Gary Trask
Gary Trask
Gary serves as Casino City's Editor in Chief and has worked as a writer and editor more than 20 years. The Boston native was a member of the Poker Hall of Fame's inaugural Media Committee and a current member of the Women in Poker Hall of Fame voting panel.

Contact Gary at and follow him on Twitter at @CasinoCityGT.

More articles by Gary Trask
Gary Trask's Website:!/casinocityGT

Affiliate Club awards affiliates with trip to Caribbean

23 April 2008
By Gary Trask may be new to the industry, but the company certainly isn't a novice when it comes to motivating its affiliates.

Just ask the nine men who were part of an all-expenses paid excursion to the Caribbean island of Curacao earlier this month as part of a promotion ran for its affiliates.

"It was quite a trip," reported's Claire Leighton, who hosted the trip along with fellow affiliate managers Nicole Sims and Katerina Milfaitova. "We're a new brand. The affiliate managers all have experience in the business, but the program is new so this type of thing is very important for us to do. It helps us get the point across to our affiliates that we're serious about the business and we're here to stay."


Affiliate Club's Dirty Dozen offered a spot on the trip to any of its affiliates that could increase new traffic by 20% during a three-month span.

"We put the target out there and these guys went out and hit it," Leighton added. "It's just a nice way for us to reward them for putting their trust in us and sending traffic our way."

The four-day journey began immediately following CAC Amsterdam, meaning the majority of the people on the trip flew directly from the conference to Curacao. But the nine-hour flight was simply used as a resting period as the party of 12 stepped off the plane at 4 p.m. and wasted no time beginning the festivities. Drinks at the Marriott Resort & Emerald Casino Hotel's beach bar were followed by dinner at The Governour where the group was seated on a balcony overlooking the ocean.

Day 2 of the trip began with an exploration of the island atop 12 four-wheel quad motorbikes that weaved 25 miles through mountains, up a bat cave and along the coast. Muddied from their joy ride, the group washed off with an ocean swim and quenched their thirst with some ice cold beer at Mambo's Beach Bar. Five hours later, the Dirty Dozen made its way back to the hotel to freshen up and sit down for dinner at another beachside locale called Hook's Hut.

Dinner was followed by a trip to the casino (after all, these are "gambling" affiliates we're talking about) and then the group headed back to Mambo's for more drinks and some dancing into the wee hours of the morning.

"I think we spent almost 20 hours together that day," laughed Leighton. "Believe me, you really get to know the people you are with when you spend that much time together in one day."

Day 3 got off to an understandably later start, but was just as action-packed. The crew chartered a simulated pirate ship that took them for a tour around the island for some snorkeling and a treasure hunt. They had a barbecue on board (with cocktails in hand, of course) and headed back to the hotel where the hearty mates prepared for the grand finale dinner at the Marriott's Portofino restaurant. With the time ticking down on the vacation, the group made sure to eat up every last minute by heading back to the beach bar after dinner for more drinks and dancing.

"You would think that by the fourth day we would all have been tired and ready to go home, but this trip was so much fun we could have stayed for another week," Leighton said. "It was sad to leave, but we have plenty of memories and pictures to remember the trip.

"This was really a great trip for everyone involved. We had a lot of fun, but it was good from a business standpoint as well because we were able to talk about work, but without the pressure of a conference. And I think all the affiliates enjoyed meeting in person and hearing about each other's businesses. So from that standpoint we accomplished a lot."

Leighton added that she thinks these types of trips will become a regular part of's promotions.

"It worked out very well for everyone," she added. "And it increased traffic. So it really was a win-win situation."

Affiliate Club awards affiliates with trip to Caribbean is republished from