The answer to customer’s suggestions/requests cannot always be “if you don’t like it, why are you playing” or “don’t play here then”.
For someone so close to the industry I find it puzzling that you would go on record as an advocate of such a position towards customers. Every one of these sites is a business just like RG and any business owner worth his salt knows that the last thing you say to your customers (if you want to keep them) is “if you don’t like it, leave”.
I don’t imagine anyone who bangs that drum on a consistent basis has ever owned a business as that is the easiest way to lose said business. Although we do not hear that sentiment coming directly from any site (at least I haven’t), there are always some players willing to offer that opinion when the discussion comes up and I personally believe that anyone who feels that way is overly optimistic with regards to how much they trust these site operators.
Although you’re likely right about how many players would actually utilize such a file on a “regular” basis, it’s not really about how many would “use” it on a daily basis IMO. It’s more about the fact that the availability of such a file would offer players the confidence of knowing that the site has 100% integrity in mind which would eliminate the questions that arise when something seems out of whack.
Any grinder who says they haven’t, at one time or another, gotten an inkling that the possibility exists that someone at one of these sites, whether acting alone or in collusion, has altered a lineup after the fact is definitely in the minority.
The action in this industry and at these sites is infinitesimal by comparison to the online poker industry which means that these site owners are making pennies compared to the poker sites yet there was still MASSIVE fraud in that industry. Greed is greed no matter the scale and only the most optimistic person could sit back and not wonder how easy it would be to “rig” these contests in the favor of the house.
Although you mention that someone on the inside might change a lineup in order to allow one of their “buddies” to win a tourney, you make no mention of what is more likely (given that many of these sites are still operating at/near a break even or loss) which is the site owners “rigging” the game so that they themselves can win a tourney using a “random” account that none of us as players could ever confirm.
I’m not saying it’s actually going on, but I think that is a large part of what proponents seeking a downloadable file are indicating.
The cost of doing so is next to nothing (outside of coding/placing the file somewhere on the page for DL) as this option already exists on an administrative level for the programmers. IMO the trade off for providing full transparency to us as players (with regards to contest/overall site integrity) is invaluable so even if there were a significant cost it would be immeasurable compared to the confidence it would instill in us (customers). Personally, I cannot see a single drawback to adding such an option and as a business owner anything I can do to increase the benefit to my clients without negatively impacting the bottom line is a huge win.
End of my .02….