Welcome to my personal page...
I started the APCW in late 2003 to be a unique and sincere outlet for information and help to players and webmasters. It's been an honor to work in an industry full of so many intelligent, outgoing, and genuine people! I thought I would take a moment to let you guys know a bit about me, and how I got to this point in the industry, and why I am uniquely qualified to help run this place!
Here's the condesed version! =0)
~ 2001 ~
I was just a marketer (a webmaster) who owned several websites which reviewed online casinos and poker rooms for players. I first became "known" in the industry for having silly videos on my sites that told visitors about online gaming rooms in a humorous and entertaining way, Some of those videos are still floating around these parts =0)
~ 2002 ~
Having gained some "status", I began speaking at industry conferences about how webmasters fit into the business of online gaming and could work more productively with online casinos. I became a member of several associations that worked for positive changes in the industry, which was largely unregulated at that time.
~ 2003 ~
After a great deal of turmoil, many of those early organizations self-destructed. So, during 2003 I started the Association of Players, Casinos & Webmasters, which audited online gaming sites to ensure fairness for both players and webmasters. We partnered with other solid, respected industry bodies like the Interactive Gaming Council, the Casino Affiliate Convention, and Casino Affiliate Programs.
~ 2004 & 2005 ~
The APCW grew at a steady rate for the next two years. We became one of the most highly respected "watchdog" sites for our fair and professional approach to investigating and reporting issues. We identified spyware issues, customer service problems, and recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars in players winnings and webmasters earnings from casinos programs.
~ 2006 ~
Everything changed. That June my casino review websites with the "funny" video content became the first casino portal to be shut down by a state government in the United States! Washington State made running my simple little websites a Class "C" Felony, which believe it or not has the same severity of punishment as someone who sexually assaulted a child! That meant they could put me in prison for up to 5 years for running a website about an activity that was otherwise legal in the state: Gambling!
As the year rolled on the US Congress passed a bill in an attempt to stop US cash flow to offshore casinos and poker rooms, called the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). This bill was passed litterally late at night on the last day of Congressional sessions, after Senator Bill Frist attached it to the back of another bill on Port Security, which was considered a "must pass" to help deter terrorism! Talk about crooked politics!
~ 2007 ~
This was the "great awakening" for the industry. A call to arms for some in online gambling... and a surrender for others. Many webmasters sold their sites and walked away, but not the APCW. We were not breaking any laws, and we were hell bent on exposing the truth about what the US Government had done! We began making Educational Videos about how the law was passed (and who passed it and why), and that led us to our news update webcasts which we released every Friday. Perspectives Weekly was a great success, and it was carried across hundreds of websites and viewed hundreds of thousands of times.
As we grew and grew we doubled our membership, partnered with more and more websites, developed a weekly live radio show in partnership with Rounders Radio, and interviewed some of the most important people in the industry, including Dan Starr (VP of NETeller), Mark Mendell (Chief Legal Advisor, Antigua), Gian Peronni (Former VP of Absolute Poker), and Michael Corfman (President of Casino City). For this hard work and dedication, I was named one of the 300 most influential people in the online gaming industry by the iGaming Business "Industry Aces" Awards.
~ 2008 ~
The APCW became the first to launch a Social Networking site for this industry, and our work finally paid off when we were acquired by the Casino City Group in October that year. This meant a staff of people to help us carry on our work, plus funding to help re-start our auditing program and get better equipment!
The year also had several interesting twist and turns, including the passage of the Barny Frank Bill, the election of Barack Obama, and a changing attitude toward our industry from the American Gaming Association.
I was also voted "Affiliate of the Year for 2008" by casino webmasters. This is an honor I did not take lightly, because the award means I was respected and recognized by my peers. It created an even deeper since of responsible for making sure that this fight is given my very best effort, and that players & webmasters are treated fairly.
~ 2009 ~
No one knows for certain what the year will bring, but we're a long way from the bleak months in late 2006. With positive changes all around us, and even casino on the Vegas strip thinking about getiing into the online business, this could be the year internet gambling becomes a legal and regulated industry in the United States.