Posts Tagged ‘technical systems testing’

The Lack of Transparency of Technical Systems Testing (TST) Online Casino Fairness Certifications

Monday, July 19th, 2010

Handing out RNG Certifications Quick and Easy, but so what?

Handing out RNG Certifications Quick and Easy, but so what?

First off, let me just say that I’m in somewhat of a bad mood. Therefore, if I come across as a little caustic and biting in regards to what I’m about to pontificate on, you’ll know it’s not entirely without merit. Heck, I’m probably not giving myself enough credit, considering I’m generally a very nice guy. Living here in Brooklyn, NY, some people would even say “too nice”. In other words, I think many of you may very well agree that I have a goddamn right to be pissed off.

Let’s begin then, shall we? So, about a month ago, the team here at Online Casino Suite (small but powerful, let me tell ya) decided to start an in-depth blog series uncovering the finer points of online gambling regulation. In particular, we thought it would be most helpful to explore the range of independent fairness certifications being awarded to online casinos regulated in “iffy” jurisdictions or those not receiving any regulation whatsoever, i.e., Costa Rica. I’ve said this a million times over, but I guess one can’t say it enough – Costa Rica does not regulate online casinos. They simply hand out business licenses. Woo Hoo! Go Costa Rica! Right?

Anyhow, we decided to contact these online casino software “fairness certifiers” one by one, asking them if they would be so kind to explain just how far these certifications can guarantee a safe hand, and depending on the type of certification and the regulatory jurisdiction, whether or not some online casinos are potentially offering less fair odds than others.

The big software fairness certifiers – as you may already know – are Technical Systems Testing, Certified Fair Gaming, Gambling Associates, Price Waterhouse Coopers, BMM International and eCOGRA. And of course, many of the top government-run regulatory jurisdictions, such as the UK, Gibraltar and Malta, do certifying of their own.

Of all of these aforementioned companies, we decided to start with Technical Systems Testing, otherwise known as TST – the main reason being that we have come across more irregularities with online casinos boasting a certification with TST. For example, the most popular group of online casinos operating on the Top Game Software platform, Rome Partners, sports a TST fairness logo on the homepage of their sites. However, not only does this logo link to a press release from nearly a year ago (not an actual certification), the press release describes an accreditation of the Top Game software platform, not of each individual online casino.

Why does this matter? Well, for one, it is unclear which regulatory jurisdictions allow online casino operators to change the source code of their RNG. This is essentially what delivers a fair hand or more or less fair hand. So, for an online casino “licensed” in Costa Rica, where ongoing audits are not enforced, a TST certification of the software platform means absolutely nothing. The online casino operator could very well go in and change the source code at any time.

I dare anyone to challenge me on this and explain how this is NOT possible. Believe me, I’m not saying I know without a doubt. But where’s the information pointing to the contrary. Nobody is taking the time to explain anything. And to be honest, it should be freakin’ TST!!!! They’re supposedly handing out the certification, are they not? But guess what? All TST wants is for Online Casino Suite to do a positive write-up about them.

So ya, after contacting them with these questions, they replied and said these were “very good” questions, albeit the answers to said “very good questions” would be lengthy and require some time to prepare. They then proceeded to suggest a phone conversation as an alternative, but have since stopped replying to our emails to set up such a phone conversation.

So, where are you TST? Can you please explain the validity of your certifications? Can you please explain why online casinos like Rushmore Casino, Silver Oak, Aladdin’s Gold are not given a certificate to link to, but just simply say they are TST Certified. I’m not saying they are not – All of the aforementioned online casinos are great in my book. But where’s the transparency? It’s freakin’ ridiculous that a company as global as TST (tstglobal.com) does not have a policy in effect governing how casinos may or may not display a TST certified logo.

So, please get in touch with me, TST – devonchappell [at] onlinecasinosuite.com. In the meantime, I’m onto the next phase of this blog series and will be contacting Certified Fair Gambling (CFG), which also just so happens to accredit a large number of U.S. facing online casinos. Maybe they can provide some better answers. Or should I say, answers period?

New Online Casino Review at OCS Qualifies for Homepage Listing

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

There’s a new face in the online casino reviews directory here at OCS. In fact, this highly rated Rival Gaming powered online casino even made it to the OCS homepage. How’s that, you ask? What gives one online casino homepage precedence over another? Heck, as strict as we are at granting listings in our reviews directory, period, how is it that some online casinos are listed, while others – albeit equally qualified – are not.

Errrrrrrrrrr!!!!! (sound of screeching car tires) Hold it right there! What’s that you say? Two equally qualified online casinos may not get equal exposure here at OCS? One may not even get any exposure at all? Well, pray do tell, what gives?

First of all, these are some great questions. How do you know that we aren’t a conglomerate working on behalf of all the online casinos listed at OCS? For that matter, how do you know we are not Russian spy’s working on behalf of the President Pootin (I mean Putin) and his submissive love buddy ice skating pal, Evgeny Plushenko (who won the gold medal in Vancouver, by the way)? Seriously though, this would entail a conflict of interest and some serious bias would it not? And as much as I want to say, “Rest assured, OCS does not work for any of the online casinos listed on our site”, we fully understand that the most skeptic of the skeptics still might have some reservations trusting our word.

That’s why we always encourage our skeptic readers to do some further research and find out what others are saying about a particular online casino. And believe me, there is plenty of information out there. Google is your best friend! The only thing is that much of this information isn’t backed up, but is simply hot air. That’s precisely why you will find lengthy and detailed reviews of each of the online casinos listed at OCS. Not hot air, mind you, but rather, facts and objective observations.

But this still doesn’t necessarily explain why two equally qualified online casinos may not get the same amount of exposure on our reviews pages, does it not? Well, here’s the thing. OCS is not a directory of online casinos. In other words, we are not exhaustive, as opposed to a site like Online Casino City, which albeit, more exhaustive, does not provide the detail and comprehensive nature which our reviews provide. If we comprehensively reviewed every online halfway decent online casino in business today, we would be more like the Wikipedia of online casinos and overwhelm our readers with too many choices.

The other aspect you must consider is that while two online casinos are equally qualified in their credentials, that does not mean they are equal in areas of bonuses, payouts, customer service, loyalty rewards and a host of other factors. OCS takes into consideration the overall package. Believe us – It’s not about money. That’s precisely why we don’t accept paid advertising.

And yes, we take into consideration the fact that some online casinos are more willing to work with us than others. This is a good thing, for our selectiveness gives us more say when dealing with potential player complaints. Online casino operators know how hard it is to get listed at OCS. They would be foolish to not amicably deal with player complaints that potentially come through OCS. In other words, they are more willing to work things out with players when OCS is involved. When our referred players are happy, that makes us happy. Mind you, that doesn’t mean we are always going to take the side of the player. But if there is a dispute, a lag in customer service or any grey issue that needs resolving, we will always jump to the defense of the player.

In conclusion (let’s bring this back full circle, shall we?), that new addition to the OCS online casinos reviews section and homepage I talked about in the intro paragraph, certainly qualifies for a featured listing at OCS. The site is none other than Ruby Royal Casino, and as mentioned, is a licensee of Rival Gaming software. There are many Rival Gaming licensees in business today, and here at OCS we have just six Rival Gaming powered online casinos listed on our site. They all stand out for different reasons – And for Ruby Royal, it’s the fact they are the first – and currently – only Rival online casino to be given an operator TST approval.

For those not familiar with what a TST approval is, it means that the Ruby Royal Casino software platform has undergone extensive testing to ensure it is safe, fair and cannot be manipulated. TST, by the way, is an internationally recognized software testing facility. Furthermore, Ruby Royal Casino submits itself to ongoing payout audits, thus confirming payout percentages, which are verified by the actual TST reports linked through the Ruby Royal website. Considering the history of Ruby’s management team – Bonne Chance NV/Silverstone Overseas Ltd (which has been in business for nearly ten years), and the promotions offered at Ruby Royal – 200% up to $1,000 Free Welcome Bonus on a single deposit with 15x play-through – it’s pretty obvious to us that Ruby Royal Casino deserves to be on the OCS homepage.

For more information, read the OCS Ruby Royal Casino Review