Casinomeister's Newsletter
10 January 2003
Issue #137

Dear Reader,

Well, happy New Year and I hope your holidays were happy ones. It was relatively quiet here in my little village in northern Bavaria, and no "white" Christmas. It just rained. But there is snow now! Not much, but enough to keep you indoors where it's nice and warm.

Tons of stuff to write about. I'm a bit behind since I spent most of the past two weeks with the family. And then all the crap about the OPA (which I'm sure you've heard about), and I never did finish my write up on the Bahamas, I have a load of webmasters p.o.d at me since I haven't had a chance to get their links up in the links section. I've had a series of casino complaints that haven't been addressed as well. And my family tells me I work too much! Man, there ain't enough hours in a day.

This issue is a special issue. Vortran and I have dished out the Best and Worst of Awards for 2002. The Best Casino, Best Casino Group, Best Named Casino, Worst Casino Group, Worst Forum posting, Stupidest Casino Trick, plus a lot more. You can also hear this on our webcast where Vortran007 (Casinomeister's robot) is my guest.

Toilingly yours,


In this issue:
1. What's New at Casinomeister
2. Casinos You Ought to Join
3. This week's humor
4. Forum Highlights
6. THE ONLINE PLAYERS ASSOCIATION and my feelings about the whole mess

From the bottom of my heart!!
There were some very, VERY generous souls out there who really made my Christmas. My Wishlist at was nearly bought out. There are some readers that really showed their appreciation for what I so at Casinomeister. Again thanks, and I appreciate your generosity.
The Year in Review
Best Casino
Best New Casino
Best Casino Group
Worst Casino Group
Best Named Casino
Stupidest Casino Trick
Stupidest Player Scam
All this and much more!
Congrats to all!!!
This one is the one of the most hilarious of all! Vortran007 and I hand out the Best and Worst of 2002 awards. Will Vortan open the envelopes without a problem? Find out !
This week's topics:
  • Best and Worst of 2002 awards
  • I talk about the OPA
  • Got 39 minutes to spare? You won't regret it. Real Player is required (come on, doesn't everyone have Real Player already installed?)
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    Casinomeister's newsletter is now available in three flavors: HTML, text, or AOL, (you are reading the HTML version). If you would like to update your settings, please scroll down to the bottom and you'll find a link to do so. Any problems, please let me know!
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    2. Casinos you ought to join!
    Are you a member of Lucky Nugget Online Casino yet? If not, why not? Join now and get up to $100 free! If you purchase anything between $20 and $100, Lucky Nugget will match your purchase with a bonus. Thus if you purchase $100, you will get $100! Plus purchase using a purchase option other than a credit card and get a further $10 free! That's up to $110 free!

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    Richard from Pennsylvania (a Casinomeister player) won $13,713 playing Blackjack on Boxing Day (26th of December) at Kiwi Casino Congrats Richard!! Kiwi Casino was awarded Best Casino of 2001 by Casinomeister, and some of you are finding out why! I hope this made your Chistmas Richard!!

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    3. This week's humor New FDA Alcohol Warnings for Booze Bottles posted in our forum by coldheartedgirl

    Consumption of alcohol may make you think you are whispering when you are not.
    Consumption of alcohol is a major factor in dancing like a loser.
    Consumption of alcohol may cause you to tell the same boring story over and over again.
    Consumption of alcohol may cause you to thay shings like thish.
    Consumption of alcohol may convince you that your ex is really dying to hear from you at 4 am.
    Consumption of alcohol may cause you to roll over in the morning and see something really scary (whose species and/or name you can't remember).
    Consumption of alcohol is the leading cause of inexplicable rug burns on the forehead.
    Consumption of alcohol may lead you to believe that you're tougher than a really big guy named Kong.
    Consumption of alcohol may lead you to believe you are invisible.
    Consumption of alcohol may lead you to think people are laughing WITH you.
    Consumption of alcohol may cause an influx in the time-space continuum, whereby small... or large gaps of time may seem to literally disappear.
    Consumption of alcohol may actually CAUSE pregnancy.
    4. Forum Highlights
    Casinomeister's Forum » Ask Mary » QUESTIONS FOR OPA MARY « Previous Next »

    Author Message
    Username: mary

    Post Number: 2052
    Registered: 12-2000
    Posted on Thursday, January 09, 2003 - 08:00 pm:   

    Here's a list of ezecash sites to avoid.
    Want to read more? Check it out here.

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    Part III of III...

    ...will be posted next week on the site. There are still a few things I want to discus about the trip, but a more pressing issue is the following.

    and my feelings about the whole mess

    So where should I start? About the OPA I mean. Well I could start from the beginning when the OPA was first brought up in my forum at Casinomeister by Steve Adkins, or I could start when the OPA's forum was hosted by Casinomeister's Forum for about full year. This included the "members section", the "committee section", and the posting of players' complaints. But I think a good place to start is when the OPA was resurrected this past year.

    Steve Adkins was the president of the OPA in it's formative years, but due to problems he had in the states concerning the IRS, and other legal issues. He went offline never to be heard from again, except for selling me his half of Casinogazette, and he more or less gave me the OPA. I had control of the website, domains, etc., but honestly, I didn't want it. I just wanted a radio show and I had fantastic ideas on what to do with the webcasts at Casinogazette and all.

    With this purchase, I became partners with Mike Craig. No problem, Mike and I had met a couple of times and had known each other for a couple of years. We got together at the ICE in London last year and laid out a plan for Casinogazette, which I was really excited about. But when I returned home, he called me and was even more excited about getting the OPA back online. He mentioned that a few of the casinos that he had been in contact with were convinced that the OPA was needed. Mike felt that since I had the domain name, and the resources to get it back up, we could do it. I warned Mike about taking on the OPA since it is a lot of work, many people are involved, and you have to answer to questions about finances, accountability, and everything else that the business is involved with. But he was convinced that this is something that we should do. I agreed to let Casinogazette host the OPA until one of us (me) had the time to get the site up on its own.

    It wasn't much of a problem getting most of the original committee members of the OPA involved, and we had a number of good ideas. We incorporated a "Players Advisory Board" to assist us in voting. The PAB consisted of about seventy anonymous players on their own private board that would give us input to whatever casino was being considered for OPA membership. The OPA was well structured, but there was still the problem of finance: do we charge players? do we charge casinos? What and how do we charge? We decided that there was to be no charge and that the site would be banner free.

    Most of the committee members met in Toronto last May to outline rules and regs on accountability, and we agreed that it should be not for profit. And we hoped that the casino members would be convinced to purchase add space at Casinogazette to help fund the OPA. I was more than eager to move it to it's own site, since I only wanted a radio show. I made this clear. In Toronto, Mike and I met with the Sunny group and representatives from Playtech and they had this idea concerning a "Payout Verification" certification. Mike would be given the data from Playtech and was entrusted to go over this data, which was kept strictly confidential, and certify that the casino in question was paying out the percentages that they claimed. This sounded great, but I thought that it may be a bite too big to chew. And I had nothing to do with it since a) I had Casinomeister to run b) This was data that was only to be reviewed by Mike since it was extremely confidential. And c) I never fully understood it anyway no matter how many times it was explained to me. My talents and intelligence lie elsewhere.

    In July, I finally put aside an adequate amount of time to get the OPA up on its own domain and move it away from the Casinogazette site. I built the website, and it was re-launched in August. All honky dory, no banner ads, no blatant commercials. Just straightforward information. We had a forum with about 600 members and a user database for the newsletter of about 1800 members. But there was a bit of controversy involved. There was a hardcore group of OPA opponents who did not approve of the way the OPA was managed. Some of the persons felt that casinos were paying to be included as a member, or that Mike and I were getting rich off of this enterprise. This really pissed me off since I did not make a dime off of any of the efforts I put into this. The problem is that there are a number of individuals who spend far to much time at various message boards and feel that most of information there is either truthful or relevant. I have been accused of not visiting Winneronline's message board often enough, or making posts there, which is asinine. These accusations are made by people who live and die by moronic message board postings. Max has his message board at Winneronline, John Abbott has his at Gonegambling, I have mine at Casinomeister, etc. We don't post in each other's boards plain and simple. If anyone wants to get a hold of me, they know where to find me. And I don't hide behind a "handle".

    But I digress, what went wrong with the OPA? I'll tell you what went wrong. I think it started last fall when I told most people that I know that I was stepping down from the OPA. Reason? I needed to concentrate on Casinomeister. This is where I belong. Nothing was happening at Casinogazette since Mike was too busy with the OPA, as I was with my own thing. I decided to consolidate everything and move my radio show from casinogazette to here, for a number of reasons, mainly so that it was totally under my control. But at the same time that I mentioned that I wanted to pull out, the Black Widow mess began to get ugly. Mike was not manning the support center for whatever reasons and was harder to reach via email. I stepped in as well as Tortex and began handling the complaints. And this is something that I agreed NOT to do. As long as I was involved with the OPA, I was not going to handle any complaints. This is what happened to the old OPA, Steve Adkins had his son doing the complaints, but he flaked out and I ended up dealing with them. Most of you know that I do this at Casinomeister.

    When it was obvious that the Black Widow problem could not be resolved. The committee voted for them to be not recommendable. And I took the bull by the horns so to speak and made it known. This is about the time that Mike returned from London after meeting with Playtech people and a number of Playtech casino operators, and cash processors. Fine and dandy, but we should have known ahead of time. Especially if he was representing the OPA. He was representing us.

    He rescinded our decision to blacklist black widow, and we protested. He said he wanted to give the manager more time and we stated that he had enough time. We also questioned the fact the Sterling House casino had an OPA payout verification logo, but it clicked through to a page stating that the OPA had approved this casino. We had not. We voiced our opinions about that as well. We then voted to discontinue the use of the Payout Verification and the vote was unanimous.

    Mike was still having problems manning the support center with another absence. We then decided to move the support center, I made the switch to the emails and more or less cut Mike off. He freaked stating that we were cutting off his bread and butter. We let him back in but demanded to see the contracts he made with Playtech. He refused to show us these contracts, so we voted him out of the OPA. The Players Advisory Board and the committee had a no confidence vote, and it was unanimous.

    The problem was, with Mike gone, what would we do with the "Payout Verification" deal. We weren't privy to the contracts, so we wrote Playtech asking about this. At the same time, Mike relaunched the OPA Uk version at Casinogazette, and he came up with grand plans to continue with the UK branch. This was getting ugly, and a bit too ugly. I had all of the instruments of ownership, the domain was in my name (still is, but I'm changing it). The website was on my account; I had been paying the bills and webmastering the site. But I and the rest of the committee decided, enough was enough. If Mike wants to run it on his own, then let him.

    So Mike was given the keys to the castle and we walked. This shocked most; amazed many. People, both friend and foe, began posting all over the place speculating on what had happened. What secrets were kept, what deals were made, what was the real dirt.

    Well this is the dirt. And it's not so fascinating, is it? And for those of you who are all caught up in this matter, all I have to say is go spend some time with your kids instead of dwelling on what happened at the OPA. Or go write a poem or something. It's not really that important, is it? Nobody got ripped off. The association is still here It's managed a bit differently, but it still can be an effective association of players. And if you still have to know what the hell happened, you know where to find me. I'll give you a dead horse you can beat on.

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    Welcome Casinomeister linking partners!
    Listed in no particular order.
    Integrity Casino Guide Comprehensive and easy-to-follow listings of ethical, licensed, audited, and secure online casinos.
    Editor's note: I am WAY behind in getting some of your links up. If you have recently submitted a site for inclusion at Casinomeister's links section, my apologies for my tardiness. They should be up by next week.

    Complaints? Kudos? Please let me know.

    Bryan Bailey