The working example here (mentioned in my earlier post "A Wart's Opinion - Is Justice Possible?") concerns this post in the Casinomeister (CM) forum.
Here we have an online Casino player turning for help with a Casino named Casino Club to what was/is supposed to be a "Player Advocate" web site (many would say the most powerful player advocate web site on the internet). As mentioned earlier, the player immediately got a shotgun blast (hereinafter referred to as a Bailey BlastTM) to the gut from the web site's owner/moderator Bryan Bailey, with a response that contained phrases like - "you are banned now for being a fraudster", "go take a hike", "pull your crap with somebody else", "BS like this".
Since the player was almost immediately banned from the forum, they were thus blocked from making any further posts. In other words, one forum post, one Bailey BlastTM, and this player, along with his problem, was as dead as a door nail. (Later posts indicated that the amount of player money involved was truly significant - about 8,000 Euros, or 10,000 US Dollars! We're NOT talking about pocket change here.)
The only thing that saved this player from the results of that Bailey BlastTM was the fact that the support community of the CM forum got involved. One member quickly (8 hours post-Blast) indicated that the player had first submitted his problem to another gambling forum (the player was from Germany, the other forum is in German). This German forum appears to have already put the player through the "Skeptical Support Members" gauntlet. (At least it looks that way to me, but what do I know - I can't read German.) This other forum recommended that the player use the power of CM's Pitch-a-Bitch (PAB) process to see if they could get some sort of resolution to their problem.
For those who can read German, the thread's page 3 post:
"Nachdem was du hier geschrieben hast (kein Bonus mit Mindestumsatz) usw. sehe ich bei casinomeister gute chancen für dich, dass du deine Gewinne (innerhalb 10 Tage) ausbezahlt bekommst. Einfach mal bei google casinomeister pitch a bitch eingeben und das erste ergebnis anklicken!"
So, a loose thread in Mr. Bailey's "Secret PAB Process" (see Side Note below) was exposed in the CM forum. Specifically, it did not appear that the player was, as Mr. Bailey described, a "fraudster".
In addition, the German forum posted game play logs - hard data that CM members with some gaming experience as well as some statistical knowledge could begin to analyze. (CM's "Secret PAB Process" hides all of this sort of data - it is only available to CM and the Casino. Again, see Side Note below.)
Several CM members pounced on this German forum's data like ugly on ape. After analyzing the data, these CM members decided that Mr. Bailey was wrong - they were willing to risk receiving their own Bailey BlastTM and be banned from CasinomeisterLand forever by saying so. (In a rather amazing bit of irony, the player that first made reference to this German forum, in defense of the player, was banned from the CM forum about 6 months later.)
Through their ongoing efforts, that loose thread continued to grow longer and longer. The results of the initial "Secret PAB Process" began to further unravel. In the next post from Mr. Bailey (the one following his initial Bailey BlastTM), he indicated that he still retained "Secret Knowledge", information not published on the German forum. However, he also agreed that the 20-odd CM forum posts which had been analyzing the German forum's data "have pointed out a number of odd things".
CM forum discussion continued, and analysis of the German forum's hard data continued. Mr. Bailey continued to reference his initial "Secret Knowledge", and even threw in a reference to new "Secret Knowledge", but he persisted in his "Secret PAB Process" approach.
It is interesting to note that NONE of Mr. Bailey's "Secret Knowledge" was ever released to the public for analysis, neither during the discussion/analysis of the problem nor after that problem was resolved. Even though his initial analysis ("fraudster") was now being proven wrong by CM members analyzing data from another freakin' forum, at no time did Mr. Bailey join in with his own forum's members, disclose his "Secret Knowledge" and actually work with them to help analyze and resolve the problem.
It is beyond interesting to note that:
#1 - Part of CM's Philosophy and Mission Statement states - "Our mission at Casinomeister is to provide solid information; information that enables players to make smart choices." And yet what we've seen here (and in many other places, on a few of which I plan to shine the spotlight of basic common sense and logic) is CM hiding information, not providing information.
#2 - It was Mr. Bailey's original "behind closed doors" process which resulted in the player getting totally screwed (as well as insulted, abused, denigrated, and banned from the CM forum). Remember, we're talking about 8,000 Euros here!
#3 - It was the CM forum's members analysis of the public data, data only made available to them on another forum, that even Mr. Bailey admitted was throwing light on the issue.
#4 - AND STILL, Mr. Bailey continued to withhold his "Secret Knowledge" from the very people who were shining that light, from his own forum members.
Finally, one CM member's frustration boils over, and they just drop to the bottom line:
"Casinomeister, the evidence presented is clearly nowhere near conclusive and this casino is now rogue, why can't you see this? i for one feel you have lost all credibility over this issue. if you are going to rake in affiliate cash from rogue casinos on the pretence they are legit' and tested then you are in my opinion rogue yourself."
Mr. Bailey's response: "So, I guess I'm not allowed to base my opinion on the information I have at hand unless it falls in line with your "tunnel vision" viewpoint. One more comment like this and this thread is locked."
This is almost beyond belief.
- "opinion"? I thought that we were dealing with the analysis of hard data here. Does this mean that all of the "Secret Knowledge" that you've been withholding from the problem analysis is not at all "hard data" but more in the way of "soft subjectivity"?
- "information I have" and "tunnel vision viewpoint"! Mr. Bailey, why don't you stop with all of this "Secret Knowledge" bullshit and just publish your data? You're the one who is keeping your members roadblocked inside the freakin' tunnel in the first place!
"This thread is locked"! You've got to be kidding! You want to lock out the only people that are providing any valid analysis of the limited data which has been made available to them?
Does the phrase "egotistical prick" spring to mind? Does the thought "Now here's a man with something to hide." spring to mind? How about "The Emperor has no clothes."
A Side Note **********
It is well known that CM's PAB process is conducted "behind closed doors". Let's take a look at that a bit.
#1 One of the rules of the PAB process is that once the PAB information is submitted to CM the player is not supposed to talk about it in the forum. Quotes from CM's documentation on this issue:
"... we advise that forum posts be withheld until the PAB process has had a chance to run it's course."
Well, that's a nice, friendly, non-definitive way to put it - "we advise". However, it is immediately followed, in bold, with the paragraph:
"We reserve the right to discard any PAB that where that same issue has been posted to the boards. This relates to threads started by, or contributions to other threads by, the person who filed the PAB. This applies equally to posts made before or after the PAB was filed."
WOW. Those words are a whole lot more definitive than "we advise". And just in case that wasn't clear enough, they follow this with the paragraph:
"In other words in the case where the material was posted before the PAB was filed we will determine whether those posts would damage or thwart the PAB process before we decide if we will proceed with the PAB. In the case where the material was posted after the PAB was filed there is a very high probability that we will suspend or discard the PAB at that point."
So, just to hammer this point home - this section of the PAB documentation went from "we advise that forum posts be withheld" to "a very high probability that we will suspend or discard the PAB". The player's data remains behind closed doors, and if the player leaks that data then the PAB is killed.
#2 A quote from CM's Q&A section of the PAB system:
Q: Who sees the information I give to you guys in the PAB form?
A: Of course the Casinomeister staff see it first. Once we've processed it we then passed it directly to the casino or their appointed representative. Your information is never seen publicly nor can it be accessed by anyone other than Casinomeister staff. In other words, your information is considered private and personal and is treated accordingly.
Translation: "We're doing you a favor by isolating you and your data from any other source of support." I mean, who is really assisted by this clause - the player, or the Casino. (Think about that for, oh, 4 or 5 seconds.)
#3 Another quote from CM's Q&A section of the PAB system:
Q: I'd like to see all of the communications that pass between Casinomeister and the casino. How do I do that?
A: You don't. The negotiation process is conducted privately between Casinomeister and the casino people. Often security and/or risk assessment issues are involved and that information is not available to anyone outside the Casinomeister-casino loop. The privacy of the process is a large part of what makes the process work. We'll let you know as soon as we have something for you.
"a large part of what makes the process work"? Work for whom? The Player? The Casino?
Justice for this player was obtained only because another web site made the deciding data public. (This was the "loose thread" on which the forum's bulldogs first started pulling.) However, in spite of this fact, both Mr. Bailey and Mr. Drayman (Max Drayman, the "Manager" of the CM PAB system) continued to support this "Secret PAB Process" system, both throughout this specific thread as well as in other threads which followed this one.
CM Statement - "Look, this is the system we have, this is what we do and how we are going to continue to do it. Either trust us or not."
If this player's case is an example of the results of the "Secret PAB Process", well ... NOT.
End Side Note **********
There are a number of things which I believe are significant here.
#1 - It is important to remember - CM is an Affiliate (a "Super Affiliate", actually). CM makes money the same way that all Affiliates make money - they drive traffic to gambling web sites, and then receive money from that web site in return. (A typical arrangement for an Affiliate is that they receive a percentage of the player's losses (anywhere from 20% up to 50%) for the life of the player at that web site. I believe that this is referred to as a "Rev Share" arrangement.)
CM attracts visitors because of his forum, his PAB process, his various publications, his "Rogue List", etc. (In other words, he "googles" well.) But the bottom line is that he makes money from the Casinos that he recommends. (Example of CM Affiliate activity.)
#2 - Although prior to 2010 CM's home page had at the top the phrase "Casino Watchdog And Player Advocate Since 1998", since then it has the phrase "Advocate of fair play for over fourteen solid years...". That's a rather huge change in one's "Statement of Purpose".
#3 - Casino Club (the Casino against which this PAB player was complaining) was described by one forum member as "one of the biggest online casinos in Europe." In other words, CM (probably) made a great deal of money from them through his Affiliate fees (and probably wanted to make a great deal more money). Just as with Legends at Sportsbook Review, Casino Club is a customer that CM very much wants to protect. I believe that this was the root cause of that Bailey BlastTM which greeted this particular player.
Bottom Line **********
A series of observations & conclusions:
#1 - Given the abusive and insulting words ("you are banned now for being a fraudster", "go take a hike", "pull your crap with somebody else", "BS like this") publicly fired at this poor player in that Bailey BlastTM, did Mr. Bailey offer any subsequent public apology? No. Nothing.
He did state later in the thread "I get a little crow instead of turkey this Thanksgiving", but this was more in response to the fact that he had been publicly proven wrong.
As above, does the phrase "egotistical prick" spring to mind? How about the words boorish, disrespectful, inconsiderate, vulgar, thoughtless, or just plain mean?
#2 - If I had a problem with a Casino, turned to a "Player Advocate" forum for assistance, and immediately received a Bailey BlastTM from the "Chief Advocate", I'd leave and never come back.
If I were a member (especially a relatively new member) of that forum, observing a Bailey BlastTM would frighten me significantly enough to be very careful about making, if not completely reluctant to make, any complaint about an "Affiliate Casino", in case I'm treated to my own Blast.
Which perhaps is Mr. Bailey's ultimate objective. He bans the dissenters (a dissenter in many cases is nothing more than someone with an average IQ asking logical questions), locks problem threads, and Blasts the sheep into submission. He hires a couple of "forum thugs" to keep the sheep in order. (I mean come on - Nifty29 has just GOT to be on the payroll.)
Regarding locking threads - here is a link to another Casinomeister thread which will be the subject of an upcoming post.
** A ** The subject of this current post occurred in November of 2008. It involved a very profitable CM affiliate, the suspected use of a "robot" by the player, and the staggeringly subjective attempt (some, like the author, might conclude the useless and thus corrupt attempt) at proving the use of a robot.
** B ** The subject of the upcoming post (the link above) occurred 4 years later, in August of 2012. It involves a very profitable CM affiliate, the suspected use of a "robot" by the player, and the staggeringly subjective attempt (some, like the author, might conclude the useless and thus corrupt attempt) at proving the use of a robot.
#3 - One is left to conclude that this is how the whole problem originally played out.
1.) Player submits PAB.
2.) Casinomeister contacts Casino Club, asks them "So what do you want me to do here?"
3.) Casino Club replies - "Just tell them to f**k off."
4. Casinomeister tells player to "f**k off".
#4 - There are obvious parallels between this case and the SBR case with Legends Casino. One is that both Casinomeister and SBR are "bought". (As I said in my first post to this blog - SBR would sell their grandmother for pocket change. Casinomeister would still sell their grandmother, but they would charge more.)
They are both bought because their income got whacked by the US enforcement of the UIGEA, and subsequent (and ongoing) US DOJ activities (Black Friday, Blue Monday, and more recent activities).
Their income also got whacked, and I forgot to mention this in the SBR thread, because of the continuing global economic downturn.
Both Casinomeister and SBR spent many years making a whole lot of money. They could afford integrity. Now they have to scramble to keep the fleet of Mercedes gassed up.
HOWEVER - As mentioned above, the subject of this current post occurred in November of 2008 - 4 years ago. Mr. Bailey must have had enough money in the vault to afford a shred of remaining integrity. We'll see how things played out 4 years later in the upcoming post I mentioned previously.