Dec 9th, 2012 Archives

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Beware! NewGNi has stopped paying! Do not invest there!

Hello everyone! Hope you’ve all been having a nice weekend so far. I’m hoping to take a short break from the news today, it being Sunday and not much going on anyway, but also because I have something special for you today. As regular readers will know, MNO is the only official monitor for NewGNi and as such you were all invited to submit some questions for recently for Jurgen, the program’s owner and manager. The timing is perfect for this “question and answer session” as NewGNi has underwent some well publicized changes recently. I won’t go on about them here because Jurgen is about to talk us through them all in his own words below. I can only add that NewGNi will shortly be celebrating a full year online (you can read the original review of it here), which by itself is a simply amazing achievement, but the real reason to celebrate is of course the huge number of regular people put well into profit over the last 12 months.

Any online program is of course nothing without its members, so just before we hear from Jurgen (first interviewed here) let me give a sincere thank you to all the MNO readers and NewGNi members who submitted their questions for this article. You’re the ones who made it so interesting to read and you’re the ones who ultimately benefit from it. Let me just point out first however that a certain degree of editing was required on my part, so apologies if you don’t see your exact question exactly as you worded it. The thing is that with so many submissions a lot of questions were in fact repeated several times by numerous readers, so basically I couldn’t ask Jurgen to answer the same question four or five times. But I do believe everything that was asked was included in some shape or form, so now I just hope you’re all satisfied with the answers. And as for anyone thinking “oh, you should have asked this, or you should have asked that”, tough luck. The opportunity to submit questions was open to the public, this is what they wanted to know, and if you think something was missed then it was up to you to send it, not me. But for what it’s worth I think we had some excellent contributions from MNO readers and I also think Jurgen did a fine job in addressing them and explaining everything that NewGNi members want to know. So let’s hear from him now:

Hi Jurgen, thanks a lot for agreeing to participate in this and take questions from the readers of MNO. Before we get to them I just want to start with a couple of brief questions of my own to recap on what NewGNi is all about:

1. So first of all, please re-introduce yourself to anyone who doesn’t know what NewGNi is, and tell us what exactly the program does and what your role in the entire thing is.

Thank you very much for having us once again Paul. MNO is our exclusive monitor from the very beginning and we very much appreciate being part of the ever growing MNO community.

My name is Jurgen Wilckens and I am the founder of NewGNi. I consider our [now] private Arbitrage Betting Pool as a passive second income opportunity for its members. My main tasks are to administer the project and to oversee our trading activities.

2. Can you also give a brief description of what arbitrage betting is and how you manage to use it to your advantage and to that of your members?

Certainly, Sports Arbitrage Trading or Surebetting is the act of placing bets on all possible outcomes of a sporting event so that you lock in a definite profit at the end of that event. This is possible when bookmakers have different opinions on the result of a certain game or event. With the increasing competition among bookmakers, hundreds of such opportunities arise every day.

3. What are the important stats for the NewGNi since you first opened, such as membership levels, average size deposit, turnover of members, etc. From experience for example on average what percentage of members are happy to sign up and stay with the program permanently and how many try to leave as early they can?

We have currently close to 9,000 members with the majority obviously in the range of less than $1,000 of active deposits. Our top 30 members all have deposits in excess of $25K. Most members keep going on with us, even if their principal could be cancelled. So far, even after the announcement of going private, only about 2% of our current member base requested their principal deposit back.

4. And finally (from me), what’s changed in NewGNi since the first time you were interviewed on MNO. I know you’ve changed hosting provider for a start, so what was the reason behind that? Was there anything else, even behind the scenes that members may not be aware of, that has changed or improved since you first launched a year ago?

Operating such a venture requires small changes or fine tuning if you like, almost on a weekly base. We ran fabulous events like our Easter Egg Hunt with floating Easter Eggs all over the screen, we held a great and very popular EURO 2012 betting contest, had monthly Sweepstakes events, translated the website in several other languages – all part of branding NewGNi to become the Number 1 choice for online investors. Well, we have without any doubt achieved that goal.

But there were also disturbing moments, blackmail attempts, hacking attempts, DDoS attacks and such things. To speak frankly, things any admin needs to be prepared to handle. I have seen many promising programs in 2012 who folded, because their administration was not able to handle such events.

To get back on topic, the two most disturbing events for NewGNi was the changing of our hosting provider from Dragonara to BlockDos and the termination of the acceptance of Liberty Reserve, the latter was a bold move and many self-proclaimed industry experts or gurus if you you like, declared us to close [they call it scam…] within weeks. Well, that was at the beginning of October and surprise surprise, its almost Christmas and we are still around….

The story behind moving away from Dragonara was the reception of very poor support and at the same time exorbitant bills for DDoS protection and only after the move to BlockDos we found out that Dragonara is not even supplying DDoS protection by themselves and are basically using the services of another company for the protection of their clients, billing them a fraction of what they are charging their clients.

Liberty Reserve blocked one of our holding accounts – and I repeat ONE of our three holding accounts only. NOT the account we used for deposits or withdrawals! Why I need to re-emphasize, because some guys who think they are clever and know it all contacted Liberty Reserve and asked them about our [only] publicly known deposit.withdrawal account, which was indeed never blocked until today – and as a result went around the net to spread false rumors and nonsense. In my opinion, the fact that Liberty Reserve’s support staff, without hesitation, confirmed that our deposit.withdrawal account was not blocked, is a breach of their corporate.client relations and in principle reason enough to leave them alone for good.

4. Existing members will know by now that you are now a private program closed to new members for the time being. But What exactly does “going private” mean and what are the reasons for doing this in the first place? If things are going so well then why change a winning formula?

Going private means that we will not accept new members anymore. There are two reasons, to start with: First at all, there are limitations in the total amount of funds we can handle, to ensure that NewGNi will be profitable for its members in the future. So its not about the amount of members, but the total amount of funds. Now, less members who provide the maximum funds we can trade means less administrative efforts and less nuisance to deal with [read my answer to the previous question to know what I mean] – its common sense. That’s why we welcomed a private investor group, who offered us a few months back to step in and max out the amount we can trade with – and that is the second and main reason behind going private.

5. A few people asked me about the process through which anyone not liking the new private set-up can ask for their money back and leave. The 180 business day lock-in period is waived for December, is that correct? But members will still need to allow 30 business days for that transaction to be completed, don’t they?

Yes, who wants to leave NewGNi is welcome to do so. Many people don’t like if new rules are applied and we totally understand that. That’s the reason why we waived the 180 day lock-period for the month of December.

Of course they must please understand that they have to allow 30 business days until the funds will hit their cash balance. Look Paul, we are paying members interest as from day one after the deposit was made. Obviously we can’t trade with LR or STP funds – they are not accepted by any of the bookmakers. Funds need to be out-exchanged first, other betting related payment processors need to be funded etc. So it takes an average 10 [business] days before any funds are actually generating profits. Now, the other way around. Bookmakers are not working like the HYIP arena. If you request a withdrawal you wait and if you are lucky you receive it within only a few days, 10 [business] days, sometimes even more are common, especially for larger amounts. Once processed by the bookmakers, the funds still need to be liquidated from the betting related payment processors and transferred to our accepted payment processors. So overall considered, 30 business days in my opinion is more than fair.

6. Members who told me they were definitely leaving NewGNi because of the new rules have now acknowledged this was a knee-jerk reaction. They have asked for their money back already but now concede this may not have been the best course of action. Can they change their minds now, return the principal to their account balance, and forget about the whole thing and carry on as before?

We will see if we can sort something out. Apparently its very difficult to reinstate these deposits, since the investment tokens were cancelled. We are working on a solution to cancel their principal back requests and add the funds back to their e-Wallets for re-investing, but I can’t estimate when this will be done. Also the result will be a new deposit created, which will be locked in for a new 180 day term.

7. What are the benefits of going private from the members point of view?

Apart from the new withdrawal terms, nothing changed for our existing members. The true benefits are, that over time lesser members means lesser problems, and that will benefit the entire NewGNi family.

8. New members bring new capital, so I don’t understand why any company, private or otherwise, wouldn’t welcome this. How can limiting the number of new investments possibly help NewGNi continue and grow?

As said earlier, there are limitations in sports arbitrage trading. Also our current members are still able to deposit. We are receiving many deposits on a daily base.

9. In the last number of years there’s been several arbs related websites that “went private”, all which ended badly. The biggest example was the old version of GNI who made the very same announcement not long before they collapsed which doesn’t inspire confidence. So how can they convince me it’s safe this time?

I am not aware that GNI ever went private, maybe I missed something!? As far as I know GNI collapsed because they paid certain members interest on around 1.5 Million Euro of funds that were seized in a Northern Cyprus bank account. All those clients were premium members, receiving 7.5% weekly or 30% monthly. That’s roughly about 2.7 Million Euro that were paid during a six months period to members who frankly had no right to receive a cent at all – because none of their money was in trade! Now guess where these funds were coming from… By the way, this practise led me to leave GNI in September 2009 many months before the final collapse.

10. If the administration of NewGNi is taking too much time away from the actual business side of things, ie arbitrage, aren’t there easier ways of cutting your workload than closing to new members? For example, why not change the terms and conditions for new members, such big increases in the minimum deposit and minimum withdrawal levels for anyone joining after December 1st?

As said before, the main reason is that we do not need new members anymore, to max out trades. The lesser administrative workload is just a welcome byproduct.

11. Will you still be issuing weekly newsletters and payment reports?

We will issue newsletters occasionally, if there is something to report. I can’t remember that we issued payment reports.

12. Will there be any new investment plans.opportunities made available? Will you be adding bank wires as a means of making deposits and withdrawals?

We do not plan to add any new plans and since the acceptance of bank wires lead to the collapse of GNI, it will never be an option. Please realize, what we are doing is something banks would consider as the gray capital market. Nothing wrong with it, but banks with their conservative and often archaic structures don’t like it. After all, just look into the profit generated by main street banks and the interest they are handing over to your savings account!

13. By closing to new members aren’t you concerned about NewGNi‘s turnover? How can you be sure that those members remaining within the program will actually continue to make new investments.keep the program advancing and not just sit there collecting a payment every week?

Whatever is taken out by members, will be reinvested by others. We have assurances in regard from our private investor group

14. Why do you need the public at all? If I put $1,000 into NewGNi they pay me back 6% per week, or $3120 for a calendar year. That seems a highly destructive way of raising finance because if they simply borrowed $1,000 from the bank they’d probably pay back no more than 7 or 8% for a year, and keep the $3K profit for themselves and their business’s operating costs.staff wages. To me it just sounds like every other HYIP ponzi if they are unable or unwilling to obtain legitimate finance from a bank. Please discuss.

Well, you could ask the same question to any fund manager or hedge fund operator. First at all sport arbitrage trading is not considered as an investment instrument by any bank that I know. If you are aware of a bank willing to borrow me 3 or 4 Million US$, I will of course go for it and close NewGNi. If it were that easy, there would be no opportunities for investors at all, since all firms offering investments would use banks to finance their investments. It seems to me that you’ve missed somehow that we are living in times where a lot of brave and hard working couples can’t even obtain a bond to finance their homes with loans from commercial banks.

15. How will you replace members who eventually leave? Open for new members for a couple of days per month? Or will it be on a “one-out one-in” basis? Will invitations be necessary? Will you increase the minimum spending requirements when you eventually do allow replacement members to join?

So far there is no need to even think about the replacement of existing members. If this will ever occur in the future, we might allow a small amount of new members by invitation only.

16. As a private investment program should you now have a private members only forum as well? It was quite useful in the original version of GNI and public forums would not really be a suitable platform for discussing the program anymore.

I don’t see the need for a private forum. Why would anyone like to discuss NewGNi as a private program? The old GNI was not a private program when the forum was launched and had around 25K active members at that time. On the other side, that would mean to add additional resources as well.

With payments now only being processed once per week, a number of questions have been submitted regarding the plans that members initially signed up for:

17. What now happens to those who joined the daily plan? Because now they only get paid by the week except they don’t actually earn as much as those who joined the weekly plan anymore, despite now having the same payment schedule. Is it possible to switch from the daily to the weekly plan, as aren’t they now basically the same thing?

Very good question and I agree! It is however very difficult to just switch a daily plan to a weekly plan, due to the architecture of our script. We are working on a solution.

18. Are you ever going to make trading reports, even partial ones, available for members to view and confirm that their money is indeed being spent on arbitrage betting? Even if it’s after the actual event, people can check that the results are genuine and see the odds that were on offer from the bookmakers.

Considering the amount of surebets traded with five full time traders and incorporating all the funds that are permanently in transit, this would be at least one full time job. We are glad to finally slim down our administrative efforts by going private and have no plans to blow it up again. If members doubt us and do not believe in what we are doing, they should leave.

19. Also, on the subject of bookmakers, where can we see a list of online bookies you trade with? Do they have limits on how much you can bet with? Do bookmakers monitor each other’s odds to try and limit “sure bet” opportunities? Laws on gambling vary from place to place, so is it all legal in your own jurisdiction?

Google ‘bookmakers’ to have an overview. We do not publish such lists for obvious reasons. Of course some bookmakers have limits, but with several trading accounts for each of our traders, its easy to overcome them. I guess that bookmakers might monitor each other odds, but not to limit surebet opportunities, rather to create them. This is a huge and very competitive industry with new bookmakers entering the market all the time and their main interest is to stay ahead of the competition, not to offer the same odds. Also we noticed that more and more bookmakers waive limitations in order to stay ahead and at the same time creating opportunities for us.

We are based in the UK, the motherland of Bookmakers and betting, so yes its legal in our jurisdiction.

20. Why did you stop using LibertyReserve? Did it have any effect, good or bad, on your business? What happened to members who had existing deposits in LR before you dropped them? Can members still transfer funds between e-currency accounts in their members areas, and if you ever allowed it don’t STP prohibit this? How did you get around it?

As I mentioned earlier, we feel it was the right move to stop the acceptance of Liberty Reserve. Our members can still withdraw their funds to SolidTrust Pay and no, there are no limitations imposed by SolidTrust Pay. Why should they prohibit this? We are not offering exchanges, we are offering members to withdraw their earnings to a proven and reliable payment system, instead of a unpredictable and crooked one.

21. And finally, (from me again) we can see the recent changes to NewGNi but what are your plans for the future? There’s been plenty of positive changes already but where do you now see the program going in the medium term future, let’s say between now and December 2013?

I see NewGNi to become more stable and sustainable during the course of 2013. It is not our intent to offend any of our current members, but as it is the same everywhere, you just can’t make it right for everyone. So we apologize to anyone who is not happy with NewGNi going private.

Finally, to all MNO readers please accept my warmest thoughts and Best Wishes for a wonderful Holiday Season and a very Happy New Year!

That’s about all for today, guys. Except that is to say a special thank you to Jurgen for taking the time and trouble to answer all your questions and I hope everyone who made a contribution is satisfied with the replies given. And of course let me wish the very best of luck to everyone involved in NewGNi, from the owner right down to the members, in making 2013 even better than 2012. In an industry where nothing ever stays the same I hope we can rely on Jurgen and his team to put in another stellar performance for his investors as always.

Before I go let me just remind you that if you like what you read on MNO blog or monitor you are always welcome to subscribe free of charge to receive daily e-mail updates. Just enter your e-mail address into the box near the top right corner of the main blog page and hit the tab under it that says “subscribe”. You can always just unsubscribe at a later time if you change your mind, so you may as well just give it a try anyway. And of course in addition to the MNO shoutbox (which requires you to register for free in advance) you can also use the MNO Talkback page to chat online live with other readers with similar interests and share information.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday everyone, and I’ll see you all again soon!

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