On January 21st of this year we asked the question “Did Finsoft rig casino Games?”. A full four months later we have no answer. Almost a week earlier we had updated our GTech Software Review with a warning to archive an ongoing saga that would surely be clarified in the matter of a little time. The controversy was over whether one of the most well-placed game suppliers in the gambling industry had, or had not, been supplying cheating games to online casinos for years and it was in full boil at the time with accusations flying in all directions; Namely, the allegations were that Finsoft had altered the coding of a fair game produced by Realistic games and was delivering it with a misrepresented pay table, and that the player who reported the buggy gaff was himself a fraud using his sister’s account with her permission. Seems pretty simple doesn’t it? Well, not so fast.
Within days of the story breaking in December of 2012 Dr. Eliot Jacobson (Jacobson Gaming, Certified Fair Gaming) had confirmed that the two games in question were indeed not fair games, by January 24th we had reported here that the player did indeed use an improperly registered account. So we could have put it to bed. The games were cheating a cheating player, go home folks, nothing to look at here. Well, not so fast.
The cheating game (this author will state it as such and his opinion is not necessarily that of World Casino Directory) was indeed adaptive but it wasn’t adaptive enough to know whether it was cheating a cheater or cheating your grandmother. Whether by administrative accident, malfeasance or simple incompetence or bureaucratic snafuery, the game acted in a way that was inconsistent with its help file and paytable. Well, not so fast.
The game only misbehaved at certain casinos, only those supplied by Finsoft, who had modified the original game, as far as we know as we have no official response from the Gibraltar Gambling Commission. It is entirely possible that Finsoft was provided with the gaffed games from Realistic in the first place if we look at this quote of intel that Realistic was willing to give Dr. Jacobson had he been willing to sign a NDA or non-disclosure agreement. The full text of what Dr. Jacobson published in the public domain in re the following can be found on the Wizardofvegas.com forum in a post of January 9th, 2013 at 10:19:41 AM.
We are happy to discuss the following topics in a second email correspondence in detail
• Company background
• Company founders
• Company aims
• Origins of both games (Reel Deal & Hi Lo Gambler)
• Why 2 versions exist e.g. x1.95 & x2
• Explanation of 3rd party relationships
• Explanation of the Finsoft relationship
• Explanation of a game life cycle on the Finsoft platform detailing development, support, maintenance & testing
• The maths of the games
• Certification of the games
This tells us that the game creator, Realistic Games, knows of two versions of the games and that they know the “why” thereof. The reason this is important is that we get no pertinent information from the GGC (GRA) in their shoddily presented second hand statement on Casinomeister.com (casinomeister.com/forums/online-casinos/57063-announcement-gra-concerning-hilo-reeldeal-games.html) about whether Finsoft rigged casino games. I suppose we are tasked to be our own investigators and report our findings to the so-called regulators. Wait, not so fast.
Mr. Phil Brear, the ‘reporting’ Commissioner, is well versed in the bailey-wick of an investigator, that having been his profession for some 30 years before becoming a member of the UK Gambling Commission and subsequently becoming the Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner (GGC replacing the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority). So why was no investigation performed? And if an investigation did ensue, where are the findings? They certainly are not in the statement given to a web master and re-posted in italics yet signed with official title. Anyone who has read what can only be considered an oddly personal rant with scattered factoids (already known by anyone following the issue) is sure to be disappointed, with the exception of those who were not investigated or reported on. And in the long run this incompetence or red herring offering will do no favors if there was cheating involved; accidental or purposeful. The silence from Finsft/Spielo/GTech/Lottomatica’s has done them no favors either. If this is the hubris of a multibillion dollar corporation who thinks they are somehow shielded from the collective power of online players they may be sadly mistaken.
Part and parcel (not withstanding the odd silence of the Casinomeister), to a person the response has been overwhelmingly critical and negative. Only one blog post that we have seen so far has winnowed the issue down to try to refocus from the Commission’s odd non-response and back onto the simple facts still remaining: The games did not perform as illustrated or advertised. Players lost money on gaffed games. No one seems willing to be responsible for those losses.
Finsoft, did you rig casino games? We may never know. But we do know that your deployment of Realistic games caused players to lose money. This author is quite concerned about your silence. Is there more you aren’t telling us? Does every game in your library need to be tested and certified? Is there an audit trail for all changes to a game’s behavior? Why would you not take responsibility for this fiasco, create a fund, and repay every player 4% of their action win or lose? Some casinos (NordicBet) who unknowingly carried the Finsoft versions of the game immediately removed the games and reimbursed players. Some casinos (BetFred) did not reimburse players even though they promised they would. Other casinos (Bet365) never used the Finsoft versions so the games were fair and played (and paid) as expected.