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  1. #1
    MichaelCorfman's Avatar
    MichaelCorfman is offline GPWA Executive Director
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    Default Absolute Slots and Effective Media Group

    We have decided to use the GPWA forums as the first place to post most of our revelations providing transparency regarding Affiliate Media and their business relationships from now on.

    I have always strongly believed in providing the greatest degree of transparency possible in this industry. Understanding that Warren and Lou of Affiliate Media are the marketing force behind various online gaming operations is important because otherwise there is not a level playing field in terms of affiliates trying to learn about affiliate programs and in terms of affiliate programs promoting themselves.

    I believe that affiliates and affiliate programs each have the right to know about these relationships. Unfortunately, when an organization that runs a forum for affiliates and affiliate programs has a hidden agenda with respect to the promotion of particular sites then I believe a fundamental trust is violated. And I believe there is an obligation to reveal the facts.

    We have previously reported about the fact that Warren and Lou run the company that promotes the poker room known as Cardspike. However, that is not the only online online gaming operation in which they are involved.

    The Effective Media Group organization they run is also involved with the Absolute Slots online casino. Now, I would like to start by saying that I have every reason to believe that Absolute Slots is a quality program. So I do not want this post or my statements here to reflect negatively on the quality of that program. My only issue here is that there is a conflict of interest in terms of the various previously hidden ways in which Warren and Lou are involved.

    Here are some of the facts that will be substantiated by subsequent posts in this thread:

    1. The affiliate program for Absolute Slots was run by Effective Media Group, a business organization that has Warren and Lou as its officers.

    2. The affiliate manager for Absolute Slots worked for Effective Media Group using an effectivemedia.com e-mail address.

    3. The Absolute Slots website was developed by a web development firm that also developed other websites for Effective Media Group and Affiliate Media (note that Affiliate Media operates the CAP and PAP websites and also has Warren and Lou as officers).

    4. Effective Media Group made at least some payments to affiliates for Absolute Slots.

    Now I'd like to be clear about what is upsetting to me about this information.

    Initially Warren and Lou made a statement that tried to portray that they had no connection with Cardspike.

    When we indicated we knew about Effective Media Group, and Warren and Lou realized we would be able to prove a relationship, they suddenly admitted that there was a relationship between them and Cardspike after all.

    The detailed list of relationships and responsiblities they presented about businesses they were involved with made no mention about Absolute Slots, and in the context of the disclosures they made, I believe it is correct to say such an omission was purposeful and deceptive.

    In my opinion, this pattern clearly demonstrates lack of goodwill in terms of being forthright about potentially conflicting business relationships. Unfortunately, my belief is that the business relationships were purposefully obscured in order to inappropriately profit from others who did not understand the true relationships.

    Michael
    GPWA Executive Director, Casino City CEO, Friend to the Village Idiot

    Resources for Affiliates: iGamingDirectory.com, iGamingAffiliatePrograms.com, GamingMeets.com

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  3. #2
    MichaelCorfman's Avatar
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    Sample Supporting Facts and Information

    The Nevada Secretary of State website shows that Affiliate Media, Inc. (which runs the CAP and PAP websites) has officers Lou Fabiano and Warren Jolly, and they are also officers of Effective Media Group, Inc. as shown on the Florida Secretary of State website. We originally broke the relationship between Affiliate Media and Effective Media Group in the APCW Perspectives Friday video linked to in the following post: www.gpwa.org/forum/apcw-perspectives-friday-01-09-09-a-178452.html

    The Absolute Slots listing on the GPWA website (www.gpwa.org/affiliateprograms/affiliate.asp?id=8093) shows an effective media e-mail address for Affiliate Manager Benjamin Whidden.

    The same firm (krea.com) developed the Poker Affliate Programs website (www.krea.com/work/detail/brand-identity-and-web-site-design-for-poker-affiliate-portal-poker-affilia/), the Absolute Slots website (www.krea.com/work/detail/web-design-for-online-slot-games-absolute-slots/), and the Cardspike website (www.krea.com/work/detail/brand-identity-and-web-design-for-a-global-poker-room-card-spike/).

    There is a paypal payment screenshot showing a payment in the amount of $2,000 made by Effective Media Group to GPWA member casinobonusguy with an e-mail at absoluteslots.biz and with contact information showing the name Elliot Resnick, who is the affiliate manager, in the note field. Click the following link to see the screenshot: http://www.gpwa.org/i/newsletter/absolute_slots_ck.JPG


    Michael
    GPWA Executive Director, Casino City CEO, Friend to the Village Idiot

    Resources for Affiliates: iGamingDirectory.com, iGamingAffiliatePrograms.com, GamingMeets.com

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    It certainly is a bizarrely unravelling web.

    If you look here -

    http://www.gpwa.org/affiliateprogram...te.asp?id=8093

    ...then the affy manager for AS with an EM email demonstrates the connection. As such...

    http://www.casinoaffiliateprograms.c...er.29614.html?

    ...how does this work?

    If EM own / run the same programme they welcomed to the forum, they are welcoming themselves. I'm left with the entertaining image of the right hand handing a bunch of banknotes to the left hand when the time to pay the "certification" fee arrived.

    Can you avoid paying VAT on money you pay from yourself to yourself?

    Can you refuse to pay yourself, then sue yourself?

    It reminds me of Iolanthe, 19th century parliamentary parody by Gilbert & Sullivan: the Lord Chancellor is in love with his ward of court, Phyllis. As such, since the Lord Chancellor's permission is required for a ward of court to marry, he must apply to himself for his own permission to marry her, and finds himself in paroxysms of confusion as he tries to work through all the inherent paradoxes.

    This was standard fare for Gilbert's topsy-turvy plots. Funny how the same things are happening online a hundred and thirty years later.

    And of course, back then it was funny...

  6. #4
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    Michael, I know that you are pursuing this issue very earnestly and you are right in doing so, because we need transparency for the sake of all affiliates. But, I am also asking myself, how will we find an exit point. My question is, are you keeping this in mind? I know that you are a very responsible person, and so I am actually certain that you are also reflecting on finding an exit point in the near future.

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    Good point Nandakishore. I am just appalled at just how deep this is. It seems everyday we are learning of yet another issue revolving around CAP. Make me wonder what is next...
    --
    "People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity." ~Andrew Carnegie~

  9. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nandakishore View Post
    Michael, I know that you are pursuing this issue very earnestly and you are right in doing so, because we need transparency for the sake of all affiliates. But, I am also asking myself, how will we find an exit point. My question is, are you keeping this in mind? I know that you are a very responsible person, and so I am actually certain that you are also reflecting on finding an exit point in the near future.
    I believe most of the issues are out in the open now with respect to the issue of Effective Media Group and the conflicts of interest represented by its activities, although there is still some elaboration to make with respect to Cardspike. I am considering making one summary post because the forum threads on the topic run on and on, and I think that makes the points a little hard to absorb. And because some of the information is scattered between posts and videos, again making it hard to review all of the material in a cohesive fashion.

    In terms of transparency, I'd like to state that it is important for both for affiliates and for affiliate programs. Affiliates know there is a sponsorship relationship, and so there is an issue of trying to be above board about issues that arise in the forums. When there is a direct financial interest in a particular sponsor, then the bias introduced is taken to a completely different level. But the situation is much worse, in my opinion, for affiliate programs. If you are an affiliate program funding a forum that is using its position to direct affiliates to websites where it has a direct financial interest, then as an affiliate program you are directly funding your competitors. The feedback I have, as you might expect, is that many affiliate programs are less than pleased that this situation has been going on behind their backs.

    There is also the separate matter about some of the statements made by CAP management about the relationship between CAP and GPWA that I believe are very misleading and deserve a response that includes additional background information. I could not respond to their posts because I am banned at CAP, and thus could not reply there. I'm also trying to decide if I want to try to cover the issue of threats made against affiliate programs by CAP management. There is a lot to say on that topic, but most affiliate programs are reluctant to say anything on the record because of fear of retaliation.

    Anyway, I responded to the question here because it was posed here, but I would prefer that if anyone wants to have a discussion about anything other than Absolute Slots based on information in this post or this thread that they please start another thread on the topic of their choice so that we avoid trying to cover multiple topics in this thread.

    Thanks,

    Michael
    GPWA Executive Director, Casino City CEO, Friend to the Village Idiot

    Resources for Affiliates: iGamingDirectory.com, iGamingAffiliatePrograms.com, GamingMeets.com

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  11. #7
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    So is this the same EMG outfit that is located at this address in Atlanta?

    Their website address is effectivemediagroup.com


    Contact Us
    We look forward to talking with you. Send us your question, comment or other inquiry, and one of our representatives will respond quickly.

    Effective Media Group, LLC
    Atlanta Headquarters
    7380 Spouts Springs Road
    Suite 210-143
    Flowery Branch, Georgia 30542
    o: 770 965 3015
    f: 770 965 2040

    Effective Media Group, LLC
    Miami, FL Office
    4581 Weston Road
    Suite 265
    Weston, FL 33331

  12. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGamblingGuru View Post
    So is this the same EMG outfit that is located at this address in Atlanta?

    Their website address is effectivemediagroup.com


    Contact Us
    We look forward to talking with you. Send us your question, comment or other inquiry, and one of our representatives will respond quickly.

    Effective Media Group, LLC
    Atlanta Headquarters
    7380 Spouts Springs Road
    Suite 210-143
    Flowery Branch, Georgia 30542
    o: 770 965 3015
    f: 770 965 2040

    Effective Media Group, LLC
    Miami, FL Office
    4581 Weston Road
    Suite 265
    Weston, FL 33331
    No, that is an entirely different company. The Effective Media Group being talked about in this thread is a Florida corporation with the name Effective Media Group, Inc. The domain name they own is effectivemedia.com, although there is not currently a website at that address.

    Michael
    GPWA Executive Director, Casino City CEO, Friend to the Village Idiot

    Resources for Affiliates: iGamingDirectory.com, iGamingAffiliatePrograms.com, GamingMeets.com

  13. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelCorfman View Post
    No, that is an entirely different company. The Effective Media Group being talked about in this thread is a Florida corporation with the name Effective Media Group, Inc. The domain name they own is effectivemedia.com, although there is not currently a website at that address.

    Michael

    Thanks for clearing that up for me Michael, I was not sure since Warren had previously stated that they (EMG) were going to be branching out this year into different arenas.

  14. #10
    Anti-Corruption is offline Public Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelCorfman View Post
    There is also the separate matter about some of the statements made by CAP management about the relationship between CAP and GPWA that I believe are very misleading and deserve a response that includes additional background information. I could not respond to their posts because I am banned at CAP, and thus could not reply there. I'm also trying to decide if I want to try to cover the issue of threats made against affiliate programs by CAP management. There is a lot to say on that topic, but most affiliate programs are reluctant to say anything on the record because of fear of retaliation.

    Anyway, I responded to the question here because it was posed here, but I would prefer that if anyone wants to have a discussion about anything other than Absolute Slots based on information in this post or this thread that they please start another thread on the topic of their choice so that we avoid trying to cover multiple topics in this thread.

    Thanks,

    Michael
    So, you are the Michael Corfman I've seen blasted in the news headlines recently as being a "disgrace to online gambling" according to the one quoted. I see. How lovely. Looks like I should have spent more time at this forum before.

    I was so appreciating your posts in this thread that I checked out your bio as well and was pleasantly surprised at what I found. Shows you how long I've been connected with this industry. Of all the people out there you challenged this un-American anti-American assault upon the America I still know and have no desire to see plummeting further and further down the drain. Yes, indeed.

    I see you are into cosmology as well. In case you're into theology, too, here's one person posting who knows that gambling itself is not a sin as some might propose and also attempt to legislate, although, like almost anything else, it can certainly be accompanied by and have sin heaped upon and added to it. But you know, even in the Bible there is this verse I am reminded of by all of this, which I'd like to mention here, and it goes like this: "Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them" - the book of Ephesians, 5:11.

    So as far as I'm concerned, it's thank you, too, Michael, and keep up the great work as well, and I would encourage you to definitely go further with whatever you have as far as the "deeds of darkness" are concerned. All of it should come out in the light of day, especially anything like intimidation tactics and threats of every kind. That, too, is exactly what this industry needs. The sooner this industry both is expected to be and becomes just as open and above board as any other mainstream industry, the sooner we can feel more at ease about it, all potentially prosper the right way on a level playing field, and especially as it appears our own country may soon get the legislative correction it has needed for so long.
    Last edited by Anti-Corruption; 19 January 2009 at 11:21 pm.

  15. #11
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    I personally say thanks Michael and the whole GPWA team. It collaborates trust issues I had with CAP over the years. The implications are enormous and far-reaching. I feel my efforts have been wasted ever consider entering this industry.

    Anyway, all I really would like to say…

    greek39

  16. #12
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    In the forums at CAP if there is discussion about a casino it is allowed, whether good or bad, UNLESS, as it turns out, the discussion is negative about one of the casinos that they have a personal interest in.

    Our source tells us that there is one specific casino he brought attention to while still on the forums that appeared to be involved in shady behavior. He got so shot down by The Professor that he was taken aback and dropped the conversation. "He just overreacted so much, it was very out of character," our source says. "There was something fishy about it."

    Well, coincidentally, rumors over the past few days have been stirring in the industry that the casino our source spoke ill of, Absolute Slots, is also connected in some way to The Professor and his 'other company'.
    I'm not allowed to put the link to the article I got that from because I'm new here, but it comes from an Online Casino Advisory article titled 'The Casino Affiliate Program Scandal Becomes Clearer'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelCorfman View Post
    I am considering making one summary post because the forum threads on the topic run on and on, and I think that makes the points a little hard to absorb. And because some of the information is scattered between posts and videos, again making it hard to review all of the material in a cohesive fashion.
    Amen. When I wrote my article last week I was completely up to speed. At this point, I'm still confused how the CS matter ended up (or didn't end up, for that matter).

    In terms of transparency...when there is a direct financial interest in a particular sponsor, then the bias introduced is taken to a completely different level....If you are an affiliate program funding a forum that is using its position to direct affiliates to websites where it has a direct financial interest, then as an affiliate program you are directly funding your competitors. The feedback I have, as you might expect, is that many affiliate programs are less than pleased that this situation has been going on behind their backs.
    This is, glaringly obviously, why disclosure and transparency is needed. Irrespective of agendas, perceived or otherwise, it should be disclosed on its own merit.

    I'm also trying to decide if I want to try to cover the issue of threats made against affiliate programs by CAP management. There is a lot to say on that topic, but most affiliate programs are reluctant to say anything on the record because of fear of retaliation.
    I think it's reasonable to not disclose a source as long as the source is valid and ultimately corroboratable. Get it in writing with a promise NOT to disclose without the source's permission. Does it involve effective extortion, threats of retaliation if the programme withdrew? that would be big.

    I would have to add my own note of caution here: when you set off with the Cardspike issue, you spoke about reliable sources that proved a beneficial interest. The ultimate result was not an actual beneficial interest - this term is very clearly defined and doesn't admit lesser contractual interests. As such, although you were "right", you were also a tad wrong, technically speaking. Although the AS / EM matter, or the threats one, do not seem to involve such complex terminology as "beneficial interest", I would still advise sticking to VERY clearly and correctly defined boundaries, particularly if you decide to report on the threats issue.

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    There are now two threads on this subject; maybe they should be merged?

    There's been no clarification this end, but affiliate manager Elliot R has been explaining himself on the GIA board - I take it everyone read the info?

    It should be noted that Elliot R is not Benjamin W, and it's BW who lists an Effective Media email in his GPWA profile:

    http://www.gpwa.org/affiliateprogram...te.asp?id=8093

    There has been no clarification on this (which is understandable, as it seems fairly categoric).

    As far as friend Elliot goes, summary of his claims:

    1) He's an "inhouse" consultant for Warren and Lou's company, Effective Media.

    2) Effective Media employed him to manage the affiliate programme for Absolute Slots.

    3) He's not an employee of EM, but is contracted. Sidenote: I don't understand how he can then be an "in house" consultant if he's not an employee, but there you go.

    4) Effective Media handle some aspects of affiliate payment as and when they choose. This would apparently account for Casinobonusguy's payment from Effective Media on behalf of Absolute Slots. Otherwise, money is handled by the provider.

    That's about it.

    As such, Effective Media, as I understand it, runs the affiliate programme for Absolute Slots.

    Noone at CAP has, to the best of my knowledge, declared any interest of any kind in Absolute Slots.

    We still have no info on this fellow Benjamin Whidden, who lists the EM email in his GPWA profile. Somebody might try and have a word with him. He appears the senior manager.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caruso View Post
    3) He's not an employee of EM, but is contracted. Sidenote: I don't understand how he can then be an "in house" consultant if he's not an employee, but there you go.

    4) Effective Media handle some aspects of affiliate payment as and when they choose. This would apparently account for Casinobonusguy's payment from Effective Media on behalf of Absolute Slots. Otherwise, money is handled by the provider.
    3. Probably an exclusive contract. I have contracted a couple of people exclusively since I don't want them going around doing the same thng for others while still under contract with me.

    4. These aspects would be media buys and not affiliate payments.

    The above is just what I would assume, I don't know these things as facts.

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    I just want to say that I have a neverending respect for Casinomeister and the staff over there. Talk about doing things right!

    I thought that everyone that bought a forum at CAP were paying CAP for the same thing, and if not then what is the ridiculous fee actually paying for?


    EMG offers consulting services only. EMG doesn't own casinos or any gambling operations. EMG is not a competitor. EMG is a service provider.

    EMG would be happy to offer these same services to any or all of our certified programs here at CAP. If anyone is interested in a managed affiliate solution please feel free to contact me. You just may find we can optimize your existing program and generate a positive ROI over the cost of our services.
    __________________
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    by Casinomeister

    This sounds like EMG is managing an affiliate program.

    Which like prk is probably figuring, he's paying you (CAP) to compete against Absolute Slots (EMG = you). Like I mentioned earlier, if I would have done this at Casinomeister, I would have been crucified. But then, maybe I'm the only one here that sees this.

    I'm just trying to do you a favor by pointing out that there is a conflict of interest here.
    __________________

    http://www.casinoaffiliateprograms.c...t=33421&page=2
    Last edited by mojo; 21 January 2009 at 7:28 pm. Reason: add quote

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    Quote Originally Posted by mojo View Post
    I just want to say that I have a neverending respect for Casinomeister and the staff over there. Talk about doing things right!

    I thought that everyone that bought a forum at CAP were paying CAP for the same thing, and if not then what is the ridiculous fee actually paying for?
    __________________
    It just blows me away that Lou and Warren do not see or do not WANT to see that this is truly a conflict of interest on their part !

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    I wonder if I joined Absolute Slots and Lou seen that - do you think I would get a fair shake or would my share switch be flipped to shave = 100%?

    IF they are behind the management of the affiliate team I have absolutely no doubt what the answer would be - none what so ever!

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