Game Protect is trying to fill the void of online gaming consumer protection in the Bitcoin space. It is a huge goal to take on given the general anonymity of Bitcoin gaming site owners, however, it is a service that is definitely needed, given the large amount of scams around. Even if they cannot track down all scam sites who have stolen Bitcoins off users, just showing the facts and helping gamers avoid the scam sites is a great accomplishment in it self.
When did you first get into Bitcoin? Can you give some details?
I was getting aware of Bitcoin in 2012, when the price for 1 Bitcoin was around 10 Euro. It was an interesting detection for me as a business economist, because this was the first time I had heard about an international and decentralized P2P value transfer system.
Where did the inspiration to create Game Protect come from?
Game Protect is the only online gaming consumer protection service worldwide that exists. It is something needed that did not exist and that was the inspiration to create it.
An international operating online gaming consumer protection service was needed in my opinion because:
– The online gaming industry is often internationally structured in a complicated way. Sometimes with or without a gaming license and a gaming server in jurisdiction A, with bank accounts in jurisdictions B and C, the owner/management in jurisdiction D and office/employees in jurisdictions E, F, G, etc.
– Enforcement of claims are often very time consuming and costly. This requires revenue streams as a community to share the burden of the enforcement costs.
– You need a central association that collect the proofs of the claims, organize everything and inform the victims properly. Paid shills and affiliates spread a lot of false and misleading information on the Bitcoin Talk forum and the internet in general.
– If you file a criminal complaint to your local police it will in most cases not lead to anything, because they do not have the money and motivation to put such an effort in with all the different jurisdictions involved.
How does Game Protect make money? What are the numbers?
The site is barely making enough money to cover expenses, with the monthly profit being about 300/month. The sites makes money from:
– Affiliate commissions.
– Monthly/yearly contributions.
– Individual orders for investigation and assistance.
How big is your team? What do they do and what are their backgrounds?
The number of participants varies depending on the cases and whether it includes lawyers, private investigators and IT experts.
I personally have good knowledge with regards to civil laws, criminal laws and private investigations.
Game Protect gets a lot of bad publicity on Forums from casinos? Why is that?
Online gaming consumer protection is (so far) an ungrateful service, because:
– Using the analogy that religion used to think that “the earth is flat”, it does not make sense to offer a business based on “the earth is round” story. In other words, the religion spreading in forums is that we can not do anything against bad casino operators and that you should not throw good money at bad money. The general belief from gamers is that you should not try to enforce your rights when you have no ability to get them back and now Game Protect is trying to claim exactly the opposite! It is a hard sell.
– It is practically a war of communication in the forums and you will get habitually attacked by paid shills and affiliates. A publicly proven scam like betcoin is more successful than Game Protect, only because they pay 70 people to promote their scam in signature campaigns.
– Most players have the habit to drive a car without insurance and if an accident happens, they go to the forums and ask for (usually cost free) help.
Can you expand on the Betcoin scam?
I uncovered that the Betsoft website itself did not exclude bonus rounds to win the jackpot in their “the Glam Life” game description. A few weeks after my article, Betsoft deleted this website page.
Jasonort (one of the victims) contacted me personally and I assessed that this “settlement” is legally not valid. He had interest to enforce his claim on a 50:50 basis, but was not willing to contribute anything and I was not willing to pay all the costs and spend my time. Only a small percentage of the money owed would be required to enforce his claim through legal action, however he has not pursued it.
This scam is a good example to show the issue with the mindset of victims.
Can you share more details on the Full Flush Poker litigation case?
The case is currently in the bankruptcy proceeding stage. People need to realize that such cases can take up to 1, 2 or even 3 years, especially if there is no money to push such cases through criminal complaints. Victims could file a criminal complaint against the owner, but they are not willing to contribute anything.
What was the greatest challenge you faced with Game Protect?
The greatest challenge is that most victims are not willing to contribute anything, while international online gaming legal action is very time consuming and expensive.
To organize the Full Flush Poker litigation case was one of the greatest challenges so far. Convincing 20 victims to send proof of their claims and bring this case to court, while almost no one was willing to contribute anything. It took 8 months to find enough claims so that a lawyer was willing to take this case on a “no cure no pay” basis.
What are your future goals for Game Protect?
I hope that we will win the communication war and that online gaming consumer protection will become as usual as car insurance.
I have shown that victims can enforce their claims for a small percentage of the total damage. So it is not a problem of this being a possibility, but a problem of the mindset of the players and bettors. I hope that this will change in the foreseeable future.
If you were to start the site again today what would you do differently? Why?
With the knowledge and experience I have today, I would never start an online gaming consumer protection service again.
If you want to offer an online gaming consumer protection service because you want to make money of it, I think you will fail.