Casino Gambling Web News Story Deceiving For Online Casino Gamblers


I know it may be hard for some of you to imagine but I’ve made a few mistakes. I’ll pause for a moment to allow some of you to come to grips with that or phone your therapist and work out what that means for you but I’ve said it and it’s out there.

Are we all better now? Ok, let’s continue . . .

Larry Rutherford at Casino Gambling Web doesn’t seem to be as willing to admit his errors. In a piece (and the choice of that word is intentional) he wrote on Casino Gambling Web titled “Full Tilt Online Poker Bonus Deceiving For Online Casino Gamblers” Mr Rutherford blasts Full Tilt Poker because he didn’t read the terms of the first time deposit bonus.

The site advertises a 100% match bonus on a first time deposit. That would leave many online players to assume that when they deposit $100, the casino would match that $100. This is where the deception of the site comes into play.

Actually, no. That is where his inexperience playing poker comes into play. On most poker sites a first time deposit bonus is either released incrementally as you hit certain milestones (like on Full Tilt Poker) or you have to complete the entire bonus to receive any part of it. Admittedly this is different than for online casinos which often comp you the money up front and then require that you give them so much turnover before any of it will be released to you. In fact, some poker sites even use a similar strategy to get low roller customers to come back to the site. They’ll deposit X dollars into your account and then you just have to play Y number of hands in order to release the money for withdrawal.

But the standard in the online poker industry, especially for first time deposit bonuses, is for the player to either earn off the matching portion incrementally or to completely earn it off before being released. The fact that the “Staff Editor” of a major gaming news site wouldn’t know that is somewhat scary. But even worse is that when he’s later informed that this is all in the terms and conditions when he signed up instead of investigating whether this is a fundamental difference between casino and poker offerings (which it is – and I’ll tell you why in a moment) he repeatedly calls Full Tilt “deceptive” and “deceiving.”

Now, Mr. Rutherford, should you read this, allow me to school you on why poker rooms and casinos offer different types of bonuses. When you play casino games you play against the house. That means if you lose your entire stake the casino still wins. Let’s look at the math:

100% sign up bonus up to $100 at a casino

Deposit = $100
Bonus = $100
Amount in your account $200

Since the casino has the house advantage in all games and you play all games against the house all they’re risking is that you’ll defy the odds and actually win. In which case they lose whatever you won plus the $100 they fronted you. But the odds are you will lose not only your $100 but the $100 they gave you. But since you’re losing it back to them, they’re risking $100 to make $100 in a game where they already have a huge edge.

Now, let’s look at how an online poker room operates. Online poker is played against other opponents. The house only takes a small rake collection as a service fee for providing the game. So if you lose $100 only a very small percentage of that might end up in the hands of the house. The rest is goes into the hands of other players. That’s why they can’t offer that type of bonus!

If they gave you the $100 bonus up front there would be nothing stopping players from simply dumping their money to another player after agreeing to split the winnings. It would be open season on online poker rooms.

But Mr. Rutherford isn’t content with just blaming his ignorance of online poker on Full Tilt Poker. He goes on:

If that was the only deception at the site, it may suffice, however, there was more to follow. Full Tilt claims to have twenty-four hour customer service. Upon e-mailing the customer service department to find out why the match bonus was not immediate, we received an automated response acknowledging the receipt of our question.

after a couple of hours and no response from a live agent that could help with the question, we proceeded to e-mail the site again, this time sending our question to a different department. Still, no response.

In fact, their twenty-four hour service actually turned into almost twenty-four hours before we received a response. The response was detailed, pointing out that in the terms and conditions of the sign up process, the confusing rules for receiving the sign-up bonus were listed.

For players that are looking to get into the world of online casinos, beware of sites such as Full Tilt Poker. Do the homework necessary and find the casino that truly gives a 100% match bonus with no strings attached upon signing up.

So the second deception was that they claim to have 24 hour support but don’t immediately respond with detailed resolution to his problem. Find me one casino of any size that does. He doesn’t state it in the article but most CS auto-responders say that they’ll attempt to resolve your issue in 24 hours so not only did Mr. Rutherford not pay attention to the terms of the deposit bonus but even after they responded within their standard turnaround time he labels them as being deceptive. A lot of very valid complaints can be lodged at the online gaming industry but this simply isn’t a case of the room doing anything wrong.

My favorite part is his last sentence:

For players that are looking to get into the world of online casinos, beware of sites such as Full Tilt Poker. Do the homework necessary and find the casino that truly gives a 100% match bonus with no strings attached upon signing up.

Yes, stay away from these shady operators like the second largest card room in the industry. Oh, and stay away from PokerStars the largest room in the industry because that’s how their first time deposit bonus works too. Oh, and iPoker’s skins all pretty much operate the same way too so stay away from the third largest operator. Oh, and Party offers the same thing so stay away from them too.

Wait . . . wouldn’t it just be easier to recognize the fact that online poker and online casinos have two different bonus schemes because they make money two entirely different ways?

I would hope that someone from Full Tilt reads this and has the legal department slap CGW’s wrist for putting this kind of stuff out there.

To deceive someone is to have the intent to mislead them. In this case, a casino player who is used to a different bonus system goes to Full Tilt and doesn’t read any of the terms and conditions of the bonus might find it confusing but there is nothing deceptive about it since they go to great lengths to explain how the deposit bonus works if one were to look. I mean, the link to the deposit bonus is above the fold, front and center, on the homepage. It’s not like they’re hiding the information.

Maybe the next post he writes for CGW is “Understanding Deposit Bonuses Before Sending Your Money to an Online Site You’ve Never Used Before.”

Photocred to greggoconnell


I normally don’t like to go back and edit posts because it distorts what information was available at that snapshot in time but here I am merely clarifying what was said earlier by posting a screen capture of the Full Tilt Poker homepage so people can see how damn easy it is to find out what the terms of the first time deposit bonus are.


In this photo it’s clear that the “100% bonus up to $600” is a link and it’s highlighted in such a way that it actually invites people to click and learn more.

Bill Rini
Bill Rini is currently the Head of Online Poker for WSOP. He has been working in the online poker industry since 2004 and has held management roles at Full Tilt Poker and PartyPoker.

10 thoughts on “Casino Gambling Web News Story Deceiving For Online Casino Gamblers”

  1. Sounds like he just wanted to complain for the hell of it. Surely he would of stopped to think hang on if they match my 100% deposit bonus immediately, then I could just withdraw my own $100 and have $100 for free? A tad presumptious to believe a multi-million dollar corp wouldn’t naturally come up with a deterrent.

    For a new player sure it may be a little confusing but even for a new player with a brain they could sit and realise why the company is doing it.

    Good post Bill. Bad post Rutherford

  2. @Tom: I just wanted to add that this is the standard in the online poker industry. Almost all sites offer this type of bonus structure. So it’s only deceiving if you were expecting something different. If someone was totally new as you claim they might actually take the time to read the T&C’s for the bonus which is what the author of this piece failed to do. He just assumed that because he knew casino bonuses that they must be just like poker bonuses.

    It’s like saying the English are being deceptive in calling the storage area of a vehicle a “boot” because Americans call it a “trunk.” Everyone in Britain knows what a boot is but if you come over from the US and are confused does that mean that the British are being deceptive? Are they trying to fool you?

    The problem with this article is the use of the word “deception.” If he wanted to call it confusing and point out to regular casino players the difference between online poker and online casino first time deposit bonuses that would be one thing but “deception” is a potentially libelous word which could have legal consequences.

    His argument might (and I’m trying to be as absolutely generous as I can here) have some ounce of credibility of he was confused going from Full Tilt Casino to Full Tilt Poker and expecting that the bonuses worked the same but . . . oh yeah, Full Tilt doesn’t have a casino. They are 100% a poker site.

  3. @Tom: It depends on how you look at it. If you are unfamiliar with how a first time deposit bonus works then there is a link right on the homepage to a page that describes in fairly easy to understand terms how the bonus is earned. They make no attempt to hide it.

  4. Isn’t the point though that a bonus is for new players who are unfamiliar with the online poker industry? Granted, Mr. Rutherford should know about this stuff being that he writes about the industry, but the point is that it is deceiving to new players who expect to get 100% matching bonus upon making the first deposit, since that is what it says.

  5. Is “Casino Gambling Web” a well known site?
    How about Larry Rutherford?

    He does seem utterly clueless about anything poker related (and a casino writer who don’t read the T&C of bonuses seems kind of fishy), and I’m kind of interested in knowing if it someone well known in the industry.

  6. Read this same story this morning. As you know, it isn’t uncommon to see these sort of misinformed pieces appear on non-poker or “mainstream” sites — pieces that immediately betray the author’s lack of familiarity with poker/online poker/whatever. But this one appears on a site called “Casino Gambling Web” — sheesh. I don’t think I’ll be clicking the “Bookmark Us” tab there lol.

  7. WOW! Incompetence on the part of a staff writer? Say it ain’t so Joe!

    Sounds more like a last minute attempt facing a deadline because he was short on online pai gow content.

    Thats’ good lookin’ out Bill!

  8. Mr. Where play is in Full Tilt and the web address will reflect this. The casino then went on to tell me Mr. of Larry Rutherford and how he had mastered play. This is just a fact of Full Tilt.

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