Posts Tagged ‘are online casinos safe’

Online Casino Sites: Casino Gardening 101

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

online casino gardeningWith any increase in demand, popularity and growth of any given industry, to participate to the fullest – to truly enjoy – one must be able to do a little gardening to reap the full benefits.

If you haven’t noticed already, online casino sites are popping up like weeds in your garden. This is due to the ongoing growth explosion of online casino gambling. But just like any other industry, there will be copycats, sites developed too quickly, and online casino portals that are just not on the up-and-up, folks.

We’re not talking about the casinos themselves (well, at least not all of them). In fact, truly regulated online casinos have more hurdles to jump through than ever before, and by now, you probably have a favorite online casino that you are already loyal to and that is loyal to you. On the contrary, we’re mostly speaking of the thousands and thousands of portals that have popped up to attract casino players with their biased reviews, ratings, and shiny new come-hither web designs, but with zero culpability.

But there is tremendous value to a credible portal online casino site. Because the online gambling industry is ever changing with new developments and technology, you’ll want to literally stay in the game by staying up to date via a quality online gambling portal, such as Your’s Truly, Online Casino Suite, aka OCS.

Anyone can create a website these days, but not everyone builds a quality, candid, informational online casino site. Of the thousands of websites surrounding casino gambling, OCS can cite a few that deserve to earn player trust.

Online casino sites catering to players that are truthful and full of actual knowledge about specific online casinos and the industry that surrounds internet gambling are much harder to find than an actual online casino. If I’ve learned anything from playing online for real money, it’s that you need to know more than just the casino’s rules and regulations. This is a burgeoning industry with new legal developments and casino software updates almost every day worldwide. Casino sites that provide you with this information are a good friend to you and will definitely keep your garden weed-free!

Now, back to the flower garden we go. Think of it this way, you get the best looking flowers from a little work and maintenance. The same goes for online casino gambling. You need an online casino site that provides very detailed, comprehensive online casino reviews. These reviews should always include important topics like casino accreditation, who specifically owns the casino, ongoing or new promotions, and bonus details revealing if said bonuses are actually true and free of “fine print”.

Sites like Online Casino Suite never willingly promote any bonus or promotion that is false. And believe me, there are way too many online casino sites that are loaded with junk and outright false information. Please take a look at the reviews right here on this specific site and notice the detailed information about each and every casino recommended. Precise terms are stated and updated continually.

Also, any casino site worth spending your non-gambling-time at will provide actual player feedback and interactive forums where real players are engaging with others and sharing actual experiences. This is so important. A junk site full of weeds simply contains unchecked information and zero responsibility.

Another way to tell if an online casino site is legit is by checking for an updated blog where interaction is taking place – a site where work is being done and an investment into the industry is taking place. A quality casino site will share the latest casinos that have been blacklisted and which do not hold current licensing.

Last but not least (going hand-in-hand with a blog), breaking casino industry news is another important component for a weed-free casino gambling experience. If there is new information in this industry (and there always is), you’ll need to know about it.

Let your garden grow folks! Find the best seeds and benefits from all the things a healthy, well maintained gambling experience has to offer. Sites like Online Casino Suite are dedicated to this industry and therefore I recommend you to dedicate a few minutes of your time each day staying updated and in the game with casino reviews, bonus and software updates, news, and more. Engage in our blog and talk to others about their experiences with online casinos sites and gambling online!

The GPWA Affiliate Program Sponsors Seal: What it Means for You, the Player

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

gpwa1Grande Vegas Casino was in the news recently, including a write-up here on the OCS blog. Just a refresher: Two lucky players were awarded an all-expenses-paid trip to the famous Foxwoods Casino Resort in Connecticut. If that isn’t giving away business, I don’t know what is!

Anyhow, Grande Vegas has been an approved online casino here at OCS for about a year now. Besides meeting all of our minimum requirements for a listing in our online casino reviews directory, Grande Vegas has a few other accreditations under it’s belt, and I thought it would be a perfect time to talk about one of these accreditations right now.

Introducing the Gambling Portal Webmasters Association (GPWA). For all you players who don’t happen to be affiliates of online casinos, the GPWA is a non-profit, professional organization composed of webmasters working in the online gambling industry. With over 10,000 members, the GPWA is the largest and most active organization of its kind. Free to join, the GPWA is financially supported via affiliate program sponsorship.

In essence, what the GPWA does is give online casino affiliates (such as yours truly) a union-like power that allows affiliates to wield their powerful influence in the online marketing sector. It also helps affiliates secure more favorable financial deals and ensure timely payment of commissions and advertising revenue.

That said, it’s reassuring to know that Grande Vegas Casino is a member and sponsor of the Gambling Portal Webmasters Association, boasting the GPWA Seal on their website. Just as affiliates are upheld to high standards of responsible affiliate marketing, sponsor online casinos are held to a similar Code of Conduct. The provisions of which include the following:

– Abide by all regulatory and licensing laws of the jurisdiction in which business takes place.

– Does not engage in deceitful or misleading promotional marketing or boast false accreditations and business practices.

– Publicly discloses all rules and registration guidelines pertaining to players and affiliates.

– Does not engage in unethical marketing practices.

– Processes withdrawals and payments in accordance with published T&C’s.

– Promptly responds to and handles complaints by affiliates for both affiliate issues and those submitted by players of affiliates.

– Accepts responsibility for complying with the above terms.

If you are a player and reading this, you should know that you are in good hands when you play at a GPWA approved online casino. You are in even better hands, when you find an affiliate site, such as yours truly, Online Casino Suite, that publishes a recommendation to play at said online casino. In other words, if you have a complaint about Grande Vegas Casino, or any casino listed on our site – okay, any casino period 🙂 – please register at our player’s forum and post your complaint here: http://onlinecasinosuite.com/forum/

Do You Know 100% for Sure You’re Getting a Fair Hand at Online Casinos?

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

I don’t want to be one to gloss things over or shy away from accepting the “big picture”, so let me just say that many a U.S. online gambler is getting ripped off and doesn’t even know it.

How’s that you ask? How could I ever know such a thing unless I myself was doing or taking part in said ripping off? Well then, for all of you who would find it hard to believe that an unregulated online casino would do such a thing as steal money from under your nose, I beseech you to break out the smelling salts.

While the internet certainly breeds a convenience factor for online gamblers, not to mention all sorts of “free” promotions, the sheer fact that anyone can launch an online casino from just about anywhere in the world, means there’s a greater chance of coming across a shady enterprise.

This is nowhere more apparent than the waves of business activity that befall the still-in-demand U.S. internet betting market. Even with the dropping out of the top online casino software developers from the American market, there have been plenty of online casinos to sprout from thin air and take in millions of dollars from the coffers of gambling hungry Americans.

And no, not all of them are doing so honestly. If you look thoroughly enough at an online casino’s website, there is a good chance you will find something about “fairness”. I mean, let’s face it, you should, should you not? Any online casino that doesn’t brag about it’s fair odds isn’t doing much to earn player trust.

However, saying the games are fair isn’t enough – at least not in today’s unregulated American market. Sure, if the casino was being regulated by an esteemed gambling commission, this would speak for itself. However, even those online casinos which are regulated in strict jurisdictions are still forthright with their credentials and ongoing performance on the odds front. In other words, making payout percentage reports available for perusal should be a given.

However, many a so-called US online casino does not publish monthly payout reports, nor provide details about their regulatory requirements.

Now, some people will point out this doesn’t necessarily mean the online casino is cheating anyone. One could theorize that if an online casino never paid it’s players out, it would eventually go out of business due to word of mouth. However, the grim reality is that online casino operators have the capability of changing the software source code and subjecting players to unfair odds. That way, nobody gets paid out because there is no money to be paid out.

In a way, online gambling is like living in New York City. A slum lord doesn’t care if you move out and proclaim to everyone how sleazy of a landlord he is. The slum lord knows there will be another commuter, another transient, another life coming and going through the city that never sleeps, and who will rent out your old apartment, never the wiser…that is, until the person reaches the day in which the truth of the landlord becomes clear…and the vicious cycles repeats itself yet again.

So what’s the big deal about publishing a monthly payout report anyway? If you ask me, to not publish a payout report is prone to cause suspicion. What is the online casino hiding? Why are they holding back? I mean, come on, it’s not that difficult to have a payout report published. Apparently, these online casinos do not honor the concept of earning player trust, but rather, are in the business of taking money from uneducated bettors. But you can’t really blame ’em, can you. If players are willing to cough up their money, no questions asked, of course they are going to take it.

Remember, lot’s of these online casinos are not even being properly regulated. There certainly are a handful of honest operators, who despite not being required to meet certain regulatory standards, do so anyway on their own accord. These online casinos are the minority, however. The fact of the matter is that the other 90% of US facing online casinos could or could not be offering a safe and fair hand. Do you want to take that risk? Or would you rather get educated first. If it’s the latter, by all means, stick around here at OCS. Join our Online Casino Forum and start asking questions.

eCOGRA Reports Less Complaints Per Approved Safe and Fair Online Casino

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010
eCOGRA Reports Fewer Dispute Mediations in 2010

eCOGRA Reports Fewer Dispute Mediations in 2010

In terms of raising the standards of online casino transparency, eCOGRA has definitely achieved the most success of any other non-profit (heck, for-profit) in business today. Operating with this end in mind, eCOGRA ensures online casinos are operating fairly and responsibly, and also provides player assistance if/when dispute resolution services are needed.

The eCOGRA “Safe and Fair Seal” is bestowed to internet gaming operators who pass a comprehensive inspection and audit, and who continually meet ongoing requirements to par with government regulation. In fact, eCOGRA’s seal requirements are more stringent than many a so-called online gambling commission. In terms of building player trust, there are no better sites than eCOGRA online casinos.

Unfortunately, most, if not all online casinos boasting the eCOGRA Safe and Fair Seal are closed to U.S. players. It goes to show what happens when the government attempts to impose bans rather than regulating, and consequently, putting an end to the underground market. But that’s for another blog post.

As for eCOGRA, let’s just say they have taken the complete opposite approach and are doing their job with flying colors. As mentioned, one of eCOGRA’s tasks is to provide dispute mediation for players at eCOGRA-approved online casinos. In a perfect world, there would be no disputes whatsoever. However, we all know this isn’t a perfect world.

The fact of the matter is that online casinos AND players make mistakes. When the two sides can’t exactly agree on how to fix said mistake, that’s when eCOGRA’s Fair Gaming Advocate, Tex Rees, steps in. As reported by Rees, the first half of 2010 has thus far generated less dispute mediation requests than the same time last year. What’s even more impressive is that eCOGRA has eleven more approved online casinos than last year.

Breaking the numbers down, Rees reports there were a total of 376 complaints, of which 287 were deemed valid. The remaining 89 invalid complaints were either due to insufficient detail, irrelevance, player abuse, anonymity or pertaining to a non-eCOGRA approved online casino.

Further attesting to the sway of eCOGRA, 76% of all valid complaints were resolved within 48 hours, of which nearly half (47%) were resolved in favor of the player. 43% of the disputes were pertaining to withdrawals (down from 51%), 21% regarding bonus issues and another 21% pertaining to locked accounts.

This averages to 11.03 disputes per week, which correlates to 0.34 disputes per awarded “Safe and Fair Seal” (lower than last year’s rate of 0.37). As Rees points out in her report, these numbers must also be gauged in light with increased transactions with players.

Said Rees, “We can attribute a portion of this drop in disputes to the fact that we have now been working with many of the Seal operations for several years and as a consequence a number of policies and procedures have been developed that translate to less cause for disputes. Our operators are also better equipped and motivated to deal with disputes at the operator level, which results in eCOGRA receiving fewer complaints.”

Summing it up, Rees stated “This level of performance is satisfactory and well within the standards we have set for our operators.”

Well, considering all the complaints Online Casino Suite receives regarding non-eCOGRA approved online casinos (and non-OCS approved casinos at that), we can’t disagree. Congrats eCOGRA! Keep up the good work!

Go Casino and Online Vegas Publishing CFG Monthly Payout Reports by Jacobson Gaming

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

CFG-SealThere’s no doubt you’ve heard of Go Casino and Online Vegas Casino, especially if you’ve surfed amongst the pages here at OCS. Rated in the Top 10 of all online casinos approved and reviewed at OCS, Online Vegas and Go Casino have endured the test of time and earned a fantastic track record with players from all around the world, including the USA. Owned and managed by the same company, Curacao-based Favian International N.V., Go Casino and Online Vegas are an exemplary definition of self-imposed transparency.

What I mean by this, is that unlike other online casinos which either lack in transparency completely (i.e., many of the gaming establishments based in Costa Rica) or are mandated to maintain a high standard of transparency (i.e., eCOGRA approved online casinos), Go Casino and Online Vegas hold themselves up to their own high standard of transparency.

So, what exactly do I mean when I say “transparent”? Well, first and foremost, a transparent online casino is one which does not just tell it’s customers how safe and fair they are, but provides documents prepared by recognized and accredited third parties attesting the same. The three most important documents you, the player, should always look for is a validation seal provided by the authority in charge of regulating the online casino, a software fairness seal attesting to the inherent fairness and proper functioning of the Random Number Generator (RNG) programmed into the software, and lastly, monthly payout percentage reports.

It’s important to have all three of these documents, or at least the first and the third, because a software validation seal alone does not guarantee the online casino isn’t tweaking the source code from month to month, especially when the casino is not being strictly regulated or not regulated at all (as is the case in Costa Rica). The payout percentage report essentially tells all.

That said, after the “glowing” introduction for Go Casino and Online Vegas, it should go without saying that these two online casinos have all three of these documents to show for. And the great thing about it all, is that they aren’t even required to do so. Is that a gesture of good faith, or what? While Go Casino and Online Vegas are certainly regulated on an ongoing basis (through the Curacao eGaming Licensing Authority; Netherlands, Antilles), until recently, they were not even required to link to a regulatory validation seal. Now, you can see that seal on the homepage of both casinos (as can you at all online casinos licensed in Curacao).

What’s even better, is that both Go Casino and Online Vegas are now publishing monthly payout percentage reports prepared by the esteemed independent software testing house, Certified Fair Gambling (Jacobson Gaming), which is overseen by mathematics and analysis expert, Dr. Eliot Jacobson (jacobsongaming.com), and whose associates include the likes of actuary, Michael Shackelford (The Wizard of Odds). They also hold credentials attesting to the inherent fairness of their licensed software platform: Vegas Technology.

So, just what do the numbers say, pray tell? See them for yourself! Here is the pdf document for the Go Casino June 2010 Payout Report and the Online Vegas June 2010 Payout Report. In the future, just click the CGF logo on the homepage of both casinos to see the most current payout reports.

This is pretty huge folks, especially for Vegas Technology Software. I can probably count the number of U.S. focused online casinos actually publishing monthly payout reports on one hand – and Go Casino and Online Vegas are two of them.

Now, this isn’t to say that other online casinos are not offering a fair hand or even receiving monthly audits. It’s simply that they are not taking the extra step to publicly share this information with their players and prospective players, at that. This is what online casino operator transparency is all about – and it’s something that we here at OCS will continue to urge other online casinos to step up. Currently, we are directing our efforts to encourage a number of highly rated RTG, Rival and Top Game-powered online casinos to publish monthly payouts.

In the meantime, OCS highly encourages prospective players to visit Go Casino and Online Vegas to claim thousands in free welcome bonus money, free tournament entries, staking a claim at over $410,000 in guaranteed tournament winnings for the month, and yes, getting a safe and fair hand. Read the OCS Go Casino Review and Online Vegas Review for more information.

Making Deposits and Getting Paid With the Help of eCommerce Solutions, DoughFlow

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

DoughFlowFor American’s who like to gamble at online casinos, the first task is to find a place that guarantees a fair and secure bet. In other words, the top priority is to ensure you won’t be getting ripped off by the online casino operator or some cyberspace pirate. Without going into detail about how you actually do that (check out our Best USA Casinos Page for our recommended picks), I suppose the next most important thing in an online casino are the speed and reliability of deposits and payouts.

An unfortunate reality of the passing of the UIGEA was that all of the best third-party eWallets, like Neteller and Click2Pay, stopped processing financial transactions between U.S. citizens and online casinos. And with the recent implementation of the UIGEA into enforceable law, many credit card transactions (MasterCard and Visa) are now being filtered out. Note I said “many” and not “all”. In other words, some U.S. players may still find their credit and debit cards to work beautifully at online casinos.

Of those that do, there’s a good chance the eCommerce software product, DoughFlow, is being used. Having recently showcased at the iGaming Super Show in Prague, DoughFlow is certainly on the minds of many an online casino operator looking to do business with U.S. customers.

Based in Costa Rica, DoughFlow is a licensed software product that is integrated within an online casino’s own computing environment. Allowing for custom configuration with fraud management and payment processing protocols, DoughFlow can be fine tuned to meet the individual needs of operators. For example, if an online casino does not want to accept players residing in a specific U.S. State or country for that matter, the software will filter these transactions automatically.

On the other end of the spectrum, DoughFlow provides advanced features all without the need for programming or software integration. One such advanced feature is called “intelligent transaction routing”, which ensures the highest approval rates for credit cards. Allowing for the use of multiple credit card processors, more players and more transactions can go through without needless and erroneous setbacks.

Before this starts to sound like an advertisement for DoughFlow, let me just say that it’s not. This is really for the benefit of U.S. online gamblers who want to know how it is that online casinos are able to process their deposits and withdrawals. I came across DoughFlow through the iGaming news vine and I have to say I’m very impressed with their professionalism and no-nonsense approach to getting things done.

Curacao eGaming Licensing Authority Issues Logo Validation Seals for Online Casinos

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

curacao_egamingFor anyone who pays attention to the credentials on online casino websites, you might have noticed the Curacao eGaming Licensing Authority logo popping up more often. That’s because Curacao is apparently getting its act together. A popular regulatory jurisdiction for U.S. facing Vegas Tecnology powered online casinos, Curacao hasn’t necessarily been at the forefront of online gambling regulation. Although they have been around for some time, they certainly were never in the same league as Gibraltar, Malta or the UK Gambling Commission.

And while they still are in the minor leagues, so to speak, it’s reasonable to say that Curacao eGaming does just as good a job as Antigua & Barbuda and Kahnawake Gaming Commission at regulating online casinos. They’ve simply been under the radar, mainly because nobody really knew anything about them. Those that did, knew simply that a licensing authority known as Cyberluck was responsible for handling operator applications.

Oh, and of course, many of us content writers and online casino reviewers would be quick to mention the Curacao Internet Gaming Association (CIGA), which is only just that – an association. No, they do not regulate online casinos, although – like in any trade organization – members of the association are obliged to meet best practice standards to remain in good standing within the association. One of these tenants is that online casinos “operate under an internet gaming license issued by the Netherlands Antilles”.

And said internet gaming license is issued in one place and one place only. Formerly known as Cyberluck, Curacao eGaming is the Master Licensing authority appointed by The Netherlands Antilles Department of Justice. In other words, if you want to start an online casino and have it regulated in sunny Curacao, you will need to go through Curacao eGaming (curacao-egaming.com).

Now that Curacao is finding itself more on the map, it’s pleasing to see they are making motions at becoming more transparent, and holding online casino operators to the same standards of transparency. This is precisely why you will see their logo showing up more often as I mentioned earlier. Curacao licensed online casinos, such as Go Casino and Crazy Slots, are now required to display the Curacao eGaming Licensing Authority logo on their homepage, which links to a certificate page citing whether the online casino’s license is valid or invalid.

A valid certificate means that the software platform being used is compliant with jurisdiction requirements, i.e., proper functioning of the RNG and fair odds. The only thing I am unclear about (and something which I intend to email Curacao eGaming about) is that there are no specifics about ongoing compliance regulation posted on the Curacao-eGaming website. The link to a valid certificate goes to a gaminglicenses.com site maintained by another Curacao-based company and CIGA member, Antillephone N.V. In other words, it is AntillePhone N.V. that provides the actual eGaming licensing supervision.

So then, the next step at becoming a transparent regulatory jurisdiction with best practice standards in place – if you ask me – is for AntillePhone to explain exactly what they are supervising and how they are going about doing it. In the meantime, I strongly believe (as do many happy players and professionals in the iGaming industry) that Curacao licensed online casinos are providing tight regulation and ensuring online casino operators are providing a safe and fair hand.

The Basic Things you Should Know About Fraud at Online Casinos

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

Why you should never auto-save your online casino password; Graphic by Lethalman

Why you should never auto-save your login password; Credit:Lethalman

For those people who still don’t trust in the act of making financial transactions over the internet, I have to admit, I can’t entirely blame them. Of course, there are fail-proof ways of securely keeping your money safe on the Web.

Take online banking, for example. Do you really think that banks would dare allow account holders online access if there was even the slightest probability of being hacked? Now, what you do with your money outside of your bank is another matter altogether. And yes, that’s where the fraud that does take place online, well…takes place.

As for online casinos, yes, cases of fraud have occurred.  However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all online casinos pose the possibility of you becoming a victim of fraud. For the sake of this article, I won’t go into great detail about the technological implications in preventing fraud, albeit I will say that all of the online casinos approved and reviewed here at Online Casino Suite use the same technology that the leading financial institutions use to secure and protect the accounts of their customers. Furthermore, the best online casinos have a full-time fraud prevention and detection team, solely working to ensure all transactions are legitimate.

This is precisely why you must fill out a credit/withdrawal faxback authorization form before requesting your first withdrawal at an online casino. Management does not use this information to pull money out your account or sell you personal information, but simply uses it as a proven, effective system to ensure you are indeed the person you say that you are, and consequently, that the money you are requesting to withdrawal is indeed yours!

So, next time you find yourself incurring a slight delay on a withdrawal, don’t automatically assume the online casino is trying to jip you. Depending on your residential jurisdiction, the approval process can take longer than expected. Just know that if you stick to playing at reputable, accredited online casinos, you have nothing to worry.

Of course, you can’t just go around anywhere on the internet giving out your credit card number. As I said, online fraud does indeed take place. Just because an online casino says it is safe and secure and processed billions in transactions, does not mean it’s true. Always verify that the online casino in question is indeed regulated and undergoes audits on a regular basis. Even better, ensure the casino is licensing a reputable software platform that uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL) firewalls to protect your personal information and processes transactions with a minimum of 128-bit encryption.

Online Casino Fairness 101: Turning to eCOGRA for Some Answers

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

fist

How about a fair fist! Demand transparency from online casinos!

I don’t know about everyone else out there, but I have to say that I am increasingly becoming frustrated with the uncertainty of getting a fair hand online gambling these days. With more and more online casinos boasting software fairness accreditation claims, yet no mention of monthly payout reports, I’m beginning to wonder what is really going on behind closed doors.

Maybe there’s other affiliate portal sites out there wondering the same. The only thing is that I don’t hear anybody asking the tough questions that need to be asked. Well then, no more I say! And who better to help the industry with these answers than the purveyor of the highest fairness and transparency standards out there today: eCOGRA.

That said, I, Devon Chappell (on behalf of Online Casino Suite), have decided to start a blog series that takes a close look at how online casinos are regulated in the various jurisdictions out there. By means of writing emails to the necessary parties that can aid in our enlightenment (such as eCOGRA), and then publishing consequent correspondences, our aim is to better educate players. I can’t say if we’ll get the answers we want, but you can’t knock the intent!

Without further ado, email #1:  Legitimacy of Software Fairness Certificates (such as TST & CFG) and the Absence of Payout Reports

Dear eCOGRA,

This is Devon Chappell with Online Casino Suite. We are an eCOGRA approved portal site and would first of all like to thank you for all of your hard work in raising the standards for the online gambling industry. Speaking of which, that is precisely why I am writing today. My question does not necessarily pertain to eCOGRA specifically, yet I could hardly think of a better organization suited to know the correct information. We truly take great pride in being advocates for players, which we believe should include educating them about how it is they actually receive a safe and fair wager online – not just telling them they will get a safe and fair bet.

I understand if you don’t have the time to address these questions. However, I would greatly appreciate any feedback.

I’m fully aware of how the RNG works to deliver fair and random betting results, as well as the basic principle behind source code. However, what I’m not sure about is how exactly this interplays with regulation – more specifically, ongoing regulation. I am also unclear about these online casinos claiming to be approved by Technical Systems Testing, CFG or the like. Many of these online casinos don’t even link to certificates, and of those that do, the certificates are generally from a few years back and only state the name of the software and not the online casino. And, you certainly can’t find certificates at the websites of the folks handing out the certificates themselves!

That being said, I was hoping you could help answer these questions:

Does a fairness accreditation of the software necessarily mean the casino is fair, especially if said casino is regulated in a jurisdiction where source code changes are permitted? Would the casino then need to have an accreditation specifically for its own licensed platform – and a monthly one at that?

How does one know if they are getting a fair wager if an online casino does not have any payout percentage reports to show for?

Lastly, does anyone at eCOGRA know anything about the regulatory protocols of Curacao (Netherlands, Antilles)? We have a few online casinos listed at Online Casino Suite that are licensed in Curacao; however, for the life of us, we can’t find any official website that goes into details about the regulatory protocols here. It’s been said that the Netherlands Department of Justice does an initial due-diligence investigation, and we’ve also come across a “master licensor” known as Cyberluck, yet nothing is said as to how ongoing regulation is maintained.

We’ve heard that, depending on the regulatory jurisdiction, online casino operators are permitted to change their source code. Of course, so long as all the numbers match up come audit time, there is nothing wrong with that.  Do you know which – if any – of the non-UK whitelisted regulatory jurisdictions out there allow online casino operators to change source code? Kahnawake? Antigua? Curacao?

Honestly, Online Casino Suite is not so much concerned about the UK gambling commission and its white-listed jurisdictions, such as Alderney and Gibraltar. However, we are particularly concerned about some of the other jurisdictions out there. Also, we do not know if eCOGRA works closely with TST, but we are beginning to have our doubts about the legitimacy of their logo accreditation. I have tried contacting them to discuss these issues to no avail. And yet, they allow online casinos to display the TST approved logo – but with no actual accreditation to show for. The Rome Partners network of online casinos, including Rome Casino herself (highly reputable, all things considered), still links to a press release from almost a year ago, stating they are approved by TST – but there’s no accreditation to show for!

Sorry to get off track and making this long-winded, however, I am getting very frustrated with the industry! Thank you so much again for everything you guys do, and I pray for the day when regulation will open in the U.S. and Online Casino Suite can promote the hell out of eCOGRA and eCOGRA approved online casinos to the U.S. gaming community!

Dear eCOGRA, Thanks for listening.

Best Regards,

Devon Chappell

Casino Affiliate Programs Community Certification Proving a Success

Friday, April 30th, 2010
CAP: Joining Hands to Make Sure Everybody Gets Paid!

CAP: Joining Hands to Make Sure Everybody Gets Paid!

Earlier this year, OCS reported on the newly launched CAP Community Certification, which for anyone needing a refresher, is a new system that allows affiliates to have a say on which online casino affiliate programs are given a green light to become a “CAP Listed Program”. In other words, instead of allowing just any new affiliate programs to purchase a listing with CAP, prospective affiliate programs must first go through the 10,000+ affiliates composing what amounts to the largest business generator for the vast majority of online casinos today.

A noble and innovative approach for approving affiliate programs (to say the least), OCS is happy to report CAP’s new community certification program is off and running and has thus far been a major success. But before explaining exactly how the program works, let me first take a paragraph or two or there or four to explain what an affiliate program is for anyone not in the know. Sorry all you industry folk out there who may consider this child’s play, but OCS is first and foremost dedicated to the player community.

That said, let me explain what a casino affiliate program is. If you haven’t noticed already, when you do a search on any of the major search engines to find a new online casino to play at, you have a better chance of coming across a portal site dedicated to reviewing and promoting certain online casinos than you will actual online casinos. This is great in the sense that many of these review portals serve as a one-stop shop for finding the best online casinos to play at, although there is a chance you will come across some bias while doing so.

The reason being is that all of these review sites are affiliates of the casinos they promote. What that means is that for every referred player, the affiliate gets paid. There are different types of revenue sharing deals, but for the sake of this article, let’s just say that it’s in the financial interests of the affiliates to refer players. Of course, this poses a conflict of interest when it comes time to being “objective” in an affiliate review of an online casino. However, there are so many online casinos vying for affiliate promotion (considering its the affiliate websites that generally dominate the search engine rankings), that it is within the interests of the online casinos to run a reputable and trustworthy business operation.

In other words, the leading affiliate portals in business today are dedicated to only promoting those online casinos which can be trusted to pay their player, which in effect, means the affiliates themselves stand to be paid for their referrals. Considering the competition that is out there, the affiliate business model lends itself for affiliates to promote online casinos which are going to generate positive customer ratings and testimonials. In effect, this means they will stand to gain more business in the future. With all of the player forums and watchdog affiliate sites (like OCS) out there, rogue online casinos simply do not have a chance to thrive. Rip off the first player, that’s the fault of the online casino. Rip off a second player, that’s the fault of the second player! Get my drift?

That said, when a casino affiliate program gets approved by CAP’s cmmunity (which requires at least an 80% approval rating), there is a VERY good chance the online casino being promoted by said affiliate program is going to be a solid place to wager real money at. It definitely ensures the online casino holds all of the necessary regulatory credentials to guarantee a safe and fair wager online. Before, when the approval process was based simply on being able to afford paid advertising, there was a greater chance of the affiliate program not turning out on the up-and-up.

In order to be eligible for a CAP community certification, an online casino affiliate program must hold a regular listing with CAP for a period of at least six months and must have a dedicated affiliate manager for handling affiliate relations. Voting lasts for a period of one month, followed by a tally of the approval rating. If, as mentioned, at least 80% of the tallied votes approve of the affiliate program, a CAP Community Certification Seal will be awarded to the affiliate program, which will also be listed in an exclusive section on the CAP website. To date, seven affiliate programs have been approved, including that which manages U.S. facing Doyle’s Casino. Five additional programs are currently up for voting.

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