Posts Tagged ‘casino affiliate programs’

iGaming Business Events: GIGSE Returns; iGaming Super Show Largest Ever

Monday, May 3rd, 2010
iGaming Business

Two Huge iGaming Business Conferences in May!

iGaming Business is a leader in providing news, event conferences, research and marketplace special reports specifically pertaining to the online gambling industry. Instrumental in helping spread the reach of affiliates, vendors and operators, iGaming Business conference events take place throughout the year, and only seem to be growing larger and more frequent.

Generally speaking, iGaming Business hosts two types of events – large expos and special events for niche markets within the online gambling industry. For the month of May, 2010, iGaming Business (iGB) is organizing and helping host four different conferences, two of which are classified as expo events.

The Global iGaming Summit & Expo GIGSE, is the first of the expo events to take place in May (Full day pre-conference workshops May 11th; Main event on May 12-13th), and as usual, will go down in Montreal. This was actually my first affiliate conference ever (in 2001, I believe), and was a major success in my book! Following a two-year hiatus (since the passing of the UIGEA), the ninth annual GIGSE will focus on the U.S. online gambling market, and more specifically, why it is important for industry professionals (including affiliates) to prepare for legalization of online gambling in the States.

This will also be a similar focus for the second of iGB’s large expo conferences in May – the iGaming Super Show, albeit on more of a global scale. Covering much more than just regulatory speculation in the U.S, the iGaming Super Show is actually pegged to be iGB’s largest conference to date. In other words, expect a large turnout of affiliates and vendors (over 2,500), and a comprehensive selection of conference events covering everything from regulation to affiliate marketing.

According to iGB, the iGaming Super Show will be two-tracked. The first track will be dedicated to the global regulatory and legal landscape (special emphasis on regulating online poker in the U.S.), best practice operations and marketing standards for online casinos and poker rooms (all manner of internet betting sites, for that matter). Also covered in the first track is a phenomenon that certainly needs to be addressed – the convergence between the land-based and online gambling industries.

As for the second track of conference events at the iGaming Super Show in Prague later this month, this will be geared more toward affiliates. Topics covered will include SEO and affiliate marketing in general. Of course, some of the most productive events for affiliates – not to mention the most liked – are those involving networking. Needless to say, these networking events are always fueled by an open bar, which most affiliates agree goes hand-in-hand with more a more active and successful networking session 🙂

If you are an internet marketing affiliate and have never attended an iGaming Business conference, the iGaming Super Show makes for a great opportunity to meet potential business colleagues, learn a thing or two about online casino affiliate marketing and the industry as a whole, and most importantly, do business! Not only will the iGaming Super Show be the largest of iGB’s conferences to date, it’s free to attend, and everything is really, really cheap in Prague. Oh, and they have great beer as well! Now, could you ask for anything more?

Casino Affiliate Programs Community Certification Proving a Success

Friday, April 30th, 2010
CAP: Joining Hands to Make Sure Everybody Gets Paid!

CAP: Joining Hands to Make Sure Everybody Gets Paid!

Earlier this year, OCS reported on the newly launched CAP Community Certification, which for anyone needing a refresher, is a new system that allows affiliates to have a say on which online casino affiliate programs are given a green light to become a “CAP Listed Program”. In other words, instead of allowing just any new affiliate programs to purchase a listing with CAP, prospective affiliate programs must first go through the 10,000+ affiliates composing what amounts to the largest business generator for the vast majority of online casinos today.

A noble and innovative approach for approving affiliate programs (to say the least), OCS is happy to report CAP’s new community certification program is off and running and has thus far been a major success. But before explaining exactly how the program works, let me first take a paragraph or two or there or four to explain what an affiliate program is for anyone not in the know. Sorry all you industry folk out there who may consider this child’s play, but OCS is first and foremost dedicated to the player community.

That said, let me explain what a casino affiliate program is. If you haven’t noticed already, when you do a search on any of the major search engines to find a new online casino to play at, you have a better chance of coming across a portal site dedicated to reviewing and promoting certain online casinos than you will actual online casinos. This is great in the sense that many of these review portals serve as a one-stop shop for finding the best online casinos to play at, although there is a chance you will come across some bias while doing so.

The reason being is that all of these review sites are affiliates of the casinos they promote. What that means is that for every referred player, the affiliate gets paid. There are different types of revenue sharing deals, but for the sake of this article, let’s just say that it’s in the financial interests of the affiliates to refer players. Of course, this poses a conflict of interest when it comes time to being “objective” in an affiliate review of an online casino. However, there are so many online casinos vying for affiliate promotion (considering its the affiliate websites that generally dominate the search engine rankings), that it is within the interests of the online casinos to run a reputable and trustworthy business operation.

In other words, the leading affiliate portals in business today are dedicated to only promoting those online casinos which can be trusted to pay their player, which in effect, means the affiliates themselves stand to be paid for their referrals. Considering the competition that is out there, the affiliate business model lends itself for affiliates to promote online casinos which are going to generate positive customer ratings and testimonials. In effect, this means they will stand to gain more business in the future. With all of the player forums and watchdog affiliate sites (like OCS) out there, rogue online casinos simply do not have a chance to thrive. Rip off the first player, that’s the fault of the online casino. Rip off a second player, that’s the fault of the second player! Get my drift?

That said, when a casino affiliate program gets approved by CAP’s cmmunity (which requires at least an 80% approval rating), there is a VERY good chance the online casino being promoted by said affiliate program is going to be a solid place to wager real money at. It definitely ensures the online casino holds all of the necessary regulatory credentials to guarantee a safe and fair wager online. Before, when the approval process was based simply on being able to afford paid advertising, there was a greater chance of the affiliate program not turning out on the up-and-up.

In order to be eligible for a CAP community certification, an online casino affiliate program must hold a regular listing with CAP for a period of at least six months and must have a dedicated affiliate manager for handling affiliate relations. Voting lasts for a period of one month, followed by a tally of the approval rating. If, as mentioned, at least 80% of the tallied votes approve of the affiliate program, a CAP Community Certification Seal will be awarded to the affiliate program, which will also be listed in an exclusive section on the CAP website. To date, seven affiliate programs have been approved, including that which manages U.S. facing Doyle’s Casino. Five additional programs are currently up for voting.

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APCW Speaks Out About eCOGRA Investigation of Grand Prive

Thursday, February 25th, 2010
The APCW Wants More From Grand Prive & eCOGRA

Hittin' the Streets With APCW Covert Operations: Grand Prive & eCOGRA

In a recent blog post here at OCS, we reported on the findings released by an eCOGRA investigation pertaining to the former Grand Prive online casino affiliate program. Not being affected by the situation directly, (OCS was never an affiliate of Grand Prive), we nonetheless were aware of the fact that several other affiliates were up in arms – and rightly so – about non-payment of earnings and broken contractual obligations on the part of Grand Prive.

Well, it appears this is still the case. Only this time around, those affiliates owed money from Grand Prive are directing their angst toward eCOGRA. Or perhaps I should say the Association of Players, Casinos and Webmasters (APCW) is. For anyone unfamiliar with the APCW, it is an online conglomerate of sorts, originally founded by webmaster JTodd (who still serves as the Executive Director for APCW) and currently owned by Casino City, which also owns APCW sister site, Gambling Portal Webmasters Association (GPWA).

APCW is a highly respected and influential force in the online gambling affiliate arena, and has done a solid job maintaining its mission to “fight for honesty, integrity, and transparency in the online gaming industry”. In line with that mission, was the APCW’s response to the debacle that took place last year with the aforementioned Grand Prive affiliate program.

Being that Grand Prive was an eCOGRA approved online casino network, the APCW and several independent online casino affiliates rightfully thought eCOGRA was the perfect outlet for launching an investigation into Grand Prive. However, according to APCW’s JTodd, eCOGRA initially did not respond to these requests and only did so after Microgaming Software was put on the defensive by affiliates threatening to end their relationships with Microgaming powered online casinos – most of which derive the bulk of their business from affiliate traffic.

When eCOGRA suddenly turned on a dime and announced an investigation into Grand Prive would be undertaken, needless to say, more than a few eye brows were raised. The fact is that eCOGRA, albeit an independent, non-profit organization, was founded by Microgaming executives, and for quite some time, would only give the esteemed Safe and Fair certification to Microgaming powered online casinos. Granted, that is no longer the case, and eCOGRA has certainly be an enormous asset for the online gambling industry as a whole. And who knows? The timing could have very well fostered suspicions of inaction, while in reality, eCOGRA was planning to undertake an investigation all along.

The point is that the APCW, albeit pleased eCOGRA was getting involved and conducting an investigation of the Grand Prive affiliate program, felt slighted and was under the impression that only after mud was being slung at Microgaming, did eCOGRA announce it would launch an investigation. And now that eCOGRA has published the results of said investigation, the seeds of discontent and mistrust have been given new life. In a recent APCW video, JTodd argues that many affiliates were not awarded their fair entitlement based on lifetime commission structures with the Grand Prive casino affiliate program. Apparently, some affiliates were owed thousands of dollars and paid as little as $77.

Will this become another chapter in the Grand Prive affiliate program Saga? Will eCOGRA address the APCW’s discontent? Will the world come to an end? Stay tuned folks. Wherever there’s money, there’s drama.

eCOGRA Final Report on Grand Prive Online Casino Affiliate Program

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

The report is in, folks. eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance (eCOGRA) has revealed the findings of its investigation regarding the closure of the Grand Prive online casino affiliate program. Let me first clarify that the report has nothing to do with determining whether or not Grand Prive took the proper courses of action or in giving a guilty or innocent verdict regarding Grand Prive’s treatment of affiliates and in meeting contractual obligations.

Anybody who was affected by Grand Prive’s management decisions – players and affiliates alike – knows that Grand Prive screwed up big time. eCOGRA’s main role in the investigation was simply to ensure that Grand Prive made things square with all affiliates still being owed money from Grand Prive. So, in addition to determining the reasons why Grand Prive closed its affiliate program to begin with, eCOGRA was tasked to determine the exact amounts being owed to claimants, as well as fair settlement amounts.

For anyone unfamiliar with the story, Grand Prive made the sudden decision to close it’s affiliate program, which in itself, is not an unheard of thing to do. However, rather than honoring its contractual obligations to pay commissioned income to affiliates for the life of referred players, Grand Prive cut off its obligations to affiliates, yet continued to take revenue from affiliate referrals. Granted, Grand Prive notified affiliates of the closure and informed them that a new affiliate program would be offered to promote a newly launched online casino. And while some affiliates were apparently offered compensation agreements for referred affiliates, several affiliates were “overlooked” in the process – a finding which eCOGRA has confirmed and revealed in its report.

In total, there were 56 claims made by affiliates, seven of which were found to be invalid. 26 commissions were paid, the amounts of which were determined by eCOGRA appointed chartered accountants having been given full access to the backend of the affiliate program software. In addition to past amounts owed, potential future earnings on referred active players was calculated by giving an average lifetime value of these players 3.5 times greater than the average lifetime value of all Grand Prive players.

eCOGRA wanted to thank all affiliates for their feedback and support during the investigation as well as recognize Grand Prive’s full cooperation during the investigation.

Best Casino Affiliate Program & Affiliate Manager Accolades Worth Considering

Monday, February 8th, 2010

iGB Affiliate Awards

iGB Affiliate Awards

From an affiliate’s perspective, the iGaming Business (iGB) Affiliate Awards most prestigious accolade is that of “Best Casino Affiliate Program”, while the recipient of said award is definitely worthy of a lookover. In the case of this year’s iGB Affiliate Awards, which recently took place in London, the top winner was Euro Partners (EuroPartners.com, NOT .org, which is a Christian business network) – representing some nine online casinos, two poker rooms, one bingo room and an online sports betting destination.

Flagship online casino properties include the longstanding and reputable Casino Tropez, which now operates a comprehensive mobile gaming platform and live dealer casino games, and Euro Casino favorites, Europa Casino and Casino Bellini. Online Casino Suite can certainly attest to the credibility and reputation of these sites, which is no doubt fostered to a certain extent by Euro Partners. In other words, I’m not at all surprised that Euro Partners went home with the Best Casino Affiliate Program award this year, nor any of the other awards for that matter.

Another important award, if you ask me, is that of Best Casino Affiliate Manager. What many players and affiliates don’t understand is that an Affiliate Manager oftentimes serve as a Rep for their online casino brands (the good one’s, that is), and have the power to help in getting player’s paid, in addition to the obvious task of ensuring and maintaining positive affiliate relations. This year’s iGB Affiliate Awards “Best Casino Affiliate Manager” went to Renee at Rewards Affiliates, which represents the highly respected Casino Rewards group of online casinos (one of the few eCOGRA approved group sites), representing such longstanding, popular online casinos like that of Captain Cooks. For more details, read the OCS Captain Cooks Casino Review

In short, Online Casino Suite considers the “Best Casino Affiliate Program” and “Best Casino Affiliate Manager” iGB Affiliate Awards to be very important accolades, and is something which all players should stand to know about and factor in their decision to open real money wagering accounts.

Casino Affiliate Programs (CAP) to Implement Community Certification of Programs

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

Affiliates Have a Say at CAP

Affiliates Have a Say at CAP

Just as CasinoAffiliatePrograms.com (CAP) announces the introduction of a new community certification program that allows affiliates to offer input and have a say regarding which affiliate programs are approved and listed in CAP’s directory, one such recently approved program was at the core of a scandal unearthed by players posting on the Casino Meister forum board. In a way, you could say the introduction of the program hasn’t come at a better time.

Not going into too much detail about the drama on the forums, let’s just say that the Jackpots Heaven online casino was recently given the green light by CAP, only to be found out by players of running a questionable business, if not a sham online casino altogether. What matters now is that CAP does indeed get this community certification program off its feet and the participation of it’s 10,000+ affiliate members.

The way the system will work is that in order for a new affiliate program to be considered for approval, the program must be established for a minimum of six months, and have a dedicated affiliate program manager who is active in the CAP community. A handful of programs meeting such criteria will then go up for a vote before CAP’s affiliate community. After 30-days of voting, if the affiliate program has received an 80% approval rating, it will be endowed with CAP’s Community Seal to display on it’s property websites, and will also be highlighted on the CAP website. Each month, new programs will go up for a vote, with those not receiving 80% approval permitted to resubmit at a later date.

CAP is also implementing a new complaints program allowing affiliates to post complaints about affiliate programs, ie, slow/non payment of earnings, player abuse etc., out of which private mediation services will be provided by CAP representatives.

From the perspective of a player, news like this is not only good, it’s relevant. In the world of affiliate marketing, it’s difficult to keep bias, ie., money, out of influencing which online casinos get promoted the most. The same is true for affiliate programs seeking a listing in the CAP directory, or any affiliate network for that matter. With the new community certification program, the bias-factor is greatly reduced, for it allows approved affiliates to each have their say.

Affiliates, albeit middle-men, hold great sway in the success of online casinos – those which the affiliates promote or review, at least. Dominating the search engines and being highly skilled in the affairs of Web technology, the best affiliates help to make the entire online gambling industry go round and actually drive the bulk of revenue that goes into the thousands of internet betting destinations out there.

So, when an online casino is acting up and threatens the good name of the online gambling industry which many of the 10,000+ affiliate members of CAP have worked hard to develop, enough affiliates can make sure that online casino goes out of business, whether it be via a mass blacklisting or simply a collective choice to abstain from doing business via the casino’s affiliate program. Think of CAP as being a giant union with tremendous bargaining power. With the introduction of the community certification system, CAP proves why it is the most respected and trusted (albeit a few slipups over the years) online casino affiliate programs in business today.