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Galewind Online Casino Software Shows the Way

May 25, 2009

Galewind Software Incorporated is a small player in the online gaming software industry. Its flash based software was until now used by two online casinos. These were Pinnacle Casino and Heroes Casino.

The problem started at Heroes Casino in November 2008. A player won $34,000 playing blackjack. However Heroes Casino began to make excuses for not paying. First the management said that the player’s ID documents were not in order. When that did not hold they alleged that he could have been using a bot and said that they would need time to audit his records. Meanwhile they hinted that a compromise settlement at a lower amount could be entered into. When the player did not take up this offer the management claimed that the software by Galewind was flawed and therefore they were unable to make the payment. The player took up the issue at various forum threads on online gambling websites. He also made a complaint to the Cyberluck organization in the Netherlands Antilles. Ultimately he went to Casinomeister who took up the issue with the software provider Galewind.

Galewind backed its software completely. It stated that the software has been independently tested by software specialist Eliot Jacobson of Certified Fair Gambling. They also cited testimonials from Michael Shackleford of the Wizard of Odds and Stacy Friedman of Olympian Gaming. Chris Colby the President of Galewind also offered open his source code to another independent testing agency but the Heroes management did not take up that offer.

In the run up to the final event, Galewind pointed out two important factors. One was that even though they were not at fault, because of the controversy their image was suffering. The second issue was that the concerned player had won his amount fairly and he needed to be paid. Colby said, "Someone needed to pay him, and we felt that we had an ultimate responsibility that transcended the filters of any legal obligations." Therefore Galewind paid the full amount to the player and ended his trauma. However Galewind also withdrew its software license given to Heroes Casino for their rogue behavior.

The battle was not over for Galewind. There were rumors and postings on online forums that Galewind had paid, and not Heroes Casino, because it knew that its software was defective. It was also alleged that Galewind and Heroes Casino had entered into some backroom agreement on this issue. However, Galewind refuted this. In the Casinomeister thread Colby wrote, "On this point I wish to be perfectly clear: Galewind Software 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"."

With its actions Galewind has sent a message to its much larger competitors that the customers’ interests are paramount if the industry as a whole is to survive. No doubt this incident will bring relief to the community of online players who have had some sticky decisions forced on them in the past few months.

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