Bitcoin Forum

Economy => Gambling => Topic started by: ssaCEO on July 19, 2011, 08:20:48 PM



Title: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: ssaCEO on July 19, 2011, 08:20:48 PM
I'm proud to announce that StrikeSapphire.com (http://StrikeSapphire.com) has become the first full-featured casino to support the Bitcoin currency and community! Our private-membership, one of a kind casino & poker room is now processing deposits and near-instant withdrawals in BTC.

VERY IMPORTANT: We can't accept players in the United States, France or Italy. I wish we could, but we're a responsible club and bound by law. We verify all members' nation of residence prior to their first deposit, and we are limiting signups to 50 new depositors per month.

Once you're a member, you can deposit Bitcoin instantly on the site. BTC is converted to USD in your Sapphire account at the live Tradehill buy rate. We normally process withdrawals within the hour, converted back to BTC at the Tradehill sell rate that was live at the time you requested the withdrawal.

StrikeSapphire SA has developed our very own, very original software. It's all multi-player, multi-table, and plays directly in any browser on Windows, Mac and Linux. We feature a lot of original games, self-structured odds, and a beautiful interface that lets you play six tables at a time in a single window. We're a software company incorporated in Costa Rica. Bitcoin is our club's first deposit method, and our player's club will remain private. We're primarily committed to continued game development and licensing our platform to full-scale operators.

StrikeSapphire offers our players a unique club experience with extended play time for your Coin. We think of our club as an off-strip Vegas casino for locals in the know. Many of our original games allow combinations with RTP exceeding 97.5%, and we maintain low stakes for longer play -- as low as 1-$5 Roulette, 10-$5 Blackjack, and 10-$1 Craps... all multiplayer and also available in private rooms.

StrikeSapphire is committed to extreme transparency, and publishes the results of real money hands, spins and rolls on our Transparency page, linked at the bottom of our site. Please enjoy our games responsibly, and we look forward to being your hosts.

Josh Strike
Founder/CEO
StrikeSapphire SA
https://strikesapphire.com
help@strikesapphire.com


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: Chick on July 19, 2011, 08:26:46 PM
I'm proud to announce that StrikeSapphire.com has become the first full-featured casino to support the Bitcoin currency and community! Our private-membership, one of a kind casino & poker room is now processing deposits and near-instant withdrawals in BTC.

VERY IMPORTANT: We can't accept players in the United States, France or Italy. I wish we could, but we're a responsible club and bound by law. We verify all members' nation of residence prior to their first deposit, and we are limiting signups to 50 new depositors per month.

Once you're a member, you can deposit Bitcoin instantly on the site. BTC is converted to USD in your Sapphire account at the live Tradehill buy rate. We normally process withdrawals within the hour, converted back to BTC at the Tradehill sell rate that was live at the time you requested the withdrawal.

StrikeSapphire SA has developed our very own, very original software. It's all multi-player, multi-table, and plays directly in any browser on Windows, Mac and Linux. We feature a lot of original games, self-structured odds, and a beautiful interface that lets you play six tables at a time in a single window. We're a software company incorporated in Costa Rica. Bitcoin is our club's first deposit method, and our player's club will remain private. We're primarily committed to continued game development and licensing our platform to full-scale operators.

StrikeSapphire offers our players a unique club experience with extended play time for your Coin. We think of our club as an off-strip Vegas casino for locals in the know. Many of our original games allow combinations with RTP exceeding 97.5%, and we maintain low stakes for longer play -- as low as 1-$5 Roulette, 10-$5 Blackjack, and 10-$1 Craps... all multiplayer and also available in private rooms.

StrikeSapphire is committed to extreme transparency, and publishes the results of real money hands, spins and rolls on our Transparency page, linked at the bottom of our site. Please enjoy our games responsibly, and we look forward to being your hosts.

Josh Strike
Founder/CEO
StrikeSapphire SA
https://strikesapphire.com
help@strikesapphire.com

Awesome!


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: lemonginger on July 19, 2011, 08:48:29 PM
Are you going to be licensed in a jurisdiction that offers casino licensing?
Is your RNG and gaming history going to be audited by a third party auditor? (I see you are publishing it, but of course there is no guarantee that what you are publishing is the full/actual history of wagers)
Do you have a statement about keeping player funds segregated (or not) from operating expenses?
Why did you choose to roll your own software when there is lots of established casino software out there? (Microgaming, RTG, etc)
Do you have people involved that have a history in the online gambling industry?

(thanks! questions not meant to be harsh, but as you know online casinos have the potential to be quite shady and have been in the past)

Also thanks for differentiating mathematical "advantage play" in your TOS from exploiting bugs advantage play! Too many casinos treat them the same way.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: SlaveInDebt on July 19, 2011, 08:50:33 PM
Within the US you deposit BTC that's then converted at the current exchange rate for play money represented as denominations of dollars according to your video and then converted back to BTC upon withdrawing at that current exchange rate. You are saying that the US players are purchasing chips with BTC and then cashing out in BTC with no actual US currency used correct?

EDIT: Sounds more like your running as a payment processor for BTC to USD. Would it not be much wiser/safer to solely have US players play only in BTC denominations given resent events?



Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: lemonginger on July 19, 2011, 08:52:48 PM
Lastly...

Quote
we are limiting signups to 50 new depositors per month

what??


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: DonnyCMU on July 19, 2011, 08:52:56 PM
Another good-looking Bitcoin business, great!


First suggestion: you might want to check your grammar and wording properly for good credibility-
"We cannot accept real-money players at or resident in the United States, nor any form of payment which originate in or passes through US banking institutions and/or financial instruments."    -__-"

Also, this note should be above the registration in normal font, not a small footnote in the bottom.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: Newton on July 19, 2011, 09:01:35 PM
Great looking site.  This is going to be a big business.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: YoYa on July 19, 2011, 09:17:38 PM
Excellent, been looking for a good place to play roulette ;)


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: ssaCEO on July 19, 2011, 09:30:10 PM
Are you going to be licensed in a jurisdiction that offers casino licensing?
Is your RNG and gaming history going to be audited by a third party auditor? (I see you are publishing it, but of course there is no guarantee that what you are publishing is the full/actual history of wagers)
Do you have a statement about keeping player funds segregated (or not) from operating expenses?
Why did you choose to roll your own software when there is lots of established casino software out there? (Microgaming, RTG, etc)
Do you have people involved that have a history in the online gambling industry?

(thanks! questions not meant to be harsh, but as you know online casinos have the potential to be quite shady and have been in the past)

Also thanks for differentiating mathematical "advantage play" in your TOS from exploiting bugs advantage play! Too many casinos treat them the same way.


Hi lemonginger, let me answer your questions since you've hit a lot of interesting points and hopefully this will explain things further:

1) We are incorporated in Costa Rica as an information processing entity, granting us the legal right to run the casino under international law. We're discussing acquiring licensing in a larger jurisdiction, and we understand the reservations some players may have about CR-based casinos. For this reason, we are going to extreme lengths to show transparency, including daily publishing every complete card shoe, roulette spin and craps roll on the site. We expect players to scour these numbers, and we also expect players to win much more than they would in, say, Vegas, because our games are 100% fair.
2) We are reserving 200% of player funds on a rolling basis to cover daily payouts.
3) This software has been four years in the making. To (legitimately) lease a Microgaming license, for instance, comes to around $100k per month if you're doing any kind of serious business. The way this started was, about 3-4 years ago I came up with an idea to make a different kind of casino, all in-browser, all in Flash, and at that time the world was a different place. The nice thing about it is that we have a lot of really different, really original games that the big guys would be scared to death to actually put into practice ("when will we get our investment back?!" and that kind of thing). So we're a little startup with a lot more flexibility, and that's actually how we were able to move so quickly toward taking Bitcoin. Because no other casino will be accepting it for quite awhile, from what we've been able to ascertain.
4) The people involved in this project are mostly new to the industry, but we have some excellent advisors who have worked (and do work) on gambling sites you would have heard of. One of our managers was a producer on the top-selling videogame of all time; another has long-term experience in the London land-based casino market. That's all I can say to the question. I'm personally an open book, if you want to look me up, it's joshstrike.com, and you can always get a hold of me there.
5) You're not being harsh; these are great questions. If you'd like more explanation, just keep askin ;)


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: Newton on July 19, 2011, 09:47:39 PM
One thing I would suggest is a small howto for getting bitcoins.

This site will appeal to gamblers far outside of the bitcoin community, and once they realize the ease with which they can transfer bitcoins in and out of the site they will be in gambler heaven.

Wouldn't take much, just a link to the buying bitcoin wiki, and maybe a quick outline to convince first timers how easy it is (1) Open a Dwolla account (2) Buy bitcoins from Tradehill (3) Instantly use here.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: ssaCEO on July 19, 2011, 09:58:31 PM
One thing I would suggest is a small howto for getting bitcoins.

This site will appeal to gamblers far outside of the bitcoin community, and once they realize the ease with which they can transfer bitcoins in and out of the site they will be in gambler heaven.

Wouldn't take much, just a link to the buying bitcoin wiki, and maybe a quick outline to convince first timers how easy it is (1) Open a Dwolla account (2) Buy bitcoins from Tradehill (3) Instantly use here.


I agree -- it's goin' on the top of the list.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: GoWest on July 19, 2011, 10:04:18 PM
Wow - what an uber-slick interface.  I guess that's the end of betco.in!!

Also: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03C4tnCFEMQ


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: BitVapes on July 19, 2011, 10:09:19 PM
most online casinos offer deposit bonuses, especially for new players.    The b&m casinos in Las Vegas give you free hotel rooms, free alcohol and free entertainment to entice customers to play and keep playing.   The online casinos give free chips as their version of player enticement.  Do you plan on offering some deposit bonuses?   I'd be interested in playing if so


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: ssaCEO on July 19, 2011, 10:17:42 PM
@GoWest -- Thanks, I take that as a compliment  ;)

@BitVapes. We do plan on offering promotions based on both player points accrued (see the terms of service for details), and also ongoing for high-rolling players through the Silver and Gold-star preferred customer plans.

Aside from that, we've got a choice of referral programs that will give you 20% on your friends' deposits, or a larger first-time bonus, however those are subject to wagering requirements like most other bonuses.

We're a small house and offer relatively small stakes; we also offer a very personal atmosphere where you can get to know us and your fellow players. The vast majority of bonuses out there are absolute BS, designed to suck you in but never pay out. When we give you a bonus with 30x wagering requirements, you can withdraw your winnings instantly, and you can withdraw the first $1 of the bonus instantly if you've played $30. No other casino does that. More than that, our games are extremely, flawlessly fair, and we pride ourselves on it. We're the only casino that shows you the full shoe of every blackjack hand you played -- maybe the only casino that actually deals a whole show, because we're not sure how Microgaming does it, but they're clearly full of crap.

So the bottom line is that our bonuses are going to be small, and it'll be up to you whether you want to chase a bonus with a huge provider like MG, or just sit down and play a fair game (and maybe earn a few points on the side) with us.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: billyjoeallen on July 19, 2011, 10:21:25 PM
How do you verify nation of residence? 


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: GoWest on July 19, 2011, 10:27:28 PM
I tried the phone number, I tried Skype (can't find them), and now I'm *trying* Google Video Chat but can't seem to get it going.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: foggyb on July 19, 2011, 10:31:14 PM
What formats of NL Texas Holdem are available?

I am unable to find this information without signing up. I have to add that I like sites that let me try the games before requiring me to register.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: ssaCEO on July 19, 2011, 10:35:15 PM
I tried the phone number, I tried Skype (can't find them), and now I'm *trying* Google Video Chat but can't seem to get it going.

Try again on skype man...we're online.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: ssaCEO on July 19, 2011, 10:41:44 PM
What formats of NL Texas Holdem are available?

I am unable to find this information without signing up. I have to add that I like sites that let me try the games before requiring me to register.

You can play for playcash, it's just that no one's playing yet. Give it a couple days ;)
We have Holdem, 7 card stud, mississippi and omaha, in NL, PL and Limit varieties (no NL for stud and no Limit games for Mississippi). The stakes go from $0.25/$0.50 up to $250/$500, and the rake structure is listed here:

https://strikesapphire.com/rakes.html

Let me know if you need more info!


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: GoWest on July 19, 2011, 10:42:13 PM
I tried the phone number, I tried Skype (can't find them), and now I'm *trying* Google Video Chat but can't seem to get it going.

Try again on skype man...we're online.

Success, thanks.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: foggyb on July 19, 2011, 10:48:29 PM
What formats of NL Texas Holdem are available?

The stakes go from $0.25/$0.50 up to $250/$500, and the rake structure is listed here:

https://strikesapphire.com/rakes.html

Let me know if you need more info!

You have no-limit holdem tournaments, freerolls and GTD's?   NICE.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: ssaCEO on July 19, 2011, 11:59:04 PM
You have no-limit holdem tournaments, freerolls and GTD's?   NICE.

Yup  :D
Right now, there's a guaranteed $100 tournament if 3 players join, single table, every evening at 8pm GMT... but we're going to add more as soon as we have the volume, and I'd say if you think you've got an idea for a good time to run one and want to bring some players in, we'll make it rake-free the first couple weeks and get it going. We can run tournaments up to about 20 tables right now if you got enough players to make it fun ;)


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: lemonginger on July 20, 2011, 01:06:19 AM
Hi ssaCEO:

Thanks for the quick answers!

I guess I am still concerned about whether or not you will allow a trusted third party to audit your wagering history. (ie; commit to bringing in an accounting firm or similar) but I applaud the transparency!

(Honestly, the CR location doesn't bother me. Eastern Europe would. No offense to Eastern Europeans but the casinos based there have been almost uniformly scams. And Kahnawake, Alderney and others haven't exactly been super player-friendly anyway so online gaming is always "player beware" As far as I am concerned)

I get that licensing gaming software is expensive, and I applaud you for wanting to be "lean and mean" and take a risk with bitcoin, but I hope you also see why when 90% of all online casinos run on a few software types, it is worrying to see someone re-inventing the wheel. (From your perspective, I get that it was an exceptional opportunity to dust off an older project and run with the BTC angle. It surprises me that no bigger players have jumped into offering bitcoin as an option yet).

Lastly, I would urge you to seek accreditation with CasinoMeister and dedicate at least a little time to being available on their forums. Many online gamblers use them as a trusted resource.

Best of luck with your venture! Always nice to see BTC projects that are more polished than a night or two of coding....




Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: kookiekrak on July 20, 2011, 01:41:37 AM
so you dont take BTC from US players either? =(


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: ssaCEO on July 20, 2011, 03:13:23 AM
Hey Lemonginger, I knew your name sounded really familiar. I'm jstrike on the CM board... I've been writing about my project there since the get-go. And yeah, of course I want to open the books to any and all kinds of checking. And you're right, Kahnawake and Alderney don't do anything to verify the casinos. But with what I've built, literally everything is open. No secrets. And to me, writing the software was the fun part, that's why I did this...it's not just an odd project, it's something I've been working on for a few years and the whole point was really to come up with lots of new games and new ideas no one had tried before. Like the Mayan Gold multiplayer progressive slot, and the rolling WR for bonuses. I'm seriously into taking everything prescribed by the CM and putting it into action. And it's not just about saving money by not leasing software, I really think that my software's got some advantages over the "big boys" stuff, at least in terms of playability and new games.
My plan is to roll out a totally new game every month or so, once I spend a month or two making sure this is up and running smoothly. My heroes are Enzo and the 3dice guys... that's exactly how I think of this project, even if Enzo doesn't think too much of me. Maybe he will later?
Bitcoin, to tell you the truth, is more the vehicle right now because my interests (like, opening this thing before I grow a 40-foot beard) and the Bitcoin community's interests coincide, and I knew that the big guys were too scared of this market to lay anything on the line with BTC. There are reps right now from MG and Playtech, and a bunch of other providers & operators, who are watching this thread and my site and waiting to see what happens, because Bitcoin is a live wire. They'll come in and dominate the market, but that's ok, because either way I got here first, and I know there's always gonna be something new for me.
BTW, I didn't announce this on CM yet because, after I did that poll where no one knew what bitcoin was, I sort of thought I should wait until we had a second deposit method before I mentioned it over there. Not saying you shouldn't, as it's definitely up to the standards I think Bryan wants to see in anything new like this, and I'm proud of it, but I'm holding off for myself 'til we get past the first few days...

edit: Also I forgot to say, I'm listed as a rep on CM but I'm also going to apply us toward a baptism as soon as we have enough players and volume to make it make sense.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: Vod on July 20, 2011, 03:29:34 AM
VERY IMPORTANT: We can't accept players in the United States
...
BTC is converted to USD in your Sapphire account

I found this funny.   ;D


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: foggyb on July 20, 2011, 03:41:11 AM
I knew that the big guys were too scared of this market to lay anything on the line with BTC. There are reps right now from MG and Playtech, and a bunch of other providers & operators, who are watching this thread and my site and waiting to see what happens, because Bitcoin is a live wire. They'll come in and dominate the market, but that's ok, because either way I got here first, and I know there's always gonna be something new for me.

Are the Casino Meister forum members generally aware of bitcoin? If they don't know how easy life could be with bitcoins & online casinos, then an opportunity is being missed.




Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: ssaCEO on July 20, 2011, 03:58:07 AM
VERY IMPORTANT: We can't accept players in the United States
...
BTC is converted to USD in your Sapphire account

I found this funny.   ;D

Yeah, I felt a little odd about that myself. But just because I worked on the death star doesn't mean I support the empire...


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: ssaCEO on July 20, 2011, 04:07:49 AM
I knew that the big guys were too scared of this market to lay anything on the line with BTC. There are reps right now from MG and Playtech, and a bunch of other providers & operators, who are watching this thread and my site and waiting to see what happens, because Bitcoin is a live wire. They'll come in and dominate the market, but that's ok, because either way I got here first, and I know there's always gonna be something new for me.

Are the Casino Meister forum members generally aware of bitcoin? If they don't know how easy life could be with bitcoins & online casinos, then an opportunity is being missed.




Not yet, unfortunately ...
http://www.casinomeister.com/forums/payment-processing-issues/poll-393-a.html
but the way things are going I think it's inevitable. My personal Bitcoin conversion has been a hard road to travel...we could have launched this thing a month ago, but held off... and I gotta say I'm glad we didn't do it right before the mtgox collapse. We're throwing our full support behind Tradehill, and have spoken with them about making sure we don't have any tie-ups in the process, which made us a lot more comfortable about starting things up this way -- the TH guys are very sharp and responsive and understand what it requires to run something like this on our end.

Bottom line, myself and more than a few of the people I talk with have come around to believing that Bitcoin will ultimately be as mainstream and as impossible to control as torrents, and we happen to be in a position to be the first ones to get behind it and grow with it. So it's a combination of having a good product and seizing an opportunity when you see one. Or being in the right place at the right time. And the CM crowd will see it too, I think, once we start making some waves ;)


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: lemonginger on July 20, 2011, 04:28:18 AM
sounds great :) I don't go by lemonginger on the CM forums (and haven't been there for awhile) but super happy that you are above board enough to WANT involvement from that community. That speaks volumes right there.

I assume you want to travel in the US again at some point, so your player restrictions are there, but no doubt once one of the casinos/sportsbooks (like Bodog) that have already given the DOJ a few big FUs decides to take on bitcoin, it will be huge for US players. From waiting upwards of 30+ days for cashouts back to instantaneous like the Neteller days? (Actually, a lot more instantaneous) Huge.

I'm honestly not sure what the big risk is in accepting bitcoins for a casino at this point. They are essentially counterfeit and fraud proof (in terms of chargebacks) and as long as casinos are managing currency risk by always using current conversion rates (and maybe hedging a little), I don't see what the hold-up is. The absolute worst that could happen is a flash crash that essentially values whatever their current holdings are in bitcoins, but that will only happen if the bitcoin market is tiny anyway (so they wouldn't have that much) and surely can't be more than some sites have been writing off in payment processor seizures/fees/headaches/etc

Anyway, enjoy your first mover advantage while you got it! I'd say that I look forward to advantage play on the first payout table you put out that is EV+, but I'm in the US ;) I love seeing new and fun games that don't already have optimal strategies worked out.



Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: GeniuSxBoY on July 20, 2011, 04:33:18 AM
You're going to be rich.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: Palmdetroit on July 20, 2011, 06:07:26 AM
working good  ;D


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: rikur on July 20, 2011, 11:47:45 AM
The user experience I had was top notch. Must be one of the best browser casinos made, even if it's still in alpha/beta.

I can recommend the service.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: Djao on July 20, 2011, 01:50:44 PM
The user experience I had was top notch. Must be one of the best browser casinos made, even if it's still in alpha/beta.

I can recommend the service.

I second this. Deposited 1 BTC, got USD in my account exchanged at current TH rates. Then played a bit, won some coins and withdraw BTC for 16 USD, again exchanged at TH rate which gave me 1.16026106 BTC in my wallet.

Nice site, good games, seems legit.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: Valhalla1 on July 20, 2011, 02:03:32 PM
If you did a 100% first deposit bonus with 30x playthru that would be awesome


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: foggyb on July 20, 2011, 04:16:54 PM
If you did a 100% first deposit bonus with 30x playthru that would be awesome

Yes, please add a first deposit bonus as incentive to inject larger amounts of bitcoins into the site.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: Newton on July 20, 2011, 08:46:01 PM
So....


Why is everyone still here and not on Sapphire?  I keep waiting for a table to play poker with and nobody is showing up!

Seriously, we should be driving everyone we know here.  It's an awesome site, and bitcoin needs a significant driver like this to drive up purchases of the coin for actual usage in the economy.

If you're into online gambling this is so much better than anything else out there.  (1) Its in a totally different league than the other bitcoin sites and (2) Its as good as the major players but... it has bitcoin which is going to be gambler catnip.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: SgtSpike on July 20, 2011, 08:49:06 PM
Because I live in the US.  :(


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: Newton on July 20, 2011, 08:54:38 PM
Because I live in the US.  :(

Cough, cough.  Really, are you sure you're not from Canada ;)


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: LeonGeeste on July 20, 2011, 09:08:10 PM
I thought we already had a Bitcoin casino, and it was called MtGox?   ;)

Seriously, though, if you can't figure out how to take/payout bets in Bitcoin with people in restricted countries, that's an instant phail.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: Newton on July 20, 2011, 09:12:11 PM
Seriously, though, if you can't figure out how to submit/withdraw payments in Bitcoin when you are a player in restricted countries, that's an instant phail.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: foggyb on July 20, 2011, 09:25:03 PM

Why is everyone still here and not on Sapphire?  I keep waiting for a table to play poker with and nobody is showing up!

Keep waiting...I will show up sooner or later. We are just 24 hrs after launch. I played a couple dozen hands with a guy called 'smokey' yesterday. I like the poker software, its wayyyy nicer than betco or whatever that site is called.


I want get in the $100 GTD tourney tomorrow.



Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: LeonGeeste on July 20, 2011, 09:40:50 PM
Seriously, though, if you can't figure out how to submit/withdraw payments in Bitcoin when you are a player in restricted countries, that's an instant phail.


He said he verifies a person's nationality before they're allowed to participate.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: Newton on July 20, 2011, 09:58:35 PM
Seriously, though, if you can't figure out how to submit/withdraw payments in Bitcoin when you are a player in restricted countries, that's an instant phail.

 
He said he verifies a person's nationality before they're allowed to participate.

The before part is key.  Makes it quite easy to give it a try hey?  Seems to work fairly well from "Canada" where I am...


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: LeonGeeste on July 20, 2011, 10:29:13 PM
He said he verifies a person's nationality before they're allowed to participate.

The before part is key.  Makes it quite easy to give it a try hey?  Seems to work fairly well from "Canada" where I am...

Still don't follow.  If you don't get an account until he verifies that you're Canadian, how exactly do you circumvent this?


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: Newton on July 20, 2011, 10:40:15 PM
Still don't follow.  If you don't get an account until he verifies that you're Canadian, how exactly do you circumvent this?

Well, its easy to try.  My login from Canada worked just fine with nothing further than name and address supplied on the form.  With PokerStars and FullTilt, they were cutoff by the centralized payment processors- Paypal/CC.  Bitcoin significantly changes this picture...


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: ssaCEO on July 20, 2011, 11:25:36 PM
Newton, were you able to deposit?


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: ssaCEO on July 20, 2011, 11:36:48 PM
Okay folks, I'm back.

It's been a pretty wild 24 hours here, and now that I can take a deep breath, I just want to thank everyone for trying out the site, as well as the positive reviews! Yes, we're still in Beta, but it's a pretty cool thing to be able to jump ahead of the big guys on Bitcoin...it feels like being part of history ;)

I can see a bunch of people figured out the referral program...marketing isn't our big thing, we really do believe in "word of mouth" and in giving maximum rewards to loyal players. Foggyb, I like your initiative with the banner! I think we'll come out with some of our own soon, our resident artist is working on it.

Next up: We'll be starting things rolling this week with a $100 NL Holdem Freeroll (Sunday, 8pm GMT). Small, I know, but we've only got about six players who qualify so far, so we'll see where we are by Sunday, and plan accordingly for the next week. Max signup is 20 players, and minimum to start will be 5. The cost of entry is 200 player points -- you can see these in the Account > History menu at the top. They're earned by playing most real-money games; details in the TOS and help sections. Hopefully this will get the poker ball rolling at least one day a week...we'll take it from there.

Now a very important word about Canadians, "Canadians", and "Southern Canadians":
Unlike most online casinos we really do take this US thing seriously. This isn't just a strongly worded statement for appearance's sake, and we'd like to ask the Bitcoin community to please cooperate with our wishes here and not try to fake out our system. We are certainly going to face scrutiny as the first BTC casino, and it doesn't help anybody who's holding coins to put us in a position where we draw more heat from officials to the currency.

That said, there seem to be more scare-quote "Canadians" walking around than we have Canadians who've actually deposited. Which makes me wonder what's going on, and whether there's some disinfo/psy-ops at work here to discredit us.

So far, to our knowledge, we haven't taken any bets from the US...the one player who claims to be Canadian who's walking around in Michigan hasn't deposited, and can't. The other extremely-close-to-the-border player, on the Canadian side ...is this Newton? We seem to have taken your $1.37 deposit by accident. You've been de-verified. Please provide a BTC address where we can return your money.

Canadian depositors will now have to go through a somewhat tighter verification process. I'm really sorry to all the actual Canadians out there, I wish we could just run this on some basic code of chivalry, but we're trying to balance ease of use with safety for everyone involved.

To Americans who are not federal agents: The best way you can stand up for Bitcoin is by not doing something that will endanger our young site. To those who are federal agents: We refuse to service your trade, and we are making every good-faith effort possible to remain completely closed to gaming in the US. If you want to keep trying to "trick" our system against all our efforts to prevent that, and by lying on our forms, it's likely entrapment and won't stand up in court.

//end rant. Sorry for being a hardass about this, but we really do mean it; it's not just for show.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: ColdHardMetal on July 21, 2011, 12:01:11 AM
Hi,

I was playing around with different games using play money yesterday. Nice interface. Everything worked really smoothly, the platform recovered well when it lost connections, etc. However when I had a play money roulette table going in the course of maybe 30 spins there where 2 0s, which isn't really that improbable, and 3 consecutive 9s, which I think we can all agree is really quite improbable, so you might want to look into the records and see if something was glitching at that moment.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: kookiekrak on July 21, 2011, 12:13:28 AM
Hi,

I was playing around with different games using play money yesterday. Nice interface. Everything worked really smoothly, the platform recovered well when it lost connections, etc. However when I had a play money roulette table going in the course of maybe 30 spins there where 2 0s, which isn't really that improbable, and 3 consecutive 9s, which I think we can all agree is really quite improbable, so you might want to look into the records and see if something was glitching at that moment.

lol. you havent been playing enough roulette then.

ive seen a number hit 5 times in a row in a REAL casino.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: ssaCEO on July 21, 2011, 12:42:56 AM
Hi,

I was playing around with different games using play money yesterday. Nice interface. Everything worked really smoothly, the platform recovered well when it lost connections, etc. However when I had a play money roulette table going in the course of maybe 30 spins there where 2 0s, which isn't really that improbable, and 3 consecutive 9s, which I think we can all agree is really quite improbable, so you might want to look into the records and see if something was glitching at that moment.

Hey ColdHardMetal... thanks for the compliments. It doesn't look like any error happened in roulette last night. The odds are 1444:1 against a number coming up three times in a row, about a 1 in 50 chance of it happening during any given 30-spin period (that's off the top of my head, don't hold me to it), but that's true for any three numbers in a row. The odds of any number like 0s coming up twice are about 50% in any given 26-27 spins, so that's about right.

If you check out https://strikesapphire.com/reports/ you can see the actual number of spins for each number on the roulette wheel since we started recording... this is added up the day after the play, so right now 9's are pretty much dead center with 10 hits, and after yours show up they'll be up to 13 hits...still within the expected range that's indicated by the green zone. We have a rock-solid random number generator that's independent of network lag, so I don't think it was a bug (early in alpha testing, we did have a guy win $500 or so because we left the Craps game in test mode rolling all 7's...that was funny...and led to us rewriting the TOS...but no sign of it here).

Anyway, thanks for enjoying the games and I hope this clears it up...


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: ColdHardMetal on July 21, 2011, 01:05:59 AM
Hey ColdHardMetal... thanks for the compliments. It doesn't look like any error happened in roulette last night. The odds are 1444:1 against a number coming up three times in a row, about a 1 in 50 chance of it happening during any given 30-spin period (that's off the top of my head, don't hold me to it), but that's true for any three numbers in a row. The odds of any number like 0s coming up twice are about 50% in any given 26-27 spins, so that's about right.

If you check out https://strikesapphire.com/reports/ you can see the actual number of spins for each number on the roulette wheel since we started recording... this is added up the day after the play, so right now 9's are pretty much dead center with 10 hits, and after yours show up they'll be up to 13 hits...still within the expected range that's indicated by the green zone. We have a rock-solid random number generator that's independent of network lag, so I don't think it was a bug (early in alpha testing, we did have a guy win $500 or so because we left the Craps game in test mode rolling all 7's...that was funny...and led to us rewriting the TOS...but no sign of it here).

Anyway, thanks for enjoying the games and I hope this clears it up...

Thank for looking into it. It's not my intention to imply anything shady is going on. I rarely play table games, but it seemed unusual enough to be worth reporting since you're at an early release stage. Although 1 in 50ish really isn't that unlikely when you put it in those terms.


On an unrelated note, would it be possible to hold account balances in BTC and only convert when you're looking to play? I mean I can do that myself by only depositing when I want to play and withdrawing my balance right away when finished, but it would be less cumbersome if the platform could do it itself.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: ssaCEO on July 21, 2011, 01:24:35 AM
On an unrelated note, would it be possible to hold account balances in BTC and only convert when you're looking to play? I mean I can do that myself by only depositing when I want to play and withdrawing my balance right away when finished, but it would be less cumbersome if the platform could do it itself.

That's an interesting idea, but right now our system can't do it. Because the games themselves are mostly multiplayer, we have to have them in a single currency, and we thought it would be too confusing for players to be converting in and out of bitcoin before sitting at each table, so we front-loaded it. What might happen, eventually, is we might just bail on USD and run the whole thing in Bitcoin. But that depends on how easy it becomes to move other currencies in and out... and we're planning to start taking other types of payments down the line as well.

The nice thing is that it doesn't cost anything and it's ultra-fast to move cash in and out. We've been processing withdrawals usually within minutes, always within 6 hours unless there's something wrong... so without the long waiting period that other casinos have, it's kind of like cashing out your chips at the end of the night ;)

Having said that, though... there's kind of a conflict between the rewards packages we've been offering per-deposit and having players move money in and out on a daily basis. So we'll have to see how it goes, but we may need to limit rewards to first deposits only if we start to see patterns of players moving a lot of money in and out with little or no play. We're just figuring all of this out...


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: Newton on July 21, 2011, 01:25:07 AM
Newton, were you able to deposit?

Yes, 5 bitcoins deposited smoothly.  I am actually Canadian however.

Ok you've changed my mind on this.  Clearly I believe the US attempt to block all online gambling is ill-conceived, and I also know that the centralized Visa/Paypal/CC systems have enabled the ban, leaving a huge vacuum that is pretty attractive for bitcoin.  The size of this economic footprint dwarfs anything bitoin has done to date.  My thoughts were win-win for bitcoin and a new casino player.


However, you are correct (at least for bitcoin) the last thing we need is US pressure.  That seems to be bitcoins kryptonite, shady business tainting it and preventing major legitimate business from touching it.

Your casino should still thrive on international $$'s, if not as rapidly!

If anything this should be a great example for bitcoin.  A major business accepts bitcoin, but still follows the rules of US law.  Proving that it can be the business, and not the currency, which dictates legality.  




Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: ssaCEO on July 21, 2011, 02:27:31 AM
Newton, were you able to deposit?

Yes, 5 bitcoins deposited smoothly.  I am actually Canadian however.

Ok you've changed my mind on this.  Clearly I believe the US attempt to block all online gambling is ill-conceived, and I also know that the centralized Visa/Paypal/CC systems have enabled the ban, leaving a huge vacuum that is pretty attractive for bitcoin.  The size of this economic footprint dwarfs anything bitoin has done to date.  My thoughts were win-win for bitcoin and a new casino player.


However, you are correct (at least for bitcoin) the last thing we need is US pressure.  That seems to be bitcoins kryptonite, shady business tainting it and preventing major legitimate business from touching it.

Your casino should still thrive on international $$'s, if not as rapidly!

If anything this should be a great example for bitcoin.  A major business accepts bitcoin, but still follows the rules of US law.  Proving that it can be the business, and not the currency, which dictates legality.  


Thanks for clearing that up, Newton, it's very much appreciated. And for the record -- I'm pretty sure you're one of the people who went out of your way to call us, and everything about you was green lighted in our system, so you got the wave-through. We don't allow proxies, your IP was where you said you were, and basically nothing seemed out of order. My partners are fairly pissed that I did that, but I kind of went off gut instinct, and it was in the middle of launch chaos. From here on out we're definitely going to be a little more careful about ID'ing people...we didn't want to start doing that too much because we respect the general anonymity granted by Bitcoin and think it's a good thing, but if that's what it takes to keep the 800 lb. gorilla out of our business, we'll have to do it.

I do think we can thrive with non-US players, and I also think it's inevitable that the US will open the market in the next year or two, at least for poker. We also want to sell our systems and original games to in-state and in-house use in Vegas and AC. If we can remain 100% legitimate and keep a spotless record up to that point, there would be no reason to be denied a license.

Just one other thing, because I think I see what you were saying about signing up in Canada and then playing from the States... it should raise red flags. Even if you have cash in your account, you won't be able to sit at a real-money table if you're logged on from the US, and going through a proxy would trigger a different set of bells. The system is designed to be US-paranoid...because we're really paranoid about it. I'm not saying it can't be done, 'cause anything can be done. But we're really trying to make the maximum effort to prevent it.

Anyway, thank you for helping out and clearing that up. And thanks in advance for everyone's understanding of our delicate situation, and for getting behind us and not getting us nuked =)


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: alkhdaniel on July 21, 2011, 09:08:27 PM
Depositing worked great, no players yet though :(

Maybe we should set up a time that some people will agree to play at to get any game started until there is some more activity?

Also support responded fast, typed the wrong email and contacted ssaCEO about it and it was changed within a few hours.

This thread probably belongs in the gambling forum though.

Edit:
If anyone is interested in playing some hold 'em please join me tomorrow (Friday) 6pm GMT (http://wwp.greenwichmeantime.com/), will sadly only play low bets (0.25, 0.50) to start with though.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: ssaCEO on July 21, 2011, 11:58:27 PM
Edit:
If anyone is interested in playing some hold 'em please join me tomorrow (Friday) 6pm GMT (http://wwp.greenwichmeantime.com/), will sadly only play low bets (0.25, 0.50) to start with though.

We've added a regular heads-up Sit & Go for $10, under Cards > Poker > Tournaments. 8 Minute blinds up, 1-2 / $1000 stack to start, 5% rake on the pot, winner takes all.

Also, there's a big tournament Sunday and...if you want to get a crowd together, we're running a $100 guaranteed pot for 3-10 players every night at 8pm GMT. That one takes registration six hours in advance.

Quick note about the interface: If you're looking at poker tournaments, and select one in the list, then click the (?) below where the name of the tournament comes up. It shows you the payouts window. We know this is not obvious enough and need to make it clearer.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: alkhdaniel on July 22, 2011, 12:38:44 AM
1. Got disconnected while playing a hand, not really sure why. Was unable to login on the site after that which was strange, reloaded the site and it put me right back at the table again though, i don't think it was connectivity issues but some kind of glitch that might be worth looking into (was using the chat at the same time that i got disconnected)

2. Requesting to get your password back sends you an email with a link in it, clicking this link will automatically log you in to the site no questions asked, might want to consider freezing withdraws for 3 days or so after to prevent someone getting their money stolen (or only accept withdraws to an address that was used for depositing).

3. Haven't ID'd myself yet but was still able to deposit, i remember reading something about that ID's are required before depositing/playing? Is there any other way but webcam/fax?

Sorry for the bad structuring but i hope what i wrote made sense.

~Daniel.

Edit: 4. During signup i was able to use more than 12 characters for my password (there was a "warning" saying you can only have 6-12 characters but it went through just fine), now when attempting to change password it won't let me have 20char pass. What is the reason for not allowing over 12 chars to begin with and why was i able to register with more than 12 chars?

5. Please lower the minimum buy in for tournaments, $5 is quite a lot to experiment & trying out your site with. $.25/$.50 isn't quite as bad but i don't think $.10/$.20 would hurt.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: ssaCEO on July 22, 2011, 01:33:39 AM
Thanks for sending the feedback.

1. We'll look into why you were disconnected. There's no immediate evidence of it, although the first suspect is definitely connectivity, if it was a bug we'll try to track it down (if you remember the hand number that would help?)

2. We actually just revamped the password / relogin process... the way this works, it doesn't change your password, but gives you a one-time-use entry key back into the site, where you can change your pass. Using the reminder tool triggers certain red flags in our system if done more than once...but a withdrawal freeze isn't a bad idea. We'll think about it.

3. We're trying to make it easy for players in legal countries to deposit. If there's any reason to think you're not where you put (there isn't) you won't be able to play until we verify your ID.

4. This password issue needs to be fixed and will be fixed shortly. It's an inconsistency between pieces of the software. We'll up the max length to 20.

5. ...we've just brought back $0.10/0.20 stakes and $2 buyin tournaments for the moment, with a $1 max rake. Just for NL Holdem, by request ;)


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: alkhdaniel on July 22, 2011, 02:06:54 AM
Thanks for sending the feedback.

1. We'll look into why you were disconnected. There's no immediate evidence of it, although the first suspect is definitely connectivity, if it was a bug we'll try to track it down (if you remember the hand number that would help?)

2. We actually just revamped the password / relogin process... the way this works, it doesn't change your password, but gives you a one-time-use entry key back into the site, where you can change your pass. Using the reminder tool triggers certain red flags in our system if done more than once...but a withdrawal freeze isn't a bad idea. We'll think about it.

3. We're trying to make it easy for players in legal countries to deposit. If there's any reason to think you're not where you put (there isn't) you won't be able to play until we verify your ID.

4. This password issue needs to be fixed and will be fixed shortly. It's an inconsistency between pieces of the software. We'll up the max length to 20.

5. ...we've just brought back $0.10/0.20 stakes and $2 buyin tournaments for the moment, with a $1 max rake. Just for NL Holdem, by request ;)
Ah thanks :)

About 1: Not sure which hand it was, but it was the hold 'em room with the 2 (1) bots in it, there was some other guy in the same room when i disconnected, he was gone when i came back ~1min after though. It might not be something serious though, can report it if it happens again.

2. I totally forgot that most other sites actually can grant access to someone who forgot their pass by email only haha (So i guess my account on any site isn't more secure than my email, damn. One could get seriously fucked up for getting their email pass stolen)

3. Just thought it was kind of strange, wouldn't it be very easy to play through a private proxy that only oneself has access to? (EU/SWE here, just as i put) I guess your "security" isn't worse than any other place though, with the only difference being that a credit card is a semi-good ID and is required to deposit on any other place.

4. Why stop at 20 ;) There might be people who want >20 chars, i don't think anyone would really complain at 20, but even 32 or higher would probably ensure that everyone is happy.

5. Thanks, now the only thing missing is players.

If anyone wants to play a $2 tournament feel free to check tomorrow (Friday) at 6pm GMT, will most likely create a table at that time (http://wwp.greenwichmeantime.com/) - or just send me a message and maybe we'll set up a time to play a few hands.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: ssaCEO on July 22, 2011, 03:39:54 AM
5. Thanks, now the only thing missing is players.

Lol. We're actually pretty happy with the start so far. Give it a couple weeks... there are a lot of regular players who still just need to get some Bitcoins. But we are trying to start building a poker game around Sunday evenings, so stop by...we'll have a few things going on.

About the question of private proxies, all we can do is assess the overall risk. You're a bitcoiner, which means you're probably in the 99.9th percentile of risk for actually having a private proxy out of the worldwide population, but we deal with it on a case-by-case basis (everyone in our system has a risk score based on factors you'd probably find surprising, separate from IP address). We reserve the right to request further ID verification at any time. In your case, the risk showed up as low, and I'm pretty sure our system was right. But if we messed up you can show us your American passport and we'll refund your original deposit... As it is, all players will have to show ID to use any payment method other than Bitcoin, and we've already been forced to tighten our checks on Canada to prevent cross-border traffic; all Canadians must now show ID, even if they score high against our system.

We're probably the only online casino in the world that performs verification checks against players prior to their first deposit, as opposed to their first withdrawal. We do it to speed up the withdrawal process and take care of good players faster. I personally find it repugnant for a casino to sit on your money right when you want to withdraw.

Yet it's funny that so many Americans find the time to try and trick a new gaming site into thinking they're from another country, trying to get us into trouble (we've caught about 20 cases in two days and counting), but they can't get their shit together to make their own supposedly democratic government legalize online poker. Maybe they're all feds. Some guy with a sense of humor just signed up with the username "NotAnFBIAgent" which is pretty funny if you think about it; I think technically we could take his bets based on such a sworn statement (hah), but the lawyers would likely disagree with me there. But what can you do, people want to play and live in a free country and be left alone...I get it. Not to sound callous but it turns out that they don't live in a free country, and I'm not sure why we should bear the responsibility for the US not being able to control its own citizens when we're trying everything we can to not break their laws. But enough of that. You were cleared, you're sitting on a normal DSL line in Sweden if I'm not mistaken? You would have been disconnected a lot more often...the games would have been unplayable if you were bouncing through that connection from the US.

The password thing is in the works and hopefully you got our email about the disconnect...if not, let me know. Thanks again, this is really the kind of serious, constructive feedback that will help us make the site work better.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: giantdragon on July 22, 2011, 11:01:54 AM
Why do you prevent players with U.S. IPs? It looks really stupid...

If FBI want to take legal action against your casino, they can register from non-US private proxy (which is NOT in your blacklist), then claim you illegally accept payments from USA players.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: alkhdaniel on July 22, 2011, 12:59:45 PM
5. Thanks, now the only thing missing is players.

Lol. We're actually pretty happy with the start so far. Give it a couple weeks... there are a lot of regular players who still just need to get some Bitcoins. But we are trying to start building a poker game around Sunday evenings, so stop by...we'll have a few things going on.

About the question of private proxies, all we can do is assess the overall risk. You're a bitcoiner, which means you're probably in the 99.9th percentile of risk for actually having a private proxy out of the worldwide population, but we deal with it on a case-by-case basis (everyone in our system has a risk score based on factors you'd probably find surprising, separate from IP address). We reserve the right to request further ID verification at any time. In your case, the risk showed up as low, and I'm pretty sure our system was right. But if we messed up you can show us your American passport and we'll refund your original deposit... As it is, all players will have to show ID to use any payment method other than Bitcoin, and we've already been forced to tighten our checks on Canada to prevent cross-border traffic; all Canadians must now show ID, even if they score high against our system.

We're probably the only online casino in the world that performs verification checks against players prior to their first deposit, as opposed to their first withdrawal. We do it to speed up the withdrawal process and take care of good players faster. I personally find it repugnant for a casino to sit on your money right when you want to withdraw.

Yet it's funny that so many Americans find the time to try and trick a new gaming site into thinking they're from another country, trying to get us into trouble (we've caught about 20 cases in two days and counting), but they can't get their shit together to make their own supposedly democratic government legalize online poker. Maybe they're all feds. Some guy with a sense of humor just signed up with the username "NotAnFBIAgent" which is pretty funny if you think about it; I think technically we could take his bets based on such a sworn statement (hah), but the lawyers would likely disagree with me there. But what can you do, people want to play and live in a free country and be left alone...I get it. Not to sound callous but it turns out that they don't live in a free country, and I'm not sure why we should bear the responsibility for the US not being able to control its own citizens when we're trying everything we can to not break their laws. But enough of that. You were cleared, you're sitting on a normal DSL line in Sweden if I'm not mistaken? You would have been disconnected a lot more often...the games would have been unplayable if you were bouncing through that connection from the US.

The password thing is in the works and hopefully you got our email about the disconnect...if not, let me know. Thanks again, this is really the kind of serious, constructive feedback that will help us make the site work better.

Actually got a private proxy (proxy located in the US though :D)
DSL(vDSL) from Sweden is correct.

I believe the hand i got when coming back from the disconnect was a 10 & queen of heart, The thing that makes me think it wasn't really an disconnect is because i typed something in the chat ~1s before i got disconnected (pretty sure it went through), and didn't have any problem connecting to the site after the disconnect either. It might have been something with the browser though, using Chrome/Win7 but you probably already know that :P

What timezone to refer to when checking in on Sunday evening to play? Also what timezone is all times @ the site specified in? Does it check client local server time or does it go by server time?

The interesting part is that i couldn't login after i was disconnected though, it didn't tell me that i inserted the wrong password, it just didn't tell me anything. However when i refreshed the page i was thrown right back into the game (with a new hand, 10 & queen of heart). Will try to get some more information if it happens again, didn't really think about it when it happened.


Why do you prevent players with U.S. IPs? It looks really stupid...

If FBI want to take legal action against your casino, they can register from non-US private proxy (which is NOT in your blacklist), then claim you illegally accept payments from USA players.
They could also most likely issue fake ID's etc. If you are in US and really want to play, you will most likely find a way, however it's probably easier to just play on the sites you are allowed to i think? Then there's also the whole question about bitcoins not being a real currency, but i don't think strikesapphire wants to put themselves in a gray zone and destroy the possibility of getting licensed in the US.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: Vod on July 22, 2011, 01:53:47 PM
If FBI want to take legal action against your casino, they can register from non-US private proxy (which is NOT in your blacklist), then claim you illegally accept payments from USA players.

He should be able to protect himself from that in his TOS.

The FBI can't break the law and then expect to make their own charges stick.  As long as the owner does due diligence to obey the law he should be safe. 


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: ssaCEO on July 22, 2011, 03:14:24 PM
Thank you, Jafm.

If a player signs up, lies about his/her country and fakes an IP address, they're violating our TOS and committing fraud against the us (and likely the ISP or hosting company where their proxy is). We block VPNs, known proxies, tor, hosting center netblocks, cloud service providers, and other known threat points with several layers of filtering at the DNS level, at the server level, at the software level, and manually if necessary.

Other casinos have an easier time, because their payment providers do the heavy lifting to prevent US transactions (which, btw, is actually what the law is about: Payment transactions for gaming involving US financial instruments, not the gaming itself). With BTC, while it's arguable that our site never touches the US banking system, we think it's best for the currency and for the long-term survival of our site to do everything in our power to respect the spirit of US law, rather than trying to argue our way around it.

RE: Daniel ...that's rather weird, but let me know if anything crops up again. Also, password max length has been upped to 32 characters!


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: evoorhees on July 22, 2011, 03:37:20 PM
Little confused... as an American, am I able to play purely for BTC if all deposits and withdrawals are in BTC? I'd rather not "cash out" in silly green toilet paper anyway.

Sucks that being an American is a liability. Land of the free my ass.



Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: Bitcoin Swami on July 22, 2011, 03:39:17 PM
Yes I was also hoping to play as an American.  Not sure why even the green toilet paper has to come into play. :(.

Anyways the first real casino to deal purely in bitcoins and allow american players will be rewarded handsomely. 


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: alkhdaniel on July 22, 2011, 03:43:20 PM
Any word on timezone? Would like to know exactly when "9PM" is, is the timezone adjusted after the user or does it simply use server time?
Also thanks for the max pass change.

@evoorhees
"If a player signs up, lies about his/her country and fakes an IP address, they're violating our TOS and committing fraud against the us" -ssaCEO
Due to the anonymous nature of bitcoins it would be possible though, but if you respect the company/don't want to possibly hurt them you shouldn't try to.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: foggyb on July 22, 2011, 03:49:11 PM
Any word on timezone? Would like to know exactly when "9PM" is, is the timezone adjusted after the user or does it simply use server time?
Also thanks for the max pass change.

Yes, we need a server time displayed prominently on the site.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: ssaCEO on July 22, 2011, 04:16:56 PM
Server time! Sorry, I missed this.  ::)
The servers are adjusted to GMT, the logs are in GMT, but the times displayed in the lobbies are always in your local timezone (whatever your computer's clock is set to). So whatever time a tournament says it is, it's at that time locally for you.

@evoorhees and @mayabong... even though you're only depo'ing and withdrawing in BTC, we just don't want to take the risk of having US players. It could still be said that, if BTC is money (and we can't have it both ways...clearly it's money) then we're still using wires in the US to send it back and forth. I totally agree that the first casino to do it will make a fortune, but they'd also be inviting the hammer; the most likely candidates are the other CR-based casinos that are not run by American expatriates ;)

edit to that: And it won't happen for a bit because everybody's on the mattresses right now since the FT/Stars shutdowns.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: foggyb on July 22, 2011, 04:18:49 PM
Thanks.

I invite anyone who is signing up for the site to click my referral link.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: xyu on July 22, 2011, 05:48:16 PM
Quote
Your request was blocked by BlockScript based on the policies of the strikesapphire.com website.

BlockScript is security software which protects websites and empowers webmasters to stop unwanted traffic. BlockScript detects and blocks requests from all types of proxy servers and anonymity networks (such as web-based proxies, open proxies, Tor, VPN servers, etc.), hosting networks, undesirable robots and spiders, and even entire countries. For more information, see: www.blockscript.com
That's all I get from this web site, and I'm not using proxies, tor or vpn. Do you block entire ISP subnets?


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: Djao on July 22, 2011, 05:53:04 PM
xyu, that's to stop you from gambling in casinos when you really should start round 5!  ;)

on topic: referral programm works great too, already have 2 referrals who deposited a certain amount of BTC and the system paid me my share, really nice.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: evoorhees on July 22, 2011, 05:56:30 PM
In America, I can spend $100 on paint and sniff it until I die of toxic overdose, but I am prevented by law from spending $10 on a game of poker.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: ssaCEO on July 22, 2011, 08:00:05 PM
That's all I get from this web site, and I'm not using proxies, tor or vpn. Do you block entire ISP subnets?

We shouldn't be blocking normal home or business subscribers, although there are some subnets flagged occasionally for bot infestation. Or you may be sharing your IP with a tor exit node. We do also block satellite ISPs, however if that's the case we'll whitelist your range and just ask for ID if you want to deposit. Paranoid as we are, we're trying hard to make this as easy as possible for legal players...but do have a fair number of false-positives.

If you can send us your IP address at help(at)strikesapphire.com, or PM me here, I'll check into why our system's blocking you.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: lemonginger on July 22, 2011, 08:39:06 PM
Other casinos have an easier time, because their payment providers do the heavy lifting to prevent US transactions (which, btw, is actually what the law is about: Payment transactions for gaming involving US financial instruments, not the gaming itself). With BTC, while it's arguable that our site never touches the US banking system, we think it's best for the currency and for the long-term survival of our site to do everything in our power to respect the spirit of US law, rather than trying to argue our way around it.

You mean their payment processors do the heavy lifting to allow workarounds for US players to /be able/ to get money onto their site ;)

As a US-based player I am of course biased (though the swipe at people that can figure out proxy servers but can't figure out how to lobby their government was a bit of a low swipe. Many US players have been involved in lobbying and other efforts), but I am eagerly looking forward to the growth of more casinos that are either actively using bitcoin that don't care about US gambling laws (like bodog, etc) or ones that are ready to argue that since bitcoin avoids the US banking system that UIGEA doesn't come into play.

BUT I certainly respect your stance, given that you personally and other partners are the ones shouldering legal liability and definitely applaud the stance of going through verification before taking someone's money, rather than before giving it back -- thanks for your transparency and honesty in this thread.

Sportsbooks have always been the primary target of the DOJ, so it is interesting to me that both of the major bitcoin sportsbooks have no problems taking US money. One that just ignores the regulations, the other is making the argument that it doesn't violate US laws because bitcoin is an internet currency.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: EhVedadoOAnonimato on July 22, 2011, 08:40:31 PM
VERY IMPORTANT: We can't accept players in the United States, France or Italy. I wish we could, but we're a responsible club and bound by law. We verify all members' nation of residence prior to their first deposit, and we are limiting signups to 50 new depositors per month.
...
We're a software company incorporated in Costa Rica.

If you're in Costa Rica, why do you care about US, France and Italy laws? Do these governments have agreements with the Costa Rica one to hunt you down or something?


And another thing, I accessed your site and it sad my IP was blocked. You are blocking tor exit nodes. Please, read about Tor to understand what it is and why some might abuse through it. And don't do IP bans, this is just dumb, you can easily block an IP shared by lots of people.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: EhVedadoOAnonimato on July 22, 2011, 08:47:55 PM
We block VPNs, known proxies, tor, hosting center netblocks, cloud service providers, and other known threat points with several layers of filtering at the DNS level, at the server level, at the software level, and manually if necessary.

Oh, I see now, you do this willingly.

Well, it's your choice anyways. I imagine the next competitor that shows up with less dumb rules will have advantages over you.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: BTCSports on July 22, 2011, 08:48:17 PM
Sportsbooks have always been the primary target of the DOJ, so it is interesting to me that both of the major bitcoin sportsbooks have no problems taking US money. One that just ignores the regulations, the other is making the argument that it doesn't violate US laws because bitcoin is an internet currency.

Our argument is actually that Bitcoin is neither money nor a currency.  I haven't got much feedback on our Bitcoins = Zynga Poker Chip argument but if anyone would like to read our position you can find it at http://btcsportsbetting.com/is-it-legal.

ssaCEO have you considered that allowing people to bet with Bitcoins may not be illegal under US law as it could be argued that Bitcoins are play money?  Converting them to USD when they are sent to you might invalidate that argument (which is why we don't do that) but I would be interested to know how your company is interpreting the law to disallow US players.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: lemonginger on July 22, 2011, 08:51:02 PM
If you're in Costa Rica, why do you care about US, France and Italy laws? Do these governments have agreements with the Costa Rica one to hunt you down or something?

Because maybe they want to step foot in those countries again? Because maybe they want to pursue licensing games to US based corps (as mentioned). Because maybe they want to build a company and go public someday? Because maybe they don't want to take the legal risks associated with UIGEA as the US govt is showing an inordinate amount of interest in cracking down on online gaming at the moment?

Not saying I agree with the reasoning, but until you are the one taking the legal risks, try not to be so flippant about the risks others may choose to take/not take.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: lemonginger on July 22, 2011, 08:58:52 PM
Our argument is actually that Bitcoin is neither money nor a currency.  I haven't got much feedback on our Bitcoins = Zynga Poker Chip argument but if anyone would like to read our position you can find it at http://btcsportsbetting.com/is-it-legal.

I think it is an interesting argument. I don't think idle speculation on a forum will help you clarify it though. What does your legal counsel say? Could be an interesting precedent to set. Linden Labs obviously did NOT take this argument -- but Linden Labs has a huge vested interest in being able to take US credit cards.

Honestly, the argument that online gambling is legal from the US if you are using BTC is less interesting to me than the fact that for those companies that want to ignore US laws, BTC effectively completely eliminates the chokepoints of dealing with processors. No more large fees to pay or long waits for transactions and no more central chokepoints for frozen funds.

Honestly, I forsee a major bitcoin exchange getting shut down well in advance of any gaming operation being shut down.

It took years before the DOJ finally cracked down on FTP and Stars for example, and that seems more because they had reached the point of buying their own banks to be able to move around rather than offering play to US customers (which the DOJ doesn't seem to care about). One of the interesting things is that the DOJ has openly said they were most concerned by the fact that the actions that FTP/Stars were taking to circumvent UIGEA were creating a "black hole" for money launderers. That is it wasn't the circumvention of the law itself that was of primary concern, but that in doing so they were creating all these pots of money moving around with inaccurate transaction codes, etc etc.

Bitcoin of course is one large black hole. Which is why I expect to see action by some government against an exchange at some point.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: ssaCEO on July 22, 2011, 10:50:42 PM
Well, Lemonginger, you're right on the money with that. It's the "black hole" nature of Bitcoin (and by extension the problem of how to tax it) that's going to draw the most governmental ire. It's their paycheck, after all. Sorry about the low blow at the US, I happen to be from Vegas myself and politically line up somewhere between Ron Paul and Larry Flynt (if that's possible)... but yeah, it would be a little crazy for me to just say "screw it all, let's take American bets, Anarchy in Akron!" I mean, what gets me (and should get people here) is that I actually have to pay American income tax on anything I earn from this project, even though I haven't lived in the States for five years. If I ever want to see my family again, anyway, which to me is worth plenty. So... pardon the flip response, it just makes me mad. But I'm willing to do whatever it takes to make this work, including paying them a vig they don't deserve, because it's one step toward freedom.

@BTCSports; about the bitcoin-isn't-money argument, it's just not something I can put to the people working on this, or live with myself. I'm not saying it's right or wrong; but if I told that to the lawyers who are working for equity in Sapphire the first thing they'd do is choke on their lattes and the second thing would be to ask how they were going to get paid if it's not money. It would be a daring argument to test in court, but we aren't willing to be sacrificed at the altar just to make a point. We're just trying to make a living, and I think we're of more service to everyone as a legitimate company than as an outlaw thing just waiting to get picked off. I do admire your six-ton brass balls, and I wish the best for your project.

@EhV: I'm personally a major privacy advocate, a member of the ACLU, donated to Wikileaks in their hour of need (they never got it, and Paypal never returned it) and I relay for tor from home every chance I get. I'm a big fan of privacy and web anonymity... but I'm also a big fan of my own skin. If it was a little thing like helping Syrians connect outside the country, I'd do it in a heartbeat. Maybe that's because I'm not scared of the Syrian government. You remember Lando? That's us. We don't f*ck with the Empire, we run our own little thing, and we hope they leave us alone. So what if Lando was a big coward. I still think that by working within the system we can change it.

And Lemonginger, you're right that a BTC exchange will probably be blown out of the water long before a tiny BTC casino is...it wouldn't even surprise me if Dwolla got shut down along the way. What is cool about Bitcoin is that as long as people want to use it, they will find some other way of moving it around. It seems ready to become a chain reaction. Anyway, thanks for coming to my aid here... I'll tell ya this, the day we can take bets safely from the US, without giving up either our morals or our freedom, it'll be a great day.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: foggyb on July 22, 2011, 11:33:20 PM
And Lemonginger, you're right that a BTC exchange will probably be blown out of the water long before a tiny BTC casino is...it wouldn't even surprise me if Dwolla got shut down along the way. What is cool about Bitcoin is that as long as people want to use it, they will find some other way of moving it around. It seems ready to become a chain reaction. Anyway, thanks for coming to my aid here... I'll tell ya this, the day we can take bets safely from the US, without giving up either our morals or our freedom, it'll be a great day.

For every Dwolla that is shut down, two more Bwitcoins will pop up.

Click my referral link!

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_sBa_cFUqvi0/TP_KTRGZfAI/AAAAAAAABgY/pHbH3L_GD4M/s1600/WikileakscolorsmallRGB.jpg


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: giantdragon on July 23, 2011, 02:32:55 PM
I repeat, why do you block IPs? It is absolute ridiculous! By doing this, you can only minimize probability that U.S. player can register, NOT eliminate it. Even your filter has 99.999% accuracy, chance to register still remains. With power that have USA law enforcement agencies they can easily cheat your filter, register, deposit money and charge you THE SAME you have not implemented any blocking. Give me 2 BTC, for them I can buy high-privacy VPN account that  provides unique static IP in most countries and is not in any blacklist.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: bitcon on July 23, 2011, 02:59:37 PM
I repeat, why do you block IPs? It is absolute ridiculous! By doing this, you can only minimize probability that U.S. player can register, NOT eliminate it. Even your filter has 99.999% accuracy, chance to register still remains. With power that have USA law enforcement agencies they can easily cheat your filter, register, deposit money and charge you THE SAME you have not implemented any blocking. Give me 2 BTC, for them I can buy high-privacy VPN account that  provides unique static IP in most countries and is not in any blacklist.


Dear ------------,
Welcome to StrikeSapphire, the most advanced casino platform in the world. Your account is ready and waiting for you, with $1,000 play cash.

Please note that we do not allow real money deposits until one of our casino hosts has verified your identity and country of origin. To contact our hosts, please start a Google video chat with StrikeSapphire@Jabber.com or skype: StrikeSapphire. Agents can also be reached by calling +44 289 568 0029.

To get started with your account, please follow this link:
---------------------------------------------------------------

If you have any further problems or have received this email in error, please contact our support department by opening a ticket on our website, or emailing us directly at help@strikesapphire.com

Good Luck!


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: ssaCEO on July 23, 2011, 03:59:28 PM
I repeat, why do you block IPs? It is absolute ridiculous! By doing this, you can only minimize probability that U.S. player can register, NOT eliminate it. Even your filter has 99.999% accuracy, chance to register still remains. With power that have USA law enforcement agencies they can easily cheat your filter, register, deposit money and charge you THE SAME you have not implemented any blocking. Give me 2 BTC, for them I can buy high-privacy VPN account that  provides unique static IP in most countries and is not in any blacklist.

It's called due diligence. We have a multi-stage process, and this is part of it. Not blocking IPs would signal that we don't care, or that we aren't doing everything in our power to block American players. Look at it from our perspective. If someone lies about where they're coming from and has to use a VPN to access our service, they've violated our TOS in multiple ways and committed fraud. In the US, fraudulently gathered evidence is inadmissible.

In some countries the age of consent is 16. If a Federal agent uses a US address to order porn with 16 year old girls, and the foreign company delivers that pornography to the US, the company committed a crime under US law. If, however, they use an address in Germany and a fake name, fake ID, and lie about it; then have the porn delivered to a house and boxed up by somebody who takes it to DHL and ships it to the States, then who is committing the crime? Not the company that printed the magazine.

I think I've been pretty clear about our general philosophy on the matter...you're free to disagree and think it's stupid, of course, but we're a limited membership private club and we're doing things our own way. Are you in the US by the way? Are you blocked?


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: defxor on July 23, 2011, 04:07:56 PM
and the foreign company delivers that pornography to the US, the company committed a crime under US law

"Foreign" people and companies seldom care about US law though since it doesn't apply to them. It might make travels harder for the future, and some laws (copyright etc) are by agreement similar in many countries, but your example wasn't the best.

Who knows - maybe the content of your post just broke a law in my country. It's neither your nor bitcoin.org's problem though ;)


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: ssaCEO on July 23, 2011, 04:41:09 PM
Maybe I was kind of stretching the analogy. Bottom line: We don't want to break the laws of any country. Even for loads of cash.

Anyway, on a separate note...New banners for affiliates!!!

--------468 x 60-------
https://strikesapphire.com/promo/468x60.gif

--------728 x 90-------
https://strikesapphire.com/promo/728x90.gif

--------300 x 250-------
https://strikesapphire.com/promo/300x250.gif


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: foggyb on July 23, 2011, 05:08:16 PM
I don't see any banners?


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: ssaCEO on July 23, 2011, 05:39:05 PM
I don't see any banners?

Hmm. Weird. I see them... Can you go to these links?

https://strikesapphire.com/promo/468x60.gif
https://strikesapphire.com/promo/728x90.gif
https://strikesapphire.com/promo/300x250.gif

Could be our blocking's going a little too crazy...

I'm mirroring them here...

http://s4.postimage.org/q0da74nlk/300x250.gif (http://www.postimage.org/)

http://s4.postimage.org/q0dbuo03c/468x60.gif (http://www.postimage.org/)

http://s4.postimage.org/q0ddi7cl4/728x90.gif (http://www.postimage.org/)


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: GoWest on July 23, 2011, 05:40:47 PM
I don't see any banners?

Disable your ad-blocker.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: giantdragon on July 23, 2011, 05:52:50 PM
It's called due diligence. We have a multi-stage process, and this is part of it. Not blocking IPs would signal that we don't care, or that we aren't doing everything in our power to block American players.
Using geolocation database, e.g. MaxMind, will be enough.

In the US, fraudulently gathered evidence is inadmissible.
In Russia and Eastern Europe it is the same de jure, but I can tell many examples where courts accepted these evidence.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: foggyb on July 23, 2011, 07:02:33 PM
I don't see any banners?

Disable your ad-blocker.

*worked*

Added forum.bitcoin.org to Ad-block+ exclusions.

I'm going to keep my banner.   ;D


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: ssaCEO on July 24, 2011, 02:25:41 AM
I'm going to keep my banner.   ;D

I like it a lot, actually. Whatever's workin', let it ride ;)


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: netrin on July 24, 2011, 05:52:10 AM
...and we thought it would be too confusing for players to be converting in and out of bitcoin before sitting at each table, so we front-loaded it. What might happen, eventually, is we might just bail on USD and run the whole thing in Bitcoin. But that depends on how easy it becomes to move other currencies in and out... and we're planning to start taking other types of payments down the line as well.

Yes please bail on the USD. All of us are short USD and you don't allow new US players anyway. So why should anyone convert CHF to BTC to USD to BTC to CHF?

Also why (aside from beautiful land, sea, and culture) have you specifically established in Costa Rica. Had you considered Antigua and Barbuda or other countries?


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: ssaCEO on July 24, 2011, 08:30:01 AM
...and we thought it would be too confusing for players to be converting in and out of bitcoin before sitting at each table, so we front-loaded it. What might happen, eventually, is we might just bail on USD and run the whole thing in Bitcoin. But that depends on how easy it becomes to move other currencies in and out... and we're planning to start taking other types of payments down the line as well.

Yes please bail on the USD. All of us are short USD and you don't allow new US players anyway. So why should anyone convert CHF to BTC to USD to BTC to CHF?

Also why (aside from beautiful land, sea, and culture) have you specifically established in Costa Rica. Had you considered Antigua and Barbuda or other countries?

Well, it's easier said than done (converting our site out of USD), and it might be awhile. As far as we're concerned, USD is as good a type of poker chip as anything else. Possibly better, because everybody knows what it's worth. One of our goals is to attract players who've never touched Bitcoin and may not be comfortable with it beyond using it as a deposit/withdrawal method. Long-term, conversion would depend on whether what we're doing works for us, and whether we end up doing a majority of our deposits in BTC or in other currencies. Any such change is at least six months out. EUR is another logical contender.

We're based in Costa Rica quite simply because CR takes the (logical) position that online gambling occurs at the player's terminal, and in the player's country. This stance is valid under WTO rules and international law, and leaves us essentially with the problem of self-enforcement re: players and/or advertising in other countries we might want to visit which don't take the same view. Costa Rica's neutral position is why most CR casinos continue to accept US players. We've considered a lot of options, and continue to weigh licensing in other jurisdictions alongside our current data processing corp. Because of the sensitivity surrounding online gaming and the fact that it's a small industry where everyone seems to know each other, I don't really want to get into an interview on the pros and cons of various jurisdictions here. Check out the casinomeister.com forum for heaps of info on the topic.

I think it's well-understood that CR doesn't perform the same types of audits as many other countries, but we hold ourselves to a higher level of transparency, as we aren't just a casino but a software company, and we need to be able to license our software to operators in any legal jurisdiction -- including, eventually, the US (see https://strikesapphire.com/reports and our TOS for more about our transparency and randomness measures).


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: Djao on July 24, 2011, 10:06:31 AM
Quote
Dear Sapphire Player,

StrikeSapphire.com presents our first-ever Bitcoin freeroll!

SUNDAY, 8pm (GMT), we're offering a $100 NL Hold'em Freeroll to all players for a 200 Player Point buyin. 5 players minimum, 20 players (two tables) max.

If we fill 15+ seats, we'll double the pot to $200.

The 1st place winner of the tournament will also receive an automatic buyin to next week's main event.

There are six players so far who've earned 200 player points. If your name is ColdGuy, rikurr, David, Sauviech, Repro or Solloway, you've earned enough points to buy in. If not...you may be closer than you think. You can check your Player Points at any time through the Account > History menu. We reward a point for every $0.25 you wager with us.

Signups start 6 hours beofre the tournament...

Bring yo' kids!

Sweet! Count me in, I've got 2.2K player points so 200 seems like a bargain. Just hoping we reach 5 players, therefor this post I guess.


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: ssaCEO on July 24, 2011, 06:50:06 PM
10 minutes until the first freeroll  ;D


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: alkhdaniel on July 24, 2011, 06:52:54 PM
10 minutes until the first freeroll  ;D
If 2 more people registers for it, not looking bright :/

edit: nvm, seems like you changed to 3 people minimum?


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: ssaCEO on July 24, 2011, 10:19:08 PM
Thanks for joining alkhdaniel ------ and winning as we found out.

No worries about being shorthanded. Great beginnings are always humble.

Next week, we'll warm up with a few low-stakes freerolls before the big tourney, and our 1st place winner for the week "satoshi" (that's his name on our site, folx, but he won't confirm or deny) gets a free buyin. Everybody's invited... free Coin for all ;D

For now, congratulations to the winners!


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: cdnbcguy on July 25, 2011, 05:53:11 PM
How do you verify nation of residence? 

They probably use IP - they filter out TOR and vpns - I can't get on due to my VPN for example...

NICE site from the video...


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: Staring Owl on November 06, 2012, 08:46:05 PM
It's an old thread but very interesting and i just spend like 2 hours to read it all very carefully.
I can't resist to ask, why you should be doing the US government job and police it's citizens? You are not based in US, you don't host in US, you basically don't use US currency (except it's called dollars formally in the games but you use BTC to cash in/cash out). Why you are policing for them? Shouldn't they control their citizens and punish THEM not you if they violate the law? After all there are 100+ countries, you can't be responsible for all their laws.
You should care for the laws in the countries where you are based physically and where you host (and maybe where your domain is registered?). I understand you are US citizens and have plans for business in US, but the company is CR, so your citizenship shouldn't matter, since it's companies responsibility not personal one, right? And about the possible ventures in US, ok I kinda feel you here but still, i'm kinda pissed that US laws are taken for worldwide laws nowadays.
Yeah I know they will send drones to bomb and kill your kids if you don't play by their rules but the new world order is not here yet, we have many countries and US laws are not global...yet.


p.s.
just needed to vent a little, but still discussion in that point would be nice as well :)
Congrats on the great casino, over one year later, how is it doing?


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: ssaCEO on November 12, 2012, 11:11:38 AM
Of course, I agree we shouldn't have to police their citizens for them... however. In terms of online gambling, American law does not make a distinction between dollars or other currencies, or even non-currency items of value. Even if Bitcoin is in no way a currency, if it can be exchanged for something of value and an American can wager it online, that's illegal gambling. It doesn't matter what the thing of value is - it could be gold or baseball cards, or Linden $. This is why Second Life had to shut down all the in-world casinos.

your citizenship shouldn't matter, since it's companies responsibility not personal one, right?

This is not quite correct. The US has a history of directly prosecuting the owners and operators of online casinos that have taken US players, even if those operators are not US citizens and the company is based outside the US. They started this by arresting the chairman of SportingBet when his plane touched down in New York:
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/08/technology/08iht-gamble.2743111.html?_r=0

This goes up to the present day with the indictment of Calvin Ayre, a Canadian citizen:
http://www.cbc.ca/m/touch/news/story/2012/02/29/bodog-calvin-ayre-indicted.html

And there is at least one story of a US citizen being pulled off a domestic Australian flight that was code shared with American Airlines, and flown to the US for connections with an online casino that was taking US players.

It's just not worth the risk to accept American bets - even if it is only Bitcoin. However,
US laws are not global...yet.
This is of course true, which is why we welcome players from outside the US!


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: Staring Owl on November 15, 2012, 04:22:45 PM
good points

I see that bodog was actually sending checks to winners in US (Maryland) which is pretty clear indication that they don't care to keep the law.
But if you pay in bitcoins you don't know where the receiver is. The only thing left is IP checking, but with proxies, vpns and so on that's technologically hard to achieve and not sure if reliable.

So what i'm asking myself, sending check with gambling winnings to someone in US might be clearly interpereted like intentional breaking of the law. But if you lack the technological setup to online ID everyone of your visitors are you still as responsible?


Title: Re: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)
Post by: ssaCEO on November 15, 2012, 08:08:19 PM
So what i'm asking myself, sending check with gambling winnings to someone in US might be clearly interpereted like intentional breaking of the law. But if you lack the technological setup to online ID everyone of your visitors are you still as responsible?

It's a very good question. But law is a funny thing. Imagine trying to convince a judge and jury that you had the ability to set up an online casino with a cryptocurrency, but didn't have the ability to check IP addresses. I think the question that the US Government would ask would be: Did you take all reasonable steps within your power to prevent breaking the law? And for us it's important that we have.