Ellis Shuman
Ellis Shuman

I wrote the content for a binary options website

And I’m not proud of it.

I have to rephrase that title. I did not actually write the content for a binary options website. I just supervised the content, written by a freelance writer, for a new website. I supervised and I edited.

In hindsight, I am not proud of this particular task, one of many during my ongoing career (12 years and counting) in the online gaming industry, an industry with deep roots in Israel. In fact, I am very proud of what I have accomplished during these years. I have developed my professional career, successfully taking on managerial positions and more importantly, gaining invaluable skills as a writer and an editor which still propel my career today.

But, of everything I did, I have no plans to list the binary options project on my resume.

Before I explain that statement, let me stress the fact that I have nothing bad to say about the company that employed me for 11 years until it downsized this past May, placing me in the unemployment lines for the first time in over a decade. During this period, I promoted online poker, starting with its heyday in the mid-2000s until its very perceptible decline in recent years. My position included the writing of website content, blog articles, press releases, player interviews, promotional content, and more. In addition, I served as the manager of a swiftly growing marketing department and I enjoyed a particularly rewarding two-year relocation to Bulgaria. My company supported and encouraged my efforts and career development in every way possible.

The game of poker, I have stated all along, is a game of skill more than a game of chance. Yes, the cards are dealt randomly and you are just as likely to be dealt a pair of aces as a pair of deuces. Even so, you need to know how to do the best that you can with those cards; you must know how to read your opponents; and you must be able, on occasion, to bluff. The proof of this theorem is the fact that there are professional poker players who seem to win all the time.

Casino games, on the other hand, involve only luck. My company had a very active online casino department and in fact, casino games generated far more income than online poker. When you go into a casino, whether it’s in Las Vegas or on your computer, you know that you are up against the house. And, the house has all the odds. You pray for Lady Luck to appear, and once in a blue moon, you win a huge prize. But, 97% of the time, you will lose your money. Yet, you keep going back to the casino over and over, and for many, gambling is a serious addiction.

With all that said, let’s consider binary options. As The Times of Israel has reported extensively, binary options is a criminal industry, stealing the life’s savings of gullible individuals all over the world. What is the difference between binary options and a casino? Binary options are presented as a financial investment. Customers are encouraged to invest their money in a platform that promises them huge financial gains in a very, very short time.

The key word here is “invest.” That is not true at all. Basically, binary options companies are saying, “Give me all your money,” and customers readily hand it over. And then they lose it all in a bad “trade”. And then the binary options marketing team, pretending to be totally legit, steals even more money.

I never worked for a binary options company. I never called customers on the phone nor did I promote a binary options website or its activities. Yet, I worked for a company that was building a binary options website.

Until, the binary options project was canceled. This occurred well before the expose of the criminal nature of this industry. So, I certainly can’t credit The Times of Israel with shutting down this department, but I am certainly glad that the website was never launched.

In all my activities promoting online gaming, that particular project is the one of which I am least proud. Knowing what I know today, I am sorry that there is that singular blemish in my career. There is a lesson in everything, and the real lesson here is to stay away from binary options.

About the Author
Ellis Shuman made aliya to Jerusalem as a teenager, served in the IDF, was a founding member of a kibbutz, and now lives on Moshav Neve Ilan. Ellis is the author of ‘The Burgas Affair’ – a crime thriller set in Israel and Bulgaria; ‘Valley of Thracians’ - a suspense novel set in Bulgaria; and 'The Virtual Kibbutz' - a collection of short stories. His writing has appeared in The Times of Israel, The Huffington Post, The Jerusalem Post, Israel Insider, and on a wide range of Internet websites. Ellis lived with his wife for two years in Bulgaria, and blogs regularly about Israel, Bulgaria, books, and writing.