A little known online gambling software company, Galewinds Software Incorporated gave larger rivals a lesson in player-sensitivity this week by stepping in and paying an online player who had been jerked around by an online casino it powered for months.
The player's trial by patience started back in mid-November 2008 when he was skilled and fortunate enough to win over $34 000 playing blackjack at Heroes Casino.com, an online sportsbook and casino operation powered by Vancouver-based Galewinds Software and registered to a UK-based company called Island Runner Limited.
Long - very long - story short, Heroes started giving the player the runaround on ID documents, a suggestion that he may be using a bot, stalling to 'audit' his play, indications that a lower amount settlement might be possible and, finally a claim that the software they were using was flawed.
The player showed saint-like forbearance as the months dragged on and he remained unpaid...and forum threads on various websites grew to multi-page lengths, with corresponding Google coverage.
In the end, and after an abortive and still outstanding complaint to the Cyberluck organisation in the Netherlands Antilles, it was private infromation sites like CM that pursued the matter...and a decision by the software provider that it was being adversely impacted by the crisis and needed to step in, pulling the Heroes Casino licence and paying the player in full to wide player approbation.
Suggestions that Galewinds' software was flawed were emphatically refuted by independent software experts in the industry, making the company's generous gesture all the more laudable.
Chris Colby, the president of Galewinds, wrote the final paragrapgh to the mammoth CM thread this week,
Colby wrote: "The interim conclusion which most concerns me is that GSC made some sort of "back room deal" [with Heroes Casino] regarding an acknowledgement of defective software, and that this is why GSC, rather than Heroes Casino, paid Westland Bowl [the player].
"On this point I wish to be perfectly clear: GSC did not make any "back room deals" regarding an acknowledgement of defective software. To borrow from a previous post, our software is not now, nor has it ever been, "snarfed". We chose to pay Westland Bowl because Heroes Casino had not. Our analysis, and the analysis of several others, concluded that WB won “fair and square”. Someone needed to pay him, and we felt that we had an ultimate responsibility that transcended the filters of any legal obligations."
The Galewinds president went on to individually refute several allegations made in the course of the dispute by Heroes Casino management, including a statement by independent gambling software specialist Eliot Jacobson, who said: "In the opinion of CFG, Galewind Software offers a fair and properly functioning product that shows no bias. The RNG is not weak and the software is not faulty."
Colby added that he had been prepared to open his source code to an independent testing agency in addition to Jacobson's assessment, but that this offer was not taken up by Heroes management.
He and his management team reconsidered the actions of Heroes following a communication from CM owner Bryan Bailey on April 15th, decided to pull the Heroes software licence on April 16th and executed that decision on April 17th. The company paid the player involved in full in the same timeframe, ending months of stress and suspense for the player.
"In closing, I'd like to say that all of us at Galewind Software Corp. are very proud of our product, and we stand behind it 100 percent," wrote Colby. "Our people and our software enjoy the respect of such industry participants as Michael Shackleford (the Wizard of Odds), Eliot Jacobson (of Certified Fair Gambling), and Stacy Friedman (of Olympian Gaming). I hope that our actions regarding this issue will remove any concerns about our company which this situation may have created."
As we went to press there had been no response from Heroes Casino.