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eCOGRA to Investigate Grand Prive Online Casino Affiliate Program

10 December 2009 by Devon Chappell

eCOGRA Online Casinos

The eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance non-profit group, otherwise known as eCOGRA, has long been an unwavering voice in the promotion of safe and fair online gambling standards. And not just any standards, eCOGRA’s operator code of conduct consists of the highest degree of gaming responsibility for ensuring safe and fair online betting, consequently fostering player trust.

Over the years, eCOGRA has come to stand for even more. Not just a player advocate, eCOGRA’s mission is to make the entire online gambling industry as ethically accountable as possible. That may not necessarily be their mission statement, but if you follow eCOGRA, they have been nothing but a trailblazer in the online gambling regulatory landscape.

Yet another testament to their credibility, eCOGRA recently announced they will be undertaking an official probe (investigatory review, if you will) regarding a flood of affiliate complaints against the eCOGRA approved Grand Prive network of online casinos – more specifically, the Grand Prive Affiliate Program. While the Microgaming-powered casinos themselves are not accused of any wrong doing, the management behind Grand Prive’s affiliate program, is being accused of violating agreements with affiliates, and owing financial payments as a result.

First of all, for anybody who is unfamiliar with affiliate programs, they are essentially tracking platforms that give credit to third party (affiliates) for referring players to sign up for a service or purchase a product – in this case opening accounts at Grand Prive online casinos. Grand Prive initially had an affiliate program in place, in which affiliates would receive lifetime commissions from referred business. However, Grand Prive abruptly ended it’s affiliate program one year ago, claiming it was for “commercial reasons”.

Grand Prive immediately reneged on it’s promise to provide lifetime commissions, while in the meantime, continued taking business and earning profit from affiliate-referred business. In other words, they simply left their affiliates out in the cold. As you can imagine, the affiliate community was up in arms, while the forums and blogs were posted with all sorts of outrage and threats. Grand Prive claimed to be monitoring the situation and that “communication with affiliates was subsequently carried out, followed by payments of all amounts owed”. However, many affiliates beg to differ. Many affiliates demand that Grand Prive hone its original contract in providing lifetime commissions.

More recently, demands that eCOGRA should step in were being vocalized – and guess what? eCOGRA listened. A statement was recently made, announcing the investigation, also including promising words from Grand Prive itself, stating, “We have agreed on eCOGRA’s insistence that we will be bound by its findings and recommendations arising from the investigation, remaining at arm’s length from the enquiry unless asked for pertinent information. Grand Prive wishes to emphasise that its primary concern is to address any genuine wrongs in a fair and forthright manner and it will lend every effort in order to do this.” They have also encouraged eCOGRA to communicate with watchdog sites, such as Online Casino Suite, to inform affiliates of their opportunity to make a legitimate claim with eCOGRA.

It may have taken eCOGRA to get Grand Prive to make this statement, but at least they are honoring their eCOGRA certification. Truly, Grand Prive would have been done for if they resisted eCOGRA.

As for the investigation, who knows what eCOGRA will rule. For all we know, they may side with Grand Prive. Either way, eCOGRA says a “full and professional review” will be undertaken to confirm amounts owing to claimants, including wagering activity subsequent to December 1, 2008. If you are reading this now and were an affiliate of Grand Prive, please contact eCOGRA with your legitimate claims. eCOGRA hopes to publish findings of the investigation on December 21, 2009 – possibly a nice Christmas bonus for former Grand Prive affiliates.

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