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  1. #1
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    Default How affiliate programs "shave" webmasters

    Hi everyone!

    Today I would like to touch on the "uncomfortable" topic for many affiliate programs - this is "shaving" (cheating webmasters).
    Yes, shaving has always been and always will be. And the more time I work as a webmaster and talk to online casino owners who were affiliates in the past, too, the more often I hear the same phrase: "all casino affiliate programs shaving". And why do they say that? Because they can clearly compare the conversion of their own online casino with other online casinos on their own affiliate websites. And the difference, they claim, is tremendous.

    For those who are just starting their difficult journey as a webmaster, here are some common examples of how many affiliate programs cheat webmasters.

    The simplest example is to lower your affiliate payout percentage. An affiliate program promises 50% RevShare, but actually pays out much less. From the amount of payments to the webmaster deduct all the expenses of online casinos, bonuses to players, commission payments, the work on the retention of the player, and even pay the janitor in the casino office. Anything at all.

    Another example of cheating the webmaster. The online casino affiliate program simply remove players from affiliates. Players sign up, players go to another online casino, it would seem to be a working process and it's normal. The only thing is, do they really leave? Maybe not gone at all, but simply ceased to appear in the statistics webmaster? It is possible to check, but very difficult.

    Of course, all of the above methods of deception webmaster affiliate program can apply not immediately to each new player, and after some time, six months, a year, at the time of 5 ... 10 deposits, as long as you do not want to be uncovered in the deception. But the fear of losing their reputation is holding back many online casino affiliate program owners. Bad reputation of the affiliate program is almost a "death" sentence.

    In conclusion, I would like to share another example of how affiliate programs are cheating webmasters. Perhaps this is one of the most "ingenious" ways used by many affiliate program managers.

    Suppose there is an online casino affiliate program which has a lot of players and a lot of affiliates. At the end of the month, it accumulates a pool of money, which should be shared with affiliates. And then comes the "fun" part.

    The affiliate program manager, let's call him "John" sees that affiliate "X" is about to pay out $1000 (for example) and he doesn't want to do it. Then the manager John through VPN, registers at affiliate link of the partner "X" and makes a minimum deposit. Then manager John enters the admin panel of the affiliate program and adds $3000 (for example) to his just-created game account. Then manager John logs into his newly created player account and withdraws these $3000 to any of his payment system. You can do the same with other affiliates, this scheme does not need any additional functionality in admin area, all affiliate programs on any platform can do it.

    In fact, all this is certainly sad. Any online casino affiliate program can (if it wants to) shave its affiliates, although it is very difficult to call it an affiliation.

    Conclusion. It remains only to save up money to open your own casino (not a cheap business), or to believe in the honesty of affiliate program, but to monitor the statistics for these new players, who randomly put in a negative balance on the webmaster's account.

    Many of my colleagues will ask why I wrote all this? The fact is that due to the global pandemic, the bans on online gambling in many countries, the income of many online casinos decreased. And as a consequence of this, cases of cheating webmasters became more frequent.

    Reasonable question, how webmasters avoid being cheated? In my opinion, it is necessary for all webmasters to start revising cooperation and work only with affiliate programs created on blockchain technology. As far as everybody knows, using this technology it is unreal to defraud webmasters. The essence of this technology is simple, when a player registers at an online casino via an affiliate link, a smart contract is created and published in blockchain. This technology is already used in provably fair crypto casino games.
    I believe that affiliate programs that are interested in honest and long-term cooperation will gradually start using this technology, as it will help to avoid a lot of problems with trust and reputation of the affiliate program in the future.

    Thank you very much colleagues for reading to the end and I would appreciate your feedback and comments!

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    chaumi is offline Private Member
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    I have to say well done for the presentation.

    I have not much doubt that it's inaccurate, or what could be added...simply because my own experience isn't strong enough to make any sensible comment or add any value.

    But on the face of it you worked through exceptionally well to your conclusion, and it will be interesting to see what comments are made from those who are experienced enough to make them.

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  5. #3
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    There are many other ways affiliate programs of online casinos screw affiliates. Here are a few:

    1] Charging the same amount for deposits and withdrawals using crypto as they do for credit cards. There is an order of magnitude more costs for credit card processing versus crypto, but most programs do not distinguish and are pocketing all that money.

    2] Only crediting a partial percentage of casino losses. AGD does a good job of tracking this sort of thing and it is not uncommon for an online casino to only credit an affiliate with 80 cents on the dollar for losses, or less. I believe that in some circumstances, this makes it impossible to earn money on some clients and in fact, forces those clients to be perpetual drains on an affiliate's income. For example, a perfect basic strategy playing, high roller, blackjack player. Once the deductions for the deposits and withdrawals and bonuses are taken out, along with not crediting 100% of the losses, these players can drain huge amounts from affiliates. I have seen multiple cases over the course of a year where an affiliate has lost 50k USD+ in commissions from players like this.

    3] Management / Admin fees. Often 20-25% is taken right off the top. Big controversy about this when KingBilly did it recently.

    But my favorite one of all is a "Marketing Fee".

    Yes, that is right, there are some programs out there charging their 3rd party affiliate marketers, a ******* "Marketing Fee". What kind of sense does it make to charge your marketers a marketing fee lol?

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  7. #4
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    The problem is casinos are screwing players, and programs are screwing affiliates.

    Everyone bitches and moans, but nothing happens. No one does a ******* thing about it...

    Next to nobody really cares unless it hurts their bottom line, and even then, all we get is bitching and moaning, taking up page after page of "bitching and moaning"... Look at VideoSlots.com, King Billy, the list goes on and on. Bycott the bastards. But no one does. Just more bitching and moaning.
    Last edited by AussieDave; 21 November 2021 at 2:25 pm.
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    It's your right to be treated honestly: fairness for all igaming affiliates - doch.news

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  9. #5
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    Hi dear colleagues!

    Thanks for your comments!
    Everything you have said here is true. And the latter is more than evident... everyone complains and no one wants to do anything about it... including myself.
    It is also true that there are among us those webmasters who so far have good player traffic and some favorable deal with affiliate programs and therefore they are not interested to remove the said issue with affiliate cheating. But, nothing lasts forever and the time will come when you will also be cheated. Any webmaster is vulnerable and therefore we must always search for solutions together and united.

    Returning to the idea of blockchain technology... I have found an affiliate program that uses the integration of data into the blockchain and eliminates the possibility of "shaving" the webmaster. It is called TruePlay Affiliates - Blockchain based gambling affiliate program. Website: affiliates(.)trueplay(.)io
    But, to be honest, I'm not entirely convinced with this program in particular. The idea of verifying player registrations and activity is a good one, however there are some details that are suspect.

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    Muppet is offline Private Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by casinoduende View Post
    Reasonable question, how webmasters avoid being cheated? In my opinion, it is necessary for all webmasters to start revising cooperation and work only with affiliate programs created on blockchain technology. As far as everybody knows, using this technology it is unreal to defraud webmasters.
    Nope. I'm sorry but you have swallowed the hype. You need to do a lot more reading about blockchain technology if you genuinely believe this.

    Quote Originally Posted by casinoduende View Post
    The essence of this technology is simple, when a player registers at an online casino via an affiliate link, a smart contract is created and published in blockchain.
    This is a typical example of "the oracle problem" with blockchains (look it up). The website and your affiliate links exist outside the blockchain so ultimately you're relying on an "oracle" (the affiliate program) to honestly tag players that come through from an external system (the web) into the blockchain. I'm sure everyone can see the potential issue right there, as it is no different whatsoever to current systems in that it allows the operator to shave by simply not tagging a player.

    Ok but once a player is honestly tagged the operator can't shave subsequent wagers by the same player, right? Wrong. The operator could encourage or force a tagged player to open a new account, or get them to play at another site of the operator's where they are not tagged. Or allow players to play anonymously without logging in. Or get them to play games that aren't recorded on the blockchain.

    Sure, there are potential advantages to using a blockchain such as players not having to actually transfer money to be held by the operator, and accurately recording and provably determining the outcome of individual wagers, but don't delude yourself. There are still many, many ways you could be shaved by an affiliate program using a blockchain.

    PS: My first instinct was that seeing as you seem to be very keen to explore running your own casino, I thought you were inevitably going to mention a specific affiliate program that you just happened to discover that did this, that of course has nothing to do with you. I was genuinely pleased to see you didn't, but then I read your second post and voila... just as I thought. Hmmm.

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    Thanks for the original post and follow-up replies, very interesting.

    Since joining the industry I have met some great amazing people. I have however never heard of an industry quite like this for these types of behaviors. Needless to say I am always careful and weary with some programs.

  13. #8
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    Hi everyone!
    Thanks for your comments!
    In replying to some of the comments, I would like to say that I had no intention of exploring casino management or mentioning a specific affiliate program. I simply shared with your some problems and ideas of possible solutions.
    As far as blockchain is about, I am aware that it is complicated to implement and there is also no guarantee that someone will manipulate it in their favor. That is the reason, I have said before that I have some doubts about affiliate programs, supposedly based on the blockchain.
    To resume with irony, I don't think any affiliate program will be interested in the future to use a 100% "transparent" software for affiliates. Or am I wrong?

    P.S. Sorry for grammatical errors, English is not my native language. Thank you!

  14. #9
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    I do not see the oracle problem if the blockchain is fully decentralised and open sourced = possible to verify.

    On decentralised blockchain everything is possible to be trustlessly verified, because it is a blockchain. If it is done badly on blockchain, then yes, it can be as bad as recent affiliate databases.

    The operator could encourage or force a tagged player to open a new account, or get them to play at another site of the operator's where they are not tagged. Or allow players to play anonymously without logging in. Or get them to play games that aren't recorded on the blockchain.
    Valid points. Blockchain also will not affect tracking, which is honestly a big issue too. But from your points above the unethical behavior like this can be always seen by mystery shopping. Detagging whales or not showing certain action - if done right on blockchain - can not occur.

    I see the opposite problem. Blockchain based programs in future will be very much vulnerable to scams. Automated payouts and automated tracking will attract cheaters.
    We are all bloodsucking ticks, hungry, devious
    each one latched on to the ass of the previous
    when the last and the first latch on it can be shown
    ass-blood sucked by the first from the last is his own

  15. #10
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    Programs can screw us at any time they want and in a number of ways, as they're the ones running the show. They can manipulate the stats, pay us less than what we're actually owed, close down accounts, steal our player bases/untag players attached to our affiliate accounts...

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