installed on your computer or the camera set up and ready to go, there’s nothing to it.

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