iGaming Post Plagiarism Scandal

by John Mehaffey on February 17, 2013

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    Update Feb 21: The iGaming Post has removed a number of the plagiarized articles brought to their attention.  There are still many others.  I found an article I published on 4Flush on their website after publishing this.  I sent a DMCA notice to iGaming Post and their host and my article was removed.

    Pokerfuse is a well-respected online poker news portal that gained popularity after Black Friday.  In a tweet last month, Pokerfuse called out the iGaming Post for publishing an article of theirs without permission. The Pokerfuse article in question discussed potential interactive gaming regulations in the Netherlands.  The offending article was published three days later on gaming-awards.com.

    The iGaming Post ignored that tweet, so I contacted the person that published the plagiarized article directly.  The author claiming to be the originator of the content in dispute at iGaming Post is Mitch Matthews.  He ignored my contact attempt.  I decided to contact iGaming Post management directly.  They also ignored me, not caring that one of their authors was a content thief.  It became apparent that they were not concerned with what was happening.

    I decided to expose the iGaming Post at Casinomeister.  Their awards ceremony had been discussed there and an iGaming Awards representative once contributed to that forum.  The iGaming Awards rep either did not notice my public exposure of their content theft or they did not care.

    Several weeks later, Pokerfuse discovered another article on iGaming Post that was originally published on Pokerfuse.com.  The article in question went live on September 21, 2012.

     

    Compare the September 2012 original Pokerfuse article with the February 2013 iGaming Post article.

    Note that iGaming Post decided that this was news five months later.  They did not bother to give proper credit to the author, nor did they even bother to change a few words around.  Neither would have mattered, but these small changes at least would have shown a small amount of respect for the copyright holder.

    Pokerfuse is not the only group that has fallen victim to plagiarism by the iGaming Post.  While I cannot confirm that the iGaming Post has failed to license Associated Press (AP) material, they certainly do not follow the terms and conditions for publishing AP articles.   AP requires their licensees to credit them when publishing their content.  The staff at iGaming Post, including Mitch Matthews, do not properly attribute articles to AP in any way.  There is no proof that iGaming Post is even licensed to publish AP news articles.

    Here are some examples:

    AP article about San Diego Mayor’s gambling problem

    iGaming Post Version

    iGaming Post removed two paragraphs and replaced the image.  Otherwise, the article is exactly as published by AP.

    AP article about Trump Plaza sale

    iGaming Post version

    Most of this article was copied.  Only the image is substantially different.

    AP article about Borgata in room gambling

    iGaming Post version

    The only difference I found was this line:

    Associated Press – “Guests at one New Jersey casino won’t even have to get out of bed in order to place a bet.”

    iGaming Post- “Customers at a New Jersey casino won’t even have to get out of bed in order to place a bet soon,”

    Mitch Matthews put his name on the article at gaming-awards.com with only that minor change.  There are dozens of other AP articles that at a minimum violate the AP licensing guidelines.

    Las Vegas Review-Journal Content Used by iGaming Post

    The Las Vegas Review-Journal (LVRJ) also fell victim to suspected copyright abuse.  This is especially interesting because the Review-Journal has been proactive in defending their copyrights.  LVRJ used the now defunct Righthaven group to stop offending websites from stealing their content.  The method was controversial, but it certainly instilled fear in bloggers and content providers.  The iGaming Post does not appear to be concerned with the LVRJ’s aggressive stance towards defending their copyrighted material.  Below is an example of alleged content theft:

    LVRJ version of Pennsylvania becoming number two casino state in 2012

    The LVRJ and Bloomberg teamed up to write this report.  Mitch Matthews made a few structure changes and published essentially the same article, taking credit for it in its entirety.

    iGaming Post version

    These are not the only groups that have had their work stolen by iGaming Post.  I have found many portals that have published news that was eventually copied virtually word for word by iGaming Post.  All of these stolen articles end up with an iGaming Post author’s name on them, even though the actual authors are not employed by iGaming Post.

    One major online casino news organization that has been in the industry since its infancy also confirmed that their work was used without permission by the iGaming Post.  That news group told me privately that they would handle the issue on their own and asked not to be named in this article.

    Who is iGaming Post?

    iGaming Post is a subsidiary of the iGaming Awards Group.  The parent company is Clever Duck Media.  The group manages the International Gaming Awards, as well as the Women in Gaming awards ceremony and conference.

    They also publish the Infinity Gaming Magazine. I was able to find two articles published by others in the January version of the magazine.  These include the LVRJ story mentioned above about Pennsylvania becoming the #2 casino state, as well as an article from Pokerfuse about a poker bill being introduced to the Texas Legislature.

    This group has gone so far as to publish articles in their physical magazine that is distributed to a number of gambling companies and executives with articles that they did not write, but yet claim ownership to or omit the actual author’s name from the published material.

    According to Infinity Gaming Magazine, “The magazine combines quality editorial content and design.”  They just fail to mention that they do not actually own some of the content that they distribute.

    International Gaming Awards

    This group also holds an awards ceremony.  Tickets to the ceremony cost £300+VAT. The last event was held just a few weeks ago in London.  Let’s review some of the 2013 International Gaming Awards winners:

    • Corporate Services Supplier of the Year – Optimal Payments
    • Online Casino Operator of the Year – Mr Green
    • Online Poker Operator of the Year – PokerStars
    • Casino Operator Of The Year Australia/Asia – Galaxy Entertainment Group
    • iGaming Software Supplier – Playtech
    • Slot Manufacturer/Provider Online or Land Based – Williams Interactive
    • Technology Provider/Supplier – Bally Technologies

    Now let’s compare the winners to the International Gaming Awards sponsor list.

    There were a few other winners, but seven sponsors just happened to win the award for their category.  I have found a few press releases from these companies bragging about their accomplishment.  There is certainly a reason to question the awards ceremony when so many sponsors are walking away as winners.

    Author Notes

    My research has shown that all of the iGaming Post articles that I have mentioned were used without permission, or at the very least without proper attribution that would be required by any licensing agreement with the content owners.  I have done this by researching licensing agreements required by the original publisher and by discussing the issue directly with copyright holders.  There are far too many articles to call out, but I found over 50 articles that were similar, if not exact, to articles already present on other websites when the iGaming Post version was published.

    The content on the iGaming Post and in the Infinity Gaming Magazine are not completely scraped.  I was able to find some unique articles, although most were rewrites of already published material.  I have been unable to find any gambling news this group actually broke that was not related to their questionable awards.

    I have yet to find any of my articles on the iGaming Post website or in their magazine.  That does not make me any less angry.  I know how much work it takes to put together unique content and too many times content thieves have stolen my work.  The content theft that I have described in this article is especially egregious because the iGaming Post was contacted several times privately, yet they ignore the messages, tweets and emails. They continue to publish content that appears to be owned by others, even after their actions were discovered and challenged.  The group then published some of this work in a magazine that was shipped to industry leaders with their name on it, not the original author’s name.

    This group is using the sweat of other companies and writers to further their business interests.  They are doing it without any attribution and in violation of a number of international intellectual property laws.  I doubt that any of these authors would be interested in having their work appear on a company’s website that is in the business of producing award ceremonies where sponsors win most of the prizes.

    I hope that this article will publicly shame iGaming Post.  They ignored my attempts to solve this privately and they have ignored a number of tweets directed at them by many people.  They continue to steal content from hard working writers in the industry and the website owners that employ them.  It is time for the sponsors to pull out and for iGaming Post to acknowledge the error of their ways.

    I hope that all companies that sponsor the iGaming Post, the awards ceremonies, and Infinity Gaming Magazine, will reconsider their position and support groups in the industry that actually produce their own content and respect international copyright laws.

     

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