Finding our humanity in the face of terror

The emotion one cannot help but feel is pain with every terrorist bomb that explodes, but I have to say the overall state of my mind is confusion on how we deal with the mass migration of people to Europe from Syria. The humanity in me says of course: the suffering these people are enduring is beyond compare. Care for them both emotionally and physically before their lives are taken either by the violent arm of Islamism, in its name or by the ironic bombs that will rain down on them in retaliation (or provocation, depending on where your confused mind sits).

But, it is evident that in opening up our hearts and homes to refugees, there is a clear and present danger that infecting their hapless throngs is a group of cancerous, verminous vultures preying on the very essence of our humanity. A cancer eating away at our emotions shifting us away from all that is right, all that is good and all that offers our generation the opportunity to prove that we are truly are the first generation citizens of the world and in to the clutches of self-preservation, isolationism, border entrenchment and right wing extremism of our own that echo the state of the world 80-100 years ago.

That is not a world I would like us to be again.

The terrorists are out to destroy the world we’re in by imposing so-called Islamic State’s hardcore interpretation of Sharia law. Their view is that there will come a Judgement Day. It is certainly too far fetched to envisage Western ideals and all other forms of religion ever being in the appalling position where this would become reality, but I will say this. The day of judgement is nigh. It will not be a pitched battle somewhere in the Syrian desert, but in the hearts and minds of each and every one of us. Do we continue in the pursuit of making the world a better place or do we shy away from it to supposedly protect ourselves?

It’s easy to look to the politicians we elect (or don’t in the case of the EU) to take care of this dilemma. However, they as human beings are posed with the same complex battle of emotion and the tried and trusted pillars of our democracies and constitutions are designed around rational thought, not emotions – and this is allowing for the rise of the Trumps, the Le Pens and the Petrys in countries where the learnings of the lessons of the past really should be entrenched in the conscience of citizens. The rise of the ‘us and them’ bandwagon is a victory for ISIS. It validates their atrocities and will only serve to create more. I already find myself wondering why I emotionally care more about a bomb that goes off in Brussels or Paris than I do about one that goes off in Turkey. I despise this feeling and it is a feeling that islamic extremism has placed there and I want it gone.

There may be no negotiation we, or they, are prepared to entertain – and it may be in this case that the only solution is an escalation of hostilities on the ground to push ISIS’ momentum back to where it was in the last century. However, we should be doing that in the name of the world, not nations. We should be doing it in the knowledge that in doing so, we will only foster that hatred of the West and all it stands for among Islamic extremists, whether they are above or below the ground for the foreseeable future. But let’s make it ‘The World’ rather that the West and let the world stand for good.

So, the answer is this. Embrace the refugees in their millions. Facilitating this will not be easy or at all comfortable. It will cost money. Money you have either earned or are entitled to. It will mean refugees taking homes built by national taxpayers, for citizens of that nation. It will mean them benefitting financially at the initial expense of those who unquestionably need that support locally. Frankly, this embrace will suck for many millions of people across the world – it may very well leave many homeless and hungry. It will not stop the terrorist bombings in the short term, or forever, so we will have to sacrifice non-military lives to make this happen, which is beyond frightening. And all of these arguments will be driven home by right wing politicians until, I’m sure of it, they are elected to lead some countries to provide further validations of extremism. But it will make the world we live in, both emotionally and physically, human again and it is that essence that must remain in all of us or else, frankly, what is the point? What do we fundamentally leave behind for future generations?

Demonstrate the love and the warmth that we are fortunate enough to have in the part of the world which we are lucky enough to inhabit. Shake off the effect of terrorist bombings. Move forwards, not back.

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The Dickhead Rule

The Rooney Rule is a hot topic making its way in to English football. Without wishing to disparage its obviously honourable endeavour of affirmative action and equal opportunity, I am going to suggest that we amend it for the gambling industry. Yes, we ought to be doing more to attract women and minorities to our industry, but there needs to be an appeal for them to come. As things stand, we are in a PR shithole and that is largely thanks to the hard work of what appears to me to be a growing minority of dickheads who make dickhead decisions, which they likely do with the agreement of dickheads around them, such as:

which, for some reason quite inexplicable to the Dickheads at Fruity King Casino, landed them in hot water.

They weren’t finished being Dickheads yet though:

“ProgressPlay obtained a response from the brand operator, who believed that the tweet was by no means derogatory towards women. The brand operator stated that the image along with text “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig” was not derogatory towards women and that the link to them was meant to refer to the TV show, in which the women in the photo appeared in, as a low quality programme. Therefore, the text referred to the show and not to the women themselves.”

It’s quite clear these muppets are trying their best to act like Dickheads. The fact that they can’t accept that, in reality, they truly are Dickheads, is beyond me. Some more examples of the Dickheadness:

These clowns should have their casino switched off ProgressPlay…
————————
and then of course there was this – the Dickhead market leader:


(note this was the action of a dickhead affiliate and not Casumo)

So I urge all recruiters, agencies and hirers alike to adopt the Dickhead Rule alongside any equal opportunity efforts. Yes you should interview them, but only to reinforce the fact that they are dickheads and have no place in the industry we love. They should then be placed on an official Dickhead List (let’s white label the technology behind GAMSTOP #DICKHEADSTOP). Whittle these dickheads out and build a more attractive place for all sensible people to work.

More Skype Fun with Dodgy Data Thieves

[18/09/2015 07:10:36] gambling.traffic: Hi Tom Galanis, I’d like to add you as a contact.
[18/09/2015 07:14:43] Tom Galanis: Tom Galanis has shared contact details with Gambling Traffic.
[18/09/2015 12:19:34] Gambling Traffic: hi
[18/09/2015 12:19:38] Gambling Traffic: how are you?
[18/09/2015 14:12:31] Tom Galanis: well hello there!
[18/09/2015 14:13:18] Tom Galanis: I’m in the mood for some top quality action, so I guess it’s your lucky day
[18/09/2015 16:03:03] Gambling Traffic: wow
[18/09/2015 16:04:52] Gambling Traffic: which country you are looking to target?
[18/09/2015 16:05:56] Tom Galanis: I’d do anything for good UK action at the moment – and I mean anything
[18/09/2015 16:06:14] Tom Galanis: So hard to come by
[18/09/2015 16:06:34] Gambling Traffic: Ye we have UK targeted database for gambling
[18/09/2015 16:06:46] Gambling Traffic: how much volume you are looking for test?
[18/09/2015 16:06:47] Tom Galanis: How big are you?
[18/09/2015 16:07:23] Gambling Traffic: we have approx 900k for UK
[18/09/2015 16:07:33] Tom Galanis: Jesus
[18/09/2015 16:07:36] Tom Galanis: Right
[18/09/2015 16:07:48] Tom Galanis: I could just about take that!
[18/09/2015 16:08:05] Gambling Traffic: can i see your landing page?
[18/09/2015 16:08:13] Tom Galanis: I assume we are talking dirty here?
[18/09/2015 16:09:10] Gambling Traffic: No we have some partners to they have UK gambling db i told you total
[18/09/2015 16:09:36] Tom Galanis: Clean/Dirty, I don’t care really – that’s so tempting
[18/09/2015 16:10:10] Tom Galanis: Before we talk price, safety is my prime concern
[18/09/2015 16:10:15] Gambling Traffic: We can do the following segmentations: geographical (zip-code, area, city…) psychographic (affinities, interests) and socio demographic (age, gender, marital status.Affinities/Interests we can separate in: finance, sports, travel, fashion, health, technic, online gaming.
[18/09/2015 16:10:26] Tom Galanis: Are you willing to offer any guarantees?
[18/09/2015 16:10:34] Gambling Traffic: Yes
[18/09/2015 16:10:45] Gambling Traffic: we can provide you OR guarantee
[18/09/2015 16:11:19] Tom Galanis: I assume the STI score for the data comes in low
[18/09/2015 16:11:43] Tom Galanis: Have you been with any of the big boys?
[18/09/2015 16:12:22] Gambling Traffic: yes we are working with 888.com primegaming
[18/09/2015 16:12:38] Tom Galanis: Ooh yes – they’re big guys
[18/09/2015 16:12:52] Tom Galanis: Were they happy with the results?
[18/09/2015 16:13:42] Gambling Traffic: we provide our OR guarantee and my clients renewal campaign always
[18/09/2015 16:13:58] Tom Galanis: Must be great to have regular clients
[18/09/2015 16:14:09] Tom Galanis: How long do your clients tend to last?
[18/09/2015 16:15:00] Gambling Traffic: recently with Prime gambing last July
[18/09/2015 16:15:19] Gambling Traffic: and we are going to test with 888 this months too
[18/09/2015 16:15:32] Gambling Traffic: Creative is not ready for 888
[18/09/2015 16:15:32] Gambling Traffic: now
[18/09/2015 16:15:47] Tom Galanis: You want to get them going – once they start, they may not stop
[18/09/2015 16:16:12] Tom Galanis: Well there’s several scenarios we can look at
[18/09/2015 16:16:32] Tom Galanis: I’ve got clients who would chew you off for the right price
[18/09/2015 16:16:37] Tom Galanis: So how much are we talking?
[18/09/2015 16:16:44] Gambling Traffic: you want to check i dont have any problem
[18/09/2015 16:17:12] Gambling Traffic: because we are maintaing our relationship with client not money
[18/09/2015 16:17:20] Tom Galanis: I’m sure you’re negative, but we’ll look to protect ourselves without a doubt
[18/09/2015 16:17:34] Gambling Traffic: we want to work with long terms relationship
[18/09/2015 16:17:38] Gambling Traffic: not one time
[18/09/2015 16:17:53] Tom Galanis: I’m all about that sort of commitment
[18/09/2015 16:17:55] Gambling Traffic: NP

[18/09/2015 16:18:07] Gambling Traffic: I understand that
[18/09/2015 16:18:20] Gambling Traffic: can i see your landing page?
[18/09/2015 16:18:34] Tom Galanis: That’s a bit forward
[18/09/2015 16:18:42] Tom Galanis: Hang on
[18/09/2015 16:20:41] Tom Galanis: http://www.grindr.com/download-grindr

The Regulated US iGaming Market needs Affiliates to thrive

A shade over 2 years ago, Nevada became the first US state to legalise online gambling (poker). Since that time, we have seen the first legal poker site rise and fall, New Jersey and Delaware follow the Silver State’s lead, with the former accepting play on online casino games, and we’ve participated in an unmelodious collection of regulatory debates in states such as California, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts lobbying for, and against, iGaming legislation.

We’ve seen billionaire-funded attempts to roll the market back to UIGEA, or worse.

But most of all, we haven’t seen a lot of players.

We have to look at New Jersey in particular here. Plain and simple, you’re going to see Nevada or Delaware struggle to reach critical mass offering poker alone, even with player pooling just around the corner. Online casino requires less need for a tight ecology, but volume is still essential to ensure margins kick in effectively and true month-on-month growth can occur.

Comparing NJ with the Nordics

New Jersey has a population of almost 9 million – a shade under that of Sweden and very nearly twice that of Norway. The Nordics offer arguably the greatest micro-melting pot of player knowledge, value and conversion rates of any region on the planet, with player value of an online casino customer 75% greater than that of the established UK market.

Whilst EU law has allowed unregulated brands to advertise in Sweden and Norway’s National Government Pension Fund has billions of Kroner invested in offshore gambling, operators are restricted in a far greater sense in the way they can market to potential customers than licensed operators in New Jersey… with one exception.

The humble affiliate.

The portal owner, the email marketer, the blogger, the Facebook tipster, the forum moderator, the PPC whizz, the new-fangled app builder all represent the glue that has put Sweden and Norway on the iGaming map, driving heavily-critiqued competition – and consequently product and market understanding of the Nordic casino player.

It’s a glue that is sorely lacking in New Jersey. Hell, the way the market looks, a webmaster won’t even get a sniff at it for an ounce of financial stimulation.

It isn’t too hard to become vendor registered as an affiliate in New Jersey. This would see you sit on a relatively strict CPA deal, and you may garner enough traffic to get something prepaid arranged, or some other form of media-based deal.

But to sit on a revenue share deal, that’s an altogether less appealing process – a process that includes full ownership character appraisal demanding things ranging from your finger prints to your toddler’s savings account details and the need to bring in legal advice to get things done “cheaply”. Not the end of the world for many affiliates, but here’s the:

Million Dollar Question

Why would bother with the rigmarole if you can earn more money by sending money to unregulated online casinos?

This is the very crux of the ongoing UIGEA fallout that WILL keep regulated operators behind the curve until it’s resolved. Since 2006, offshore operators have relied almost unilaterally upon affiliates to acquire players. Here you have a classic chicken and egg scenario that probably weighed heavily on the Pennsylvanian legislator’s pen as he drafted a recent bill that would see a would-be affiliate need to stump up – cue Dr Evil – ONE MILLION DOLLARS to obtain a license to promote regulated poker.

The tangible association of the affiliate with illegal online gambling is there. Offer a viable alternative, even an incentive, to break those ties and, just like that, the problem of the offshore casino or poker room disappears for good.

Devil’s Advocate

For the sake of those not as intrinsically involved in marketing channels and budget as I am, let me throw some facts your way.

Google

Facebook

Amazon

eBay

are all affiliates. They receive revenue in return for advertising and selling products or services. The inexactness of existing legislation, or its interpretation, in New Jersey that permits pre-paid advertising on sites like NJ.com or sports sponsorship deals bwin.party has with the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Devils displays a commercial naivety at best.

Newsflash: these commercial arrangements can only happen if they achieve a return on investment – ergo their very existence is dictated by player losses and any renewal or continuation effectively sees the recipients earning out of players’ pockets. I’d love to see Mark Zuckerberg send his fingerprints to the DGE if we’re doing things “properly”.

One might argue the ins and outs of what is proper when it comes to the regulation of advertising, in particular online. The bottom line is stringent regulation stifles growth – not just for affiliates either.

Affiliates create Market Knowledge

A late-2014 survey conducted in New Jersey indicated that under 10% of New Jerseyites even knew online gambling was legal, which ought to be bonkers considering the plethoric nature of billboard and television advertising the moment you land at Newark or cross the Hudson from Manhattan.

But for me, it’s not bonkers. The advertising, I’m sure very well thought out by brand managers and agencies, pushes brand and price heavily – repeating the successes of software partner brands in Europe. The issue is there is zero differentiation on product and consequently zero in terms of tangible comparison for the customer. What’s more, there is zero requirement for the operator to improve product or service delivery. It’s a turn off of the highest order, made infinitely worse when a customer does come to research ‘regulated online poker’ or ‘regulated online casino’ product in the Garden State, the independent resources ranking highest still push offshore, unregulated brands.

The DGE, via complaints from New Jersey’s handful of fully licensed affiliates, has formally forbidden any affiliate operating using a vendor license (our friends on the low rate CPA) from advertising regulated brands alongside the shady, higher earners.

What’s an affiliate to do?

The choice is simple. Earn more now by ditching the regulated brands and see what happens in the future. Affiliates, particularly those still operating as one man bands, tend to be from the “make hay whilst the sun shines” school of thought. Unlike the rest of the industry, they’re not the sort to sit back, play by the rules in the hope that a panacea is delivered out of the stresses and strains of state-by-state lobbying and bill redrafting. Regulators may well be irked by this approach, but they only have themselves to blame.

The solution is simple. Give affiliates FREE access to the market, let them do what they’re good at – namely independently appraising good and bad practice of online casino and poker operators for the greater good of the playing public, providing the substance to branding and becoming the glue the burgeoning regulated US iGaming industry needs to make targets stick.

Regulators – welcome affiliates with open arms and in one foul swoop you’ll expedite the demise of offshore gaming, build market knowledge and create the critical mass your licensees yearn for.

Gambling Domains for Sale

A client is looking to sell off his sizeable list of gambling domain names. In bulk, a selection of these could be handy for building up a link network, but the odd one is likely to pose more value to an affiliate looking to expand their site portfolio, or get started in the game.

Any offers on one or any of these fine URLs  – contact me at tom at gameon dot im?

Domains for Sale

allonlinebingogameforcash.com
baccaratbettingstrategy.com
bestcrapswinningsystem.com
bestgameonbingo.com
bestonlineblackjackgames.com
bestonlinecasinosignupbonus.com
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Random Cammer adds me to Skype

[09/12/2014 13:43:16] cozy.skirt8: are you online
[09/12/2014 13:43:24] Tom Galanis: Tom Galanis has shared contact details with cozy skirt.
[09/12/2014 13:43:47] cozy skirt: hey
[09/12/2014 13:45:07] Tom Galanis: hi
[09/12/2014 13:45:28] cozy skirt: hey.., how are u?
[09/12/2014 13:45:41] Tom Galanis: good – you? Do I know you?
[09/12/2014 13:46:09] cozy skirt: well im trying out thongs, you sound nice lets have sum fun…
[09/12/2014 13:46:40] Tom Galanis: Bit forward. How do I sound nice, you just added me?
[09/12/2014 13:46:45] Tom Galanis: I am actually psychotic
[09/12/2014 13:47:12] cozy skirt: my camera is turned on.. . wanna take a peek? Ill show you but dont tell any one, ok?
[09/12/2014 13:47:27] Tom Galanis: take a peek at what?
[09/12/2014 13:47:42] Tom Galanis: It’s dangerous letting people you don’t know look at your camera
[09/12/2014 13:47:55] Tom Galanis: I can use it to hack in to your hard drive whenever I like
[09/12/2014 13:47:57] cozy skirt: im going to give you a cam invite, all ya have to do is Accept, ill show u
[09/12/2014 13:48:04] Tom Galanis: You wouldn’t want that
[09/12/2014 13:48:15] Tom Galanis: I could put anything I want in there… dodgy photos and what not
[09/12/2014 13:48:27] Tom Galanis: Risky business
[09/12/2014 13:48:30] cozy skirt: you don’t need a cam to see me 😉 im basically naked right now, my nipples are soo hard
[09/12/2014 13:48:50] Tom Galanis: I can get your a refund on your PPI
[09/12/2014 13:49:20] cozy skirt: this is me go here http://bit.ly/1zkyP4X and click on join (Accept invite)
[09/12/2014 13:49:23] Tom Galanis: You should update your URL tracking system
[09/12/2014 13:49:48] Tom Galanis: I clicked the link. I’m currently uploading a trojan virus to your computer which will replace any face or body part you display on your webcam with a photo of Jimmy Savile
[09/12/2014 13:49:54] cozy skirt: its 100% free, it’s just for age verification reasons.. keeps the children out. hehe
[09/12/2014 13:50:18] Tom Galanis: Yeah, sadly for you I’ve just rerouted my IP through the local primary school
[09/12/2014 13:50:25] Tom Galanis: So that’s you fucked
[09/12/2014 13:50:29] Tom Galanis: And not in the way you want
[09/12/2014 13:50:40] Tom Galanis: Selling sex to kids is bad news
[09/12/2014 13:50:50] cozy skirt: just get ur login when you clic Accept Invite here http://bit.ly/1zkyP4X , hurry im wearing no panties.. im so hot
[09/12/2014 13:51:03] Tom Galanis: Maybe turn the aircon on
[09/12/2014 13:51:37] cozy skirt: ok once you are in my cam room go 2 private with me so we can chat just me and you
[09/12/2014 13:52:09] Tom Galanis: Yeah, it’s just a shame for you that it’s not just me though isn’t it
[09/12/2014 13:52:50] Tom Galanis: You know, for the number of times you must have to do this in a day, you could actually bring some good to the world
[09/12/2014 13:53:14] Tom Galanis: It’s fucking tragic

My Thoughts on the Scottish Referendum

I’ve watched in on the Scottish independence debate in disbelief from a relatively long distance down in the South-East corner of England. I’ve never really considered myself a Unionist or a Royalist. I enjoy the best bits of being English and the best bits of being British, and occasionally, just as the next man or woman, I find it all too easy to become English or southern when fingers need (or don’t need) pointing to attribute national problems. That’s part and parcel of living in the most multi-cultural, multi-racial country in the world, a united country built in the age of empire with an ever-evolving, yet previously inconceivably strong identity that has been fostered through the most extreme adversities that came as a result.

What is clear to me is this: the United Kingdom as it was is now dead. Its demise began with the decision to devolve power to Edinburgh. This gave unreasonable, illogical credence to Alex Salmond’s petulant verbal bashing of the English. Whatever the outcome of Thursday’s referendum, the ties that have bound the England, Scotland and Wales together for 307 years (and Northern Ireland more recently) have been irrevocably cut by the actions of politicians of all party persuasions in this farce of a referendum.

The debate of freedom has centred all too much on economics. If the Scottish want to be independent it should be because there is no price on freedom; Jock Bloggs from Elgin saving £100, or €112, on his gas bill being pushed forward as the principle thinking behind his vote to stay part of the UK is the final slap British politicians can lay to the face of the once admired democratic franchise of the United Kingdom – something our great-grandfathers through to their great-grandfathers gave their lives to build and defend. As for Scotland’s Prime Minister-elect Salmond, his diatribe comparing the prospect of Scottish independence with black South Africans ending Apartheid. Well, no words are required. The relative lack of bite in the strong-willed opinion of the once infamous regional and national press and media corps hammering the way this referendum has been structured and campaigned over has been flabbergasting.

Whatever the result, the lasting fallout of the referendum ought to be for the people of the United Kingdom to wake up and redefine what it means to be British, for our politicians and our press have completely removed that from the conscience of those able to go to the polls in this, or indeed, any vote.