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Online Casino News - October, 2009

Online Gambling Affiliate Programs Getting Cleaned Up


  Seed Newsvine

by Devon Chappell, News Staff Writer

November 13, 2009

It might seem like Shop Talk to some, and have no relevance to the playing community, yet affiliate affairs within the online casino gaming community have a major influence and impact on business, both on the user and backend. Online casinos derive a large portion of their traffic from affiliates, and in many cases it is the primary or lone source of traffic. While the selective promotion of certain online casinos could prove prone to favoritism and result in biased online casino reviews from the hands of online gambling affiliates, this type of relationship could also be used by affiliates to use their influence to help improve online casino operations and the reputation of the online gambling industry in general.

Indeed, the best online gambling affiliates, and consequently, online gambling portals in business today, choose to focus on the latter of these scenarios and use their weight to encourage responsible gaming practices, outstanding customer service, and heightened transparency amongst online casinos. The team here at Online Casino Suite likes to think we fall into this category as well. It should go without saying, but OCS does not receive any direct advertising fees for listing online casinos in our directory of approved and recommended sites. We scour the internet for the best online casinos in business, and choose to become affiliated with only those destinations we have the utmost confidence in, and which have the reputations and accreditations to boot.

Even more powerful than the top affiliates are online gambling affiliate groups like the Gambling Portals Webmaster Association (GPWA), which has been online since 2001, and now boasts over 5,000 members. The most recent affiliate group to launch - just this month in fact - is the Gambling Affiliates Union (GAU), whose founder, Paul White, expressed these same sentiments, stating to EGR Magazine, "United, we have a stronger voice".

Aimed at explicitly providing legal challenges to online casinos and affiliate programs which fail to conform to their terms of agreements with affiliates, the GAU already has over 100 members via discussions on the GPWA forum (which endorses the GAU), and aims to have another 1,000 members in six month time, including the top super-affiliates in the industry, who are reported to generate 90% of the traffic funneled into online casinos. Overall, White says he hopes to recruit 50-60% of all active online gambling affiliates.

As mentioned, the GAU's main aim is to provide online gambling affiliates with legal course of action if affiliate programs do not honor their contracts. In other words, the GAU will act as an arbitration service for affiliates if conditions warrant doing so. The main principle behind the GAU is to ensure that affiliates get what they are entitled to and that they do not get "walked over" by online casinos, which has often been the case for many affiliates in the past. White also specifically pointed out that the days of including clauses in contracts stating something to the effect that affiliate programs can change the conditions at any time without the consent of affiliates, is no more, and will not hold up as a legal binding contract in a court of law.

In the meantime, the GAU has already successfully administered arbitrations, and is now conducting three polls from its website, asking whether or not affiliates believe any one of three affiliate programs - Affiliate Lounge, Grand Prive and Vegas Affiliates - should be boycotted. While the GAU says its policy is to not organize boycotts, White says the polls will simply be provided as information for affiliates to gauge for themselves. Heck, I say go ahead with the boycott, but I suppose that's not necessarily the "politically correct" thing to do? The Grand Prive online gambling affiliate network was recently at the middle of a controversy in which Grand Prive changed its policy on rewarding affiliates with lifetime commissions. Just like that, they said no more, and affiliates around the world went up in an uproar, going so far to press eCOGRA to have the Grand Prive network's accreditation with eCOGRA removed.

It's clearly apparent that the Gambling Affiliates Union is not only needed, but is being welcomed with open arms by the top online gambling affiliates. So look out, all you affiliate program managers and online casinos seeking to capitalize off your affiliates, yet not willing to hold up your end of the affiliate agreement. You better start rewording some clauses, dotting your I's and crossing your T's, for the Gambling Affiliates Union is watching you!



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