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  1. #1
    cass's Avatar
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    Default Affiliate managers who have their own portals...

    How many affiliate managers do you know of that have their own casino portals? I feel this is a conflict of interest; since this gives them an "edge" over us normal portal owners.

    Just to give an example; a mechanic who works for a large mechanical repair shop/garage is not allowed to do any mechanical repairs as a sideline job to supplement his income; since it contradicts his contractual obligations toward his employer.

    IMO the same rule applies to the above.

    Cass,

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    Last edited by cass; 23 October 2010 at 8:12 am.

  2. #2
    Anthony-Coral is offline Former Employee of Coral
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    Not sure about mechanics not being able to do jobs on the side, but...

    I guess it depends how they share or guard the knowledge they gain from running their website.

    I've never set myself up as an affiliate but I imagine those that have could give newbies a very different angle on the advice they offer - if they're willing to share!

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    Is a complicated issue, because they can for example give themselves the best deal in terms of Rev Share. They can have a partner that registered the site and the affiliate account...
    But I think that they have to present and justifie all the numbers and deals they made...
    Nicolas Osnovikoff, Marketing Manager at Fantasticbet.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by cass View Post
    How many affiliate managers do you know of that have their own casino portals? I feel this is a conflict of interest; since this gives them an "edge" over us normal portal owners.

    Just to give an example; a mechanic who works for a large mechanical repair shop/garage is not allowed to do any mechanical repairs as a sideline job to supplement his income; since it contradicts his contractual obligations toward his employer.

    IMO the same rule applies to the above.
    I think there are actually arguments on both sides of this one. We all want affiliate managers who understand what it is like to walk in our shoes as much as possible - the more they appreciate what it is like to be an affiliate the better job they can do of supporting us. So personally, I'd be happy to work with an affiliate manager that dabbled in being an affiliate on the side also (as long as it was out in the open). But it is a different matter if an affiliate confides in an affiliate manager about plans, and the affiliate manager then uses that confidential information to their advantage to compete against the affiliate the affiliate manager is there to serve.

    Where I think there can be a bigger challenge is where the operator itself is in the portal business in a way that is actively competing with the affiliates they are trying to nuture. But that is not a case of an affiliate manager operating a portal site as a side activity, but rather a case of the operator running portal sites themselves.

    Mostly, I think this whole area is one of transparency being the most important factor. And one where managing what is going on so there is not inappropriate use of confidential information is critical when there might be potential conflicts.

    In terms of the example of a mechanic doing repairs on the side, at least in the states, there is nothing wrong with that provided the mechanic is not stealing customers from the shop where they work and provided they have not entered into an agreement with their employer that prohibits them from doing so. And there are limitiation on the extent that employers can even prohibit that sort of activity - there is no reason, for example, that a mechanic should be prohibited from working part-time for each of two different employers.

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

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    I think that if any did they would probably be exempt from promoting their own brands on their websites,

    Also if they were going to do the best rev share deals etc for themselves through their mates they could do that anyway couldn't they, dont need their own site to do that.

    Also they would need to be a success to make it worth their while anyway and if that was the case they would probably not need an affiliate managers job.

    Just because they are affiliate managers does not mean they would be great webmasters, if it did we would have no affiliate managers.

    Finally i think most gaming companies dont allow it and so they would risk being fired and so again i dont see that it is worth it for them.
    Arthritis Care

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    What does Affiliate programs say?
    Nicolas Osnovikoff, Marketing Manager at Fantasticbet.com

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    At first I was thinking this should be a no no, but after reading these posts I guess it wouldn't be a problem, but strongly agree with they shouldn't be allowed to promote their own brand.

    That raises a questions though, your working for site A and promoting site B,C,D etc. If I owned site A I wouldnt want this guy working for me!
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  10. #8
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    If I was running an affiliate program, I think my view would be to allow an affiliate manager working for me to do this as a professional development exercise, but not as a competing business endeavor that would create conflicts of interest.

    In that context, I would be happy for them to promote a number of different online gaming brands offered by different firms since I think the perspective that would give them would be very helpful to their career growth as an affiliate manager and also as someone that could provide even better feedback about the affiliate perspective.

    But, I would draw clear lines, because I would also view that the situation could easily evolve in a way that created unacceptable conflicts of interest.

    Personally, as an affiliate, I would have absolutely no problem at all if an affiliate manager was promoting their own brand on a portal site within this sort of framework.

    The real issue for me would be whether it was being done behind the back of their employer, which I would view as being very bad, or in competition with me, which I would also view as being very bad.

    Michael
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  11. #9
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    A lot of this comes down to trust as well, we have to remember that affiliate managers have all our data, some are able to up rev share, some may even be allowed to add players to accounts etc.

    If an affiliate manager cannot be trusted with our info and to do the correct thing in his job then there is nothing to stop him/her from setting up a website privately anyway.

    Point being that an affiliate manager is in a position of trust, if they are trusted they are trusted, if they cannot be trusted they should not be in the job in the first place.

    So like Michael says, if it is open i see no problem really, but i do not think it is allowed anyway.

    Be interesting to see what some AM's say on their companies policies in this regard.
    Arthritis Care

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    I'd be much more concerned about casinos/sportsbooks/poker rooms that own portals and are competing directly with us by doing so.

    If bookmaker.com or Bwin owned a portal like SBR for example...
    That would be a lot more scary than an AM dabbling in the affiliate business.

    I believe this goes on quite often. In fact I read a thread at PAL a while back that discussed a large poker room purchasing a well know poker portal. I won't mention the names here since I read that thread a while ago and I'm old so my memory isn't 100% reliable any more...

    Sorry for the derail...
    Terry - The Pokerkeep
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  14. #11
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    Think your right Terry and i am sure that one of those huge players forums in the US is owned by a sportsbook

    I think that does go on more than what is thought
    Arthritis Care

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    GFPC is offline Private Member
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    I really like this thread as its a good question. Maybe Michael when he has time can post this as a poll in the forums so everyone can vote on views.

    At one time maybe around a couple of years ago I thought it was conflict of interest, and I recall asking one of my AMs, if he owned a portal. He did not answer me so I always felt a little weird about him. I thought maybe he thought i was going to ask all kinds of questions. I found out later.

    Now I have altered my thoughts on it. I think as long as your open about it, and let people know you both own your own portals and are a webmaster and also an affiliate manager for a company its ok. I also do not think its a problem to promote the program you work for if its agreed my your employer - as long as both business dealings are completely separate.

    I think as long as you tell your affiliates you do both, and will try and help them as much as possible with the information you have it would be great. Likewise you need to tell them, as some may decide they do not want to work with you. Some will feel it still is a conflict of interest so its best to share this upfront.

    Even AMs here in the past were once affiliates, and did the cross over, but its usually the other way around. I wouldn't mind do both as each would give you the opportunity to learn all areas of the business.

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    5-7 years ago I started hearing lots of rumors about some affiliate managers creating their own accounts and syphoning off players from other affiliates into their accounts. Not sure if that was even possible, but thats the level of horror that the speculation of managers competing rose to.

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    I don't agree with AM's running their own portals. Not from a competition point of view because there is so much competition out there that a few more portals won't make much difference but I believe that when one has a full time job getting a salary and one has their own business - it is human nature to put more effort into your own business.
    An example of this is the following ( although its not a case of competing in the same industry but it is an example of promoting ones own business vs the company's business )
    Years ago we employed a website designer and he was based in our offices whilst hubby and myself worked from home.
    One day he approached us and asked us whether we would mind him working on one or 2 personal websites during his lunch hour. As he had approached us upfront and asked us - we felt there was no problem as long as his personal websites weren't casino related. He assured us one was a wedding website ( as he was due to get married shortly ) and one was a family site.
    As we did not spend too much time in the office we didn't keep a close eye on him as most correspondence was done via email, but we did notice on the odd occasion that we were in the office, that he used to receive many "personal phonecalls", but his response was always things like " yes, it should be ready next week, yes I am sure I can do that for you " etc etc.
    We started getting a gut feeling that he was actually designing websites for clients but had no real proof as he still seemed to be doing his work for us although he seemed to take longer and longer to complete a site and his work became shoddy and just slapped up.
    One day we decided to go into the office on a weekend and went through all of the files on his computer ( something I am not particularly proud of, but we had to get rid of this niggling feeling one way or another )
    To cut a long story short - we found literally 20 or so websites he had been designing for clients, but the worst part of all is that the majority of these sites were actually porn sites. Looking at the times that the sites had been designed was actually throughout the day from morning til night - not just over lunchtime, and it turns out that he had been running his business from our office using all our resources to design, download his content, contact his clients etc. he even had business cards designed on the computer with our office number on them!!!
    Needless to say we fired him first thing Monday morning.....
    The point I am trying to make from this is that what could start off with a harmless request to run a portal or 2 can land up taking up company time and resources and for this reason if I owned a casino I would never allow my Affiliate Manager to operate his or her own portal or any other website for that matter.
    Last edited by Topboss; 24 October 2010 at 12:44 pm. Reason: edited spelling

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    Default Most I think

    I totally agree with you and have been verbally chastised for my comments of the past. To add to the fire, why would you want to put out the energy to make 3% commissions off of a sub when the same effort in time and money will get you 35% setting up a new web site? If your doing it to "help people" join the Boy Scouts or something. Some aspects of this business I just don't understand.

    Quite a few of the active affiliates like Pokerkeep, Aussie Dave, Renee and Adrian @ LLC will give you genuine help but there are some out there that won't spill the beans to help anyone. That just goes with the territory.

    The best thing you can do is study all of the courses that Google and others make available and tune up your site(s) with the best SEO you can. I'm learning that it doesn't take a lot to get a good SERP because most sites are riding on their success or are abandoned but still have good ratings.

    Good Luck!
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    Quote Originally Posted by thepokerkeep View Post
    I'd be much more concerned about casinos/sportsbooks/poker rooms that own portals and are competing directly with us by doing so.

    If bookmaker.com or Bwin owned a portal like SBR for example...
    That would be a lot more scary than an AM dabbling in the affiliate business.

    I believe this goes on quite often. In fact I read a thread at PAL a while back that discussed a large poker room purchasing a well know poker portal. I won't mention the names here since I read that thread a while ago and I'm old so my memory isn't 100% reliable any more...

    Sorry for the derail...
    Pokerstars...

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    Absolutely loads of operators own affiliate sites - probably easier to name the ones that don't than do.....A lot of them are premium level domains they have developed or established sites they have aquired....In fact I am asked regulary about whether I know any sites for sale
    iGB Affiliate - The biggest magazine and events for affiliates in igaming

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    The more i think about it the more obvious it is,

    Skybet either own Sportinglife or the other way round, they are all part of the same group that includes oddschecker, teamtalk etc.

    Thats why you only ever see Skybet on the Sportinglife website

    I am sure more and more will come to me

    Sportsbooks are also now operating their own blogs on separate domains etc that are in fact full blown websites

    That said you would be surprised at how many are missing the boat as well
    Arthritis Care

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    In my experience, it's not allowed, and larger operators would have terms in the employment contract that would prohibit it.

    IMO, there aren't many "secrets" that an AM would have access to that would give them an edge. Well, none that can't be seen by pretty much anyone on boards like these.

    The issue is a trust one, I think, as AM's mostly have access to player info, and in some cases, abilities to change tags etc.

    While I appreciate that an AM / Affiliate would understand some of the issues that you guys face on a daily basis, I would imagine that a good, experienced AM would be aware of these too, and should be able to help out.

    Not saying I'm against it, but I can see why operators aren't too keen on the idea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CK - Schalk View Post
    In my experience, it's not allowed, and larger operators would have terms in the employment contract that would prohibit it.
    Agree 100%..

    As a side note, if I was an affiliate I would be a little cautious of an aff manager who was operating their own aff site.. Not because of anything other than they were competing against me. That's just me though..
    If I was an operator I don't think I'd appreciate my affiliate managers advertising competitors - it would almost be like they were working for them.

    In saying that, I think it's good if the aff manager has some experience so actually knows what they're doing.. For this reason I do run my own cosmetics affiliate site - just because I want to be able to give affs advice on things like SEO etc that I've actually tried and tested for myself. Of course it may differ from industry to industry but the basics should still be the same.

    My 2 cents.
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