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    Default APCW Perspectives Weekly 12/05/08

    Last week CBS's 60 Minutes "exposed" our industry with half-truths and spin... now, we're exposing them! Plus, insight on the Kentucky domain name seizure case, and an update on the Gambling Wages Challenge.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TNazLPckwk
    I am here to help if you have any issues with an affiliate program.
    Become involved in GPWA to truly make the association your own:
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    As always, great video. Double exposure, I like.

    Did J.Todd get a hair cut? haha. Looking good

    Quote Originally Posted by APCW Anthony View Post
    Last week CBS's 60 Minutes "exposed" our industry with half-truths and spin... now, we're exposing them! Plus, insight on the Kentucky domain name seizure case, and an update on the Gambling Wages Challenge.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TNazLPckwk
    Teresa Adam

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    Great video guys! Thanks for all of your hard work on keeping the industry up to date.

    Cheers,
    Brad

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    Thank you, we appreciate everyone watching
    I am here to help if you have any issues with an affiliate program.
    Become involved in GPWA to truly make the association your own:
    Apply for Private Membership | Apply for the GPWA Seal | Partner with a GPWA Sponsor | Volunteer as a Moderator


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    Quote Originally Posted by GPWA Teresa View Post
    Did J.Todd get a hair cut? haha. Looking good
    I did get a hair cut, and thank you for noticing!

    Of course, I still look better with a hat!


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    Enough of the Gambling Wages thing. Their casinos have been shafting players too long. Read their terms and you'll know the score today, regardless of yesterday, before they've even started twisting them tomorrow.

    Now what you have, that should have been part of the APCW/GPWA webcast in my humble opinion, is the Grand Prive thing.

    It's not a precedent setter, because Sportingbet have already pulled the same stroke, but it's rather important news nonetheless.

    Grand Prive are twisting the terms and are trying to invoke the FU clause all in 1 go.

    The soft shoe shuffle by the aff community on this one will harden the precedent set by Sportingbet, and will cost you all big time in the long-run.

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    I will share this video on my blog...
    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Integrity View Post

    Of course, I still look better with a hat!


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    No question.
    Teresa Adam

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    Quote Originally Posted by joeyl View Post
    Enough of the Gambling Wages thing. Their casinos have been shafting players too long. Read their terms and you'll know the score today, regardless of yesterday, before they've even started twisting them tomorrow.

    Joey, the APCW has watched the maturity of the online gambling industry over the past several years, and we have always tried to be a leader in that growth. There is a tendency for webmasters to "rogue" and "black list" sites at their descretion, and it usually (but not always) has to do with personal issues, like stats tracking and payments, rather than a professional investigation.

    We've done extensive research on many "rogues lists" from several dozen sites and found that a casino or affiliate program can be blacked listed at one portal, but perfectly ok and heavily promoted at another. It seems it can depend on if a particular webmaster feels taken advantage of by a particular program.

    I say all that to say this: When we began APCW, we set rules for ourselves to gather our own evidence, build our own relationships, and reach our own decisions. It's not that other sites don't have a legitimate claim for calling someone a "rogue", as many of them do. It's more to do with APCW being an industry body that deals with facts we have gathered and not hearsay.

    In regard to Gambling Wages, we followed the above protocol just as we had in the past. Many questioned our integrity because of this, even though we specifically stated not to play at or promote Gambling Wages. Many questioned our motivations, even though we have told the truth every step of the way and even admitted that we've been (aparently) lied to. Many questioned our ethics by making endless accusations and slurs on our personal character without even an ounce of evidence. No one cares.

    It's important that we see this through, if we can. Players still need to be paid, and it upsets us a great deal that we had an agreement to recover some player funds and they seem to have mislead us. Too bad APCW has been made into the villain in this whole thing, when all we wanted from the very beginning was to help people.



    Quote Originally Posted by joeyl View Post
    Now what you have, that should have been part of the APCW/GPWA webcast in my humble opinion, is the Grand Prive thing.
    Now that APCW has merged, there is additional protocol to follow.

    That said, we have been preparing to address this issue in detail with the full attention of all our resources within the next few days.

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    In regard to Gambling Wages, we followed the above protocol just as we had in the past.
    Let me just start by saying that the most valuable thing to me was watching you apologize. That could not have been easy, and that bolstered my respect a lot.

    At the same time, there are a few undeniable facts here that you need recognize.

    You were far from the first to muddle your way thru a player complaints with Gambling Wages. You might have thought you were breaking some ground, but you really weren't.

    I can max out your email account allotment with the proof if you like, and others can too!
    Many, many webmasters have worked hard in this area, WITH this group for years.

    I don't think you have properly realized this to be honest.

    I watched your Dec. 5th video.
    This one:
    http://www.apcwinteractive.org/video...s-weekly-for-5

    I actually agreed with MUCH of what you said. It was a worthy mission.
    It could have been a great thing, and like you,.... even I think a historically Rogue outfit can change it's stripes,.... although I'll catch hell for saying that too.

    I was so hopeful, and I also tried to get some questions answered that you didn't ask them that were on the minds of affiliates.
    If it's any consulation, that was a miserable failure as well!

    The difference is this:
    I kept it in the GIA private forums because I wanted the proof of change up front, and FIRST.

    You DID clear them and "Gold Certify" them on your site, {for a fee, I assume}, before they resolved the complaints.
    This was strictly because you believed them, not because they proved themselves FIRST.
    An honest mistake, IMO.

    So if there is a lesson here, that would be it, IMO.

    Keep on doing what you're doing because it's a worthy thing to do for the industry, but for the APCW to have credibility,......
    Known Rogues need to produce the proof of change first, and the Gold Star comes afterwards!

    I agree with Joeyl on the GrandPrive disastor as well.
    I hope the GPWA, the APCW, AGD, and EVEN the competing Casino affiliate programs within the brand, all come out with statements by their owners condemning this betrayal of the Affiliate Community.

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    Thank you for the sincere and candid feedback. I appreciate that you were able to articulate your points and demonstrate where you felt we were incorrect without making it personal. I wish we could all be so diplomatic!

    ================================================== ====

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCPA View Post
    You were far from the first to muddle your way thru a player complaints with Gambling Wages. You might have thought you were breaking some ground, but you really weren't.
    We didn't really think of it as "ground breaking" stuff, we just thought our less aggressive approach could convince the "new management" team to see the benefits of running a clean operation.

    I persoanlly did believe them, because I sat in their offices and showed them on paper how paying back $10,000... $20,000... even $30,000 or more to players would pay off in the long run. How doing so would start to re-build trust in the horrible brand image.

    I told them about how change had to start with taking care of their old "baggage", and that no one would ever believe they could change until they cleared all their old debt. I told them after they took care of the past, then they could work on the future. I really thought they were on board.

    I will accept all the blame for taking them at their word. It was a mistake. I still believe trust is needed in this industry, but I will be much more cautious in the future about how I apply that trust.

    ================================================== ====

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCPA View Post
    Many, many webmasters have worked hard in this area, WITH this group for years. I don't think you have properly realized this to be honest.

    I did not realize how many, no. For years the APCW was a webmaster organization and didn't deal with Gambling Wages until Natalie Stewart was with them in 2006. Even then, we were not yet dealing with player issues.

    After UIGEA, when players became a part of APCW, we had to learn a whole new way of dealing with programs. After all, Gambling Wages really doesn't deal with players at all, they deal with webmasters. They were our liaison to the casinos. That's an additional complication in this issue as well.

    ================================================== ====

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCPA View Post
    You DID clear them and "Gold Certify" them on your site, {for a fee, I assume}, before they resolved the complaints.
    I'm glad you mentioned this because it's a very misunderstood issue.

    We do not "certify" programs, we audit them. And good or bad, it doesn't change their status with us. We simply report the audit no matter the results. This goes back to our belief of working with all programs... even bad ones... to try to resolve player & webmaster issues.

    When programs join APCW, they are listed at Gold, Silver, and Bronze... but that's what they pay for, not what we think of them. Seeing the confusion this has caused, I believe the APCW needs to list them as "Sponsors" and not "Members" to be more clear in the future.

    The only payments we have ever taken from Gambling Wages were for membership dues and my travel to Costa Rica. To be fair, Gambling Wages is also "CAP Certified" and considering membership at GPWA.

    ================================================== ====

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCPA View Post
    This was strictly because you believed them, not because they proved themselves FIRST. An honest mistake, IMO.
    You are correct. I am brash, opinionated, and cocky at times. I am also man enough to admit when I mess up, own it, learn from it, and correct it, and anyone who's met me or actually knows me personally will also tell you I am honest, genuine, and care very passionately for players, webmasters, and the industry.

    What has made this issue even tougher to deal was is NOT the criticisms of those who disagree with us, as you can see that I don't mind people disagreeing with us or our methods. It's been the lies perpetuated about my integrity, most of which came from people who have never met me, and with no proof whatsoever.

    To me, that sort of character assasination attempt is worse than anything I've done with this issue, because at least the mistakes I made were with the best intentions.

    Thanks for your thoughts. I look forward to working with you and the "Alliance" to make online gambling better for us all.
    Last edited by Integrity; 7 December 2008 at 4:00 am.

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    When programs join APCW, they are listed at Gold, Silver, and Bronze... but that's what they pay for, not what we think of them. Seeing the confusion this has caused, I believe the APCW needs to list them as "Sponsors" and not "Members" to be more clear in the future.

    The only payments we have ever taken from Gambling Wages were for membership dues and my travel to Costa Rica. To be fair, Gambling Wages is also "CAP Certified" and considering membership at GPWA.
    This is the only thing I feel a need to respond to.
    Other than this, we're good to go!

    Any credible audit would have to include Players and Webmasters actually being paid.

    Sure it's great to know everything is tracking fairly, and the games are fair, but if you have to fight for months to get paid, that should be an automatic "F" in anyone's audit gradebook!
    No Gold Star, and certainly no sponsorship on any level.

    This whole "Sponsoship" versus "Certification" thing has gotten out of hand, IMO.

    Your average Player, or New Affiliate isn't going to see that fine line.
    It's ridiculous to expect, or think that they would.

    If they see a GPWA "Sponsor" badge, they are going to think that the program is trustworthy. They aren't going to think otherwise.
    Why should they?

    If GrandPrive shows up here tommorrow with a fistfull of dollars, and wants to be a GPWA Sponsor, is that going to OK?

    I certainly hope not.

    Programs that have marred track records should not be allowed to circumvent the otherwise good intentions of forums by buying legitimacy on any level.

    If they can't pass the test to be certified, then they should resolve the problems that are keeping them from becoming legitimately approved, accepected, or certified by the affiliates and the players.

    This "Sponsor" versus "Approved/Certified" based on dollars is B.S..
    It lowers EVERYONE'S standards, and it should stopped, IMO.
    It's just a Work Around to get money for doing the wrong thing!

    There is no gray area here.
    You're either good enough to be Approved, or you aren't.

    What level of support they want to buy is fine, but only if they are WORTHY first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCPA View Post
    Any credible audit would have to include Players and Webmasters actually being paid.
    We do conduct audits in this way. However, the audit we just finished with them was started in early October... before I went to Costa Rica, and was concluded just over a week ago.

    Per our own policy, Gambling Wages has received a copy of the audit and has until a week from this Thursday to reply. If they do not (and they have not so far) then we publish our results without their reply.

    I would love to tell you the results... and I had every intention of doing so on this weeks program until Anthony reminded me that we are obligated to give them the time promised in the membership agreement. We must abide by our own rules.

    When we do release the results, you will see that we conducted the audit from a player perspectives and specifically focused on the deposit, bonus awards, and payouts.

    ==============================================

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCPA View Post
    This whole "Sponsoship" versus "Certification" thing has gotten out of hand, IMO...
    It is a very delicate balancing act, to be honest. The only way we have the funds to cover conventions, bring you the in-depth coverage of the industry, and try to "police" the programs is when they join as members. There are many good programs who support us, but what do we do when some who are "not so good" programs ask about membership?

    Perhaps the best thing is to tell them to go soak their heads. Our thought process has always been to try to work with them so that we are in a position to recover funds for players and webmasters. As I mentioned before, we never dealt with player issues until early 2007 so our methods worked well up to then. Now, perhaps, we need to reconstruct how we do things.

    ==============================================

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCPA View Post
    Your average Player, or New Affiliate isn't going to see that fine line. It's ridiculous to expect, or think that they would. If they see a GPWA "Sponsor" badge, they are going to think that the program is trustworthy. They aren't going to think otherwise.
    We agree with you on this. When we were a webmaster association only, all the affiliates knew what we did and how we handled the programs. It was much less messy, if you will, because it was a much much much smaller community where everyone knew everyone.

    Now we are working to develop a whole knew set of criteria with our auditing/certification (or whatever it will be called) process. And I am pushing for talks with the Nevada Gaming Commission, eCogra, Interactive Gaming Council, and respected jurisdictions for online gaming (like the UK) to see how to structure what we're doing.

    ==============================================

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCPA View Post
    If they can't pass the test to be certified, then they should resolve the problems that are keeping them from becoming legitimately approved, accepected, or certified by the affiliates and the players.
    Done.

    If I have my way this will be our first rule change. And when the APCW forms a Board of Advisors I would like you on it.

    .

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCPA View Post
    This whole "Sponsoship" versus "Certification" thing has gotten out of hand, IMO.

    Your average Player, or New Affiliate isn't going to see that fine line.
    It's ridiculous to expect, or think that they would.

    If they see a GPWA "Sponsor" badge, they are going to think that the program is trustworthy. They aren't going to think otherwise.
    Programs that have marred track records should not be allowed to circumvent the otherwise good intentions of forums by buying legitimacy on any level.

    If they can't pass the test to be certified, then they should resolve the problems that are keeping them from becoming legitimately approved, accepected, or certified by the affiliates and the players.

    This "Sponsor" versus "Approved/Certified" based on dollars is B.S..
    It lowers EVERYONE'S standards, and it should stopped, IMO.
    It's just a Work Around to get money for doing the wrong thing!

    There is no gray area here.
    You're either good enough to be Approved, or you aren't.

    What level of support they want to buy is fine, but only if they are WORTHY first.

    I'm 100% in agreement with this.

    Whatever the semantics, whether it's "certified" or "sponsor" or "partner", when you see that as an affiliate or player, it implies credibility of the program.

    When I see that, the implication to me is that the GPWA, CAP, or whoever, strongly supports and endorses the program in question

    If that is not the case, then it is a problem, imo
    .

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    On the subject or "Certified" versus "Accreditied" versus "Sponsor", I think it could be worth setting up a separate thread to discuss the issue.

    It might even be worth a poll, Michael (if you are reading this).

    What impression does a logo like the one shown below give to a new affiliate in the industry, or indeed a new online player?



    It clearly says certified rather than sponsor. How many of the GPWA "sponsors" make the grade to become "certified" and get to display the logo above? What are the extra criteria to make this leap? It is confusing...


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    Last edited by penny-slot-machines; 7 December 2008 at 8:06 am.
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    Quote Originally Posted by penny-slot-machines View Post

    When I see that, the implication to me is that the GPWA, CAP, or whoever, strongly supports and endorses the program in question
    You are not alone. Everyone I know gets that same impression, including myself until very recently.

    There needs to be some major changes made on how to "earn" the right to wear any sort of seal . Until these changes are made, the seal is falsely encouraging the "unknowingly" player and or affiliate to have trust in a site wearing the badge or seal .

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    This is a great discussion and long overdue!

    I think we had discussed in the past a rating system for programs that the members here can vote on. The result would be displayed on their forum for all, meaning anyone who is not a private member or not logged in, to see.

    I believe there were a couple of ideas thrown around. With all the brilliant minds here we should be able to correct this problem. It really needs to be addressed IMO. Thank you CPA for bringing it up!

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    How do you balance sponsorship and certification? Although the distinction is clear for me now I have to admit that when I started the lines were blurry. I accepted the "sponsorship" as a full blown recommendation. Maybe the answer is cutting off programs that display wrong doing? I know that in order to have a viable organization like GPWA you have to have the programs involved. More importantly you don't have a business if you don't collect the "fees". Actually, the idea is for the owners of GPWA to make lots of money.

    There's got to be a way that both the affiliates, affiliate programs, and GPWA could make a win-win-win situation.

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    Certified rogues, sponsor rogues, stickered rogues and so forth reflects badly upon those doing the certifying, or collecting the sponsor money.

    It is a heavy duty discussion I have been having with myself for ages, because none of the affiliate assoc or large affiliates will discuss it without telling me to butt out, or telling me i'm rude to dare to discuss another's business decision..

    Anyway: one can't have a discussion regarding whether rogue operators should be stickered, because the affiliate groups and member participants can't actually define a rogue from the getgo.

    Evidenced once again, by the APCW giving Gambling Wages/Virtual another try, along with the others that have tried, good intentions withstanding.

    Now, Grand Prive shafting every aff surely must be the starting point for a roundhouse rogueing. If not, you have a splintered community that will achieve nothing but a happy monday.

    It won't happen imo. Nonetheless, I have taken the opportunity to once again bang the drum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WagerX View Post
    More importantly you don't have a business if you don't collect the "fees".
    Just to pick up on that point, how can I, as an affiliate know that this is, in fact, the case?

    Unless you have access to the full accounts, including a full breakdown of revenue streams, "fees" collected, staff wages, director remuneration, perks etc, then you are simply trusting the word of those involved that are telling you that this is the case.

    I'm just being Devil's advocate on this point for the sake of debate, but if a hypothetical organization, lets call it "The Affiliate Keepers Entity (TAKE)" were telling you they were scraping by (and so desperately need those fees to keep going), yet the Directors were taking $1m a year in remuneration each, how would you know?


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