Realtime Gaming (RTG) is an online casino company developing download-based casino software, licensed by various operators running their own branded RTG-powered casino sites. The company was established in Atlanta, Georgia in 1998, but moved all development to Heredia, Costa Rica in 2007-2008.
The company was acquired in January 2007 by Hastings International, Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles, a company managed by a corporate services provider called HBM Group. HBM Group describes itself as "the premier provider of international financial services for establishing trusts and foundations; establishing and managing legal entities; and tax and estate planning".
Caribbean 21 controversy
In 2004 the company hit the news when a player won $1.3 million from a $1,000 deposit, playing Caribbean 21 for high stakes at Hampton Casino. The same player also won $96,000 at Delano casino, another RTG-powered site.
The player was accused of cheating by the casino, who said he used a robot (automated playing program), and that he would not be paid. Since the game has a casino advantage (albeit a low advantage, somewhere over 0.1% ), the casino should still have held the edge, though good luck can overcome an edge in the short and medium-term. The details of the player's final settlement with the casino were never published.
RTG subsequently limited the maximum bet size of the game to $5, before removing it entirely.
One of the largest RTG casino operators was the Crystal Palace group, mooted for a £140m flotation on London's AIM market in 2005. The group, owned by South African Warren Cloud, made a pre-tax profit that year of £20.4m. Cloud's casinos were the subject of numerous complaints particularly over payment of players who accepted bonuses from the casino. Cloud died suddenly on his yacht off Ibiza in July 2008, aged 34.
Aside from the Crystal Palace group, other RTG casinos have been the subject of criticism. The Casinomeister website maintains a list of RTG casinos, which lists several sites as 'rogue'.
The company indicates that operators are able to choose between payout settings for their slots  and video poker games. In contrast to other huge corporations like 888 or CryptoLogic, Realtime Gaming can be characterized as giving their operators a lot more freedom with their software. They do not give strict instructions against their licensees and leave the important part of this practice – the observance of gambling legislation – to an online casino licensee. Unfortunately this is likely to lead to neglecting the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act by accepting US-based players.
They have expressed intentions to limit operator liability for a single game to $50,000 by default, by reducing maximum bet sizes.
- http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4449401 Bettor wins $1.3 million; Net casino won't pay]
- Asthana, Anushka. The Times (London) http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/article573602.ece
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- "Realtime Gaming Software Review". Retrieved 2011-05-25.