Online Players Association says it’s time to “cleanup” industry                           

When the media speaks of the explosive growth of the online gambling industry it typically focuses on the number of casinos, the incredible gross revenue figures and the legal issues. But the fuel behind all of that growth and revenue is the legions of players sitting at home, clicking away in anonymity.

Casino associations like the Interactive Gaming Council have formed in an attempt to get Internet casinos to regulate themselves, but until recently the players’ side of the industry has been seriously under-represented.

As Steve Adkins, President of the new Online Players Association (OPA), puts it “the so called watchdog organizations do not really watch anything.”

He may have a point. “These groups just watched as hundreds of players lost over $200,000,” says Adkins, 바둑이사이트 referring to the recent debacles where a few online casinos froze player accounts and refused to release winnings in a controversy over the use of sign-up bonuses.

The origin of the OPA is about as grass-roots as it gets. Active players, casino owners and message forum managers identified their collective need on the highly active message groups such as Adkins’ Your Lucky Page and WINNERonline’s Best and Worst Online Casinos forum. By sharing their experiences they quickly recognized their common frustrations and the OPA was formed in an attempt to bridge the gap between player trust and casino practice.

“We plan to resolve disputes courteously, but expeditiously,” says Adkins.” The OPA works for its members and works with online casinos toward a common goal.”

It will be tempting for skeptics to write the OPA off as just another lobby group. In truth, the organization’s mandate is not that one-sided and they are attempting to reach out to both players and casinos. The OPA’s Casino Code of Ethics stresses licensing and proper auditing practice while their Gambler Code of Ethics strives to promote reasonable and responsible player conduct.

At the end of the day — and certainly for the time being — online gambling is a matter of trust and the OPA’s ultimate goal is to have everyone conduct themselves accordingly and appropriately. How successful they will be is anyone’s guess, but in the face of the legislative clouds that rumble on the horizon their attempt to bring fair play to the casino playing field is exceedingly well-timed. The conduct of the industry players and casinos may not affect the outcome of the current legislative attempts, but it’s a safe bet that continued misbehavior on either side will only make things worse.

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