Posts Tagged ‘grand prive affiliate program’

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.

eCOGRA to Investigate Grand Prive Online Casino Affiliate Program

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

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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