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Author Topic: Your all-new, full custom Bitcoin casino is here ;)  (Read 10618 times)
lemonginger
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July 22, 2011, 08:58:52 PM
 #81

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.
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ssaCEO
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July 22, 2011, 10:50:42 PM
 #82

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.

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July 22, 2011, 11:33:20 PM
 #83

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!

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July 23, 2011, 02:32:55 PM
 #84

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.

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July 23, 2011, 02:59:37 PM
 #85

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!

ssaCEO
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July 23, 2011, 03:59:28 PM
 #86

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?

defxor
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July 23, 2011, 04:07:56 PM
 #87

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 Wink
ssaCEO
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July 23, 2011, 04:41:09 PM
 #88

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-------


--------728 x 90-------


--------300 x 250-------

foggyb
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July 23, 2011, 05:08:16 PM
 #89

I don't see any banners?
ssaCEO
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July 23, 2011, 05:39:05 PM
 #90

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...







GoWest
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July 23, 2011, 05:40:47 PM
 #91

I don't see any banners?

Disable your ad-blocker.

giantdragon
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July 23, 2011, 05:52:50 PM
 #92

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.

foggyb
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July 23, 2011, 07:02:33 PM
 #93

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.   Grin
ssaCEO
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July 24, 2011, 02:25:41 AM
 #94

I'm going to keep my banner.   Grin

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

netrin
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July 24, 2011, 05:52:10 AM
 #95

...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?

Greenlandic tupilak. Hand carved, traditional cursed bone figures. Sorry, polar bear, walrus and human remains not available for export.
ssaCEO
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July 24, 2011, 08:30:01 AM
 #96

...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).

Djao
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July 24, 2011, 10:06:31 AM
 #97

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.
ssaCEO
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July 24, 2011, 06:50:06 PM
 #98

10 minutes until the first freeroll  Grin

alkhdaniel
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July 24, 2011, 06:52:54 PM
 #99

10 minutes until the first freeroll  Grin
If 2 more people registers for it, not looking bright :/

edit: nvm, seems like you changed to 3 people minimum?
ssaCEO
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July 24, 2011, 10:19:08 PM
 #100

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 Grin

For now, congratulations to the winners!

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