At the time of this writing, Cleos VIP Room, a Vegas Style Slot Casino “Promotion,” states on their website that $10 Million in cash must be won by those participating in the “sweepstakes. ” As of now, over $1.1 Million has been paid out, mostly to customers who have wagered real cash for credits which can be used to play games and to purchase items through the Virtual Spree website.
Cleo’s VIP Room offers enticing no deposit bonuses through facebook in order to bring in customers, and match bonuses usually accompany subsequent deposits that are made. Without the match bonuses to increase playtime and improve the chance of winning, it is doubtful that anyone would consider ponying up their hard-earned cash money to deposit at Cleos VIP Room. It is true that the games are unique, fun and entertaining, but I’m bothered by that promise of almost $9 Million they have yet to pay out.
Some searching around the Cleos VIP Room Website, Google and Facebook, revealed that the earliest mention of Cleos VIP Room is February 2012, so we will use this date as the promotion start date. During the fifteen months that the promotion has been running, a total payout of $1.2 million would mean the average amount of cash winnings paid out to players by Cleos each day is $2,316. An average total daily payout for an online casino seems low at $2,316. That could mean there is only one or maybe a few winners each day. If five hundred people across the country were to deposit the $20 minimum each day at Cleos, that would total $10,000 per day, and come to a substantial $3.7 million per year in wagers. The fact that Cleos has 329,896 “likes” on facebook as of this writing is a strong indication that the number of players who wager daily is far more than 500 per day, so these estimates are likely to be grossly underestimated.
Only U.S. Residents can play at Cleos VIP Room, and you can only claim a prize when you file a claim form, a W-9 form with your social security number, and several other identifying documents. Cleos does not state what these documents are used for, and to my knowledge no tax documents are sent out to players. Live chat cannot say for sure if winnings are reported to the I.R.S., and no profit/loss statements have been offered, so we are left scratching our heads and guessing.
The information on the website, from Live Chat, and based on my own experience at Cleos VIP Room, leaves me questioning several more things: When will the promotion end? Why does nothing regulate the time period in which $10 million must be paid out? It could take five years . . . or ten million years. Also, where in the world is Cleos? Are they a licensed group? They do not appear to be, as this information is normally available on the website. All Cleos has is an RNG certificate, but no information anywhere about their physical location, or country of licensure? How can this be legal? Because they say it is so? If it’s so legitimate, then why aren’t other gaming companies hopping on this particular bandwagon? Where is Cleos’ competition? Yes. Many questions remain.
My friend used to play at Cleos, and was one of the winners. She won frequently, but only for a few hundred dollars at a time. Her biggest win was $1,500, and subsequent wins have not even come close. When she realized that she was depositing $200 to withdraw $200, she decided to stop playing at Cleos VIP Room. She had fun, and moved on and that was that. She even got some really nice pieces of jewelry from the Virtual Spree site.
It is clear that for some people, Cleos VIP Room offers the opportunity to win cash prizes. It is not clear, however, if these prizes will be taxed, or reported, and it is not clear who is being made privy to the sensitive identification documents of each player.
For U.S. Citizen’s right now, dealing with online gaming groups is shady, because they always skirt the law in some way or another. Ultimately, however, it is for each individual to decide where to put their trust, and whom to give their most precious and personal identifying documentation, not to mention their hard-earned money.