Posts Tagged ‘online casino blacklist’

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

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

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.

Jackpots Heaven Online Casino Under the Knife at Casino Meister Forum

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Jackpots Heaven Casino Gets Prodded!

Jackpots Heaven Casino Gets Prodded!

For anyone out there who thinks the days of lawless online casinos are no more, think again. Sure, it’s certainly not as bad as it used to be, but the fact remains there are rogue online casinos out there in the business of stealing your money, your identity, and certainly your peace of mind. This is no scare tactic folks. Them be dangerous waters out there!

While OCS is not here to deliver any guilt or innocence in regards to what this post recounts, players need to make up their own minds based on the information that is out there. Case in point was the recent turn of events that brought about the micro-surgery of Jackpots Heaven Online Casino. Nevermind the fact the casino is still online and taking player’s money, as far you should be concerned – since you are reading this – well…you need to think carefully before playing at Jackpots Heaven. Here’s why:

A player and longtime forum member of the highly respected online casino watchdog portal, Casino Meister, started off by making a forum post – innocently enough – expressing doubt that Jackpots Heaven Casino was not delivering fair odds on their Baccarat game. This prompted other forum members to give a closer look at Jackpots Heaven, and ended up revealing a whole lot more than unfair odds!

The irony of the situation is that the original forum post to begin with was not entirely justified, considering the player’s test sample of the Baccarat game was not large enough to accurately verify a discrepancy in odds. In other words, there was no “proof” per say, that Jackpots Heaven Casino was delivering unfair odds – the player was merely raising suspicion. But, considering what was dug up thereafter, it’s certainly understandable why the red flags were drawn.

The “thread” that started undoing the sweater of Jackpots Heaven was wielded by a Casino Meister forum member who decided to do some fine-print investigation by means of reading over the terms and conditions posted on the Jackpots Heaven Casino website. What this gumshoe found was certainly concerning. In one section of the terms, it was stated that Jackpots Heaven was licensed in Costa Rica under a company registration license #, followed by a random chain of digits, yet in another section of the terms a different set of numbers was used for licensing credentials. That’s worthy of an eyebrow raise.

On top of this, the terms also stated that Jackpots Heaven was regulated by the “Lotteries and Gaming Authority of Costa Rica”, when in fact, there is no such entity. Apparently, the owners, who are virtually based in the UK, were either trying to ride off the credibility of the Lotteries and Gaming Authority of Malta, which is one of the most respected online gambling jurisdictions in operation today, or simply did not know any better. Turns out it was the latter.

Here’s the catch – Even with Jackpots Heaven being licensed in Costa Rica, there is no regulation of online casinos in Costa Rica – the Costa Rica Commerce, Industry and Economy Ministry merely hands out operator licenses, but does not enforce regulatory standards. In other words, unless there’s a history of trust and a good reputation, playing at a Costa Rican based online casino poses more risk on average. The fact that Jackpots Heaven casino servers are not even based in Costa Rica, but rather, registered in the UK, where the server address is being sent to a cloaked dns server leading to Panama (which a Costa Rica gambling licenses does indeed allow, mind you – a remote license of sorts), will understandably draw suspicion – especially when there is no transparency about such a trail of redirects.

As more Casino Meister forum members began to jump on the bandwagon, so to speak, an increasing number of red flags were revealed about Jackpots Heaven. Another member found a passage in the terms directly lifted off the website of another questionable online casino, Casino Riva, thus bringing about suspicion that Jackpots Heaven was associated with Casino Riva. The player then proceeded to engage a customer service rep via live chat and asked if the two online casinos were indeed associated, to which the rep replied “Yes”. As the player began to dig more, the rep mysteriously turned on a dime and said the two were not associated – definitely something that makes you go hmmmm? Furthermore, screen shots of the software being used by Jackpots Heaven reveal graphics trademark infringement against top-shelf software developers, Playtech and Microgaming.

At one point, a rep/manager for Jackpots Heaven going by the name of Raphael Taub stepped in and embarrassingly tried to offer an explanation for the blunderings of the casino customer service rep. Getting nowhere with the players on Meister’s forum who persisted to ask the simple questions that Taub either could not or would not answer, he only dug a deeper hole for Jackpots Heaven, and eventually resorted to making legal threats.

The fact of the matter is that not every online casino, sportsbook or poker room based out of Costa Rica or Panama is a crook. We can’t for certain say that Jackpots Heaven Casino are crooks. Although regulations are more lax in Costa Rica, there are a good handful of top tier online gambling operators doing a fine job to ensure they are regulated by third parties. It all comes down to the history of the operator of their standing in the online gambling industry. But considering the fact that Jackpots Heaven went out of its way to hide where it’s based from, not to mention suspicion of association with Casino Riva and trademark infringement of Playtech and Microgaming Software, OCS believes this warrants a warning. And thus Jackpots Heaven Casino goes onward to the OCS Online Casino Blacklist for the time being.