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  1. #1
    Simmo! is offline Public Member
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    Question What was the GPWA concensus on the new T&C's?

    Hi guys

    Not privvy to the "closed doors" sections here but out of interest, what was the general concensus at GPWA regarding Fortune and VPL changing their T&C's and applying them to all affiliates retroactively?

    Was it allowed to quietly pass by or was there a statement issued here?

    Cheers

    Simmo!

  2. #2
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    GPWA = Loads of members

    Problem is that the GPWA cannot make a statement covering the views of all its members. BUT, we held in depth polls. These poll results were given to the programs as feedback on members thoughts. In some cases, the programs moderated their T&C's as a result of reading these polls (yes, we can and do make a difference)

    Both VPL and Fortune have forums of their own here. They have taken flack but have also had a chance to state their case.

    At the end of the day, their supporters have continued to display their banners and those that were totally unhappy have now dropped them.

    One thing though, I have learned that they won't let dumb pride get in the way of making changes if they find their decision was the wrong one. Give them a chance to discover if their choices were wrong. It will show in their numbers if that is the case.
    Have a wonderful day

    Brian
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  3. #3
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    Hi all,

    I just wanted to pass along a post made by Spear (whom I think most know) at CAP: which I think is important to consider in respect to the new T&Cs.


    quote:

    No action now means you WILL be ***** by EVERY SINGLE PROGRAM before the year is out, take my word for it. Won't bother me as I will no longer have an aff income after Sept. 1st. I could just stay quiet and let them have their way - but I do not like being *****, and I don't think any of you deserve this for the efforts you have put in over the years.

    Anyone who is thinking of delaying action, I urge you to reconsider. Once the juggernaut starts moving, there will be no turning back - you MUST let your opinion be heard now if you are in disagreement with these actions - the wait and see will be the lethal blow which suddenly changes your life from the one you have grown accustomed to. Please do NOT wait.

    I realize that some of you have "commitments" of one sort or another - but keep in mind that they just broke their commitment to you and everyone else will likely follow. I'm sure if you are creative enough you will find a way to voice your opinions, even if it does not mean you are removing them from the site immediately.

    But do it now. I am the world's biggest procrastinator, and in this case I can certainly afford to let things be the way they are - but I have chosen not to stay silent and I hope that the rest of you will stand up for your own rights.

    unquote:


    I couldn't agree more. I think it is a huge mistake to not make yourself known in a loud, action-taken way.

    When you consider that the scraper sites are already towering the majority of affiliates in terms of sending players, ... (i've heard numbers of 800 sent per month by some of these sites) and take into consideration that most aff programs are going to NOT take the high road, either by choice or necessity, meaning that a lot of them aren't going to punish the scraper sites unless they are given a financial incentive (ie ethical affs banding together to show a collective effort that we will not support sponsors that allow scrapersite affs to continue -

    well we just aren't going to have a lot of influence if we don't stand up for ourselves now.

    Even those affs which are fairly successful at the moment, enjoying some good SE rankings now... . Perhaps currently unaffected by these two threats, are going to eventually suffer from both the growing list of sponsors that are changing their T&Cs retroactively, and/or that are allowing scraper site affs to continue and be rewarded for their unethical business tactics.

    IMHO, and others such as Spear, if we don't do something before we have lost too much impact as a collective force... we are dooming ourselves to a future that is bleak.

    once again, I think it would be to everyone's benefit if the gpwa and cap ... and perhaps others, would try to work out some kind of working relationship so that when big items come up, they can colaborate and make a statement as a collective force rather than as separate entities all striving for the same purpose. There are many ways of achieving this without any one party giving up anything monumental. I'm sure if the very bright minds that built these respected, respective websites were to make an effort, they could come up with a working plan to benefit the whole.

    Otherwise, If you've ever heard the expression, "divide and conquer"? well by not being more united; we are in effect doing a service to our opposition.

    And I think now it is more paramount than ever that we all come together to make ourselves heard.

    well thanks for your time in reading.
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  4. #4
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    Mr B

    How are you?

    I got embroiled in this by talking to many of the programs one on one. No e-mail, either face to face or phone. I can only say that in my considered opinion, there is not a concerted effort to create an environment that sets the affiliate back on their heels. My own take on things was that there were two major changes in the operating environment that made these programs want to change the T&C's.

    1) The move towards writing off negative balances which most programs followed in order to stay competitive
    2) The natural ageing process of certain affiliate relations where the affiliate could even be out of the industry and yet still receive commissions at higher rates and even enjoy improved benefits like the writing off of negative balances (1 above). In this case, the afilaite was reaping the rewards of the programs retention efforts but not contributing towards new marketing.

    My take on things was that the owners were saying to the programs to shape up or be shut down. I didn't talk to owners, I talked to affiliate managers. They were told that the bottom line had been eroded and were given reasons for it. They then had to find a way to either get the bottom line back or shut down. In some cases I think it was less harsh than that but they were still ordered to get their bottom lines back.

    Rock and a hard place for the affiliate program?

    Anyway, I have not found a program that wasn't willing to face the affiliate. Come September, we have the GPWA conference and CAC, back to back, open house. You especially are welcome at my table (if I get there!!!). We will make sure that the affiliate programs in attendance are fully aware of the subject. They MUST face their accuser and stand up for themselves or back down. Thats the way the cookie crumbles. I don't think they expect any less though.

    Many an affiliate has delisted these programs. The GPWA gave both sides a full hearing and then left it to each affiliate to make their own decision. No name calling or anything, just sheer choice. I think they lost a lot of listings through the changes. People moderated exposure to one name only. Some dropped them totally. I think they will work out if what they did is right or wrong. Big thing is that none of the changes went undetected. They were all announced by us in the forums so that members were aware of the changes and the reasons given.

    The union type approach (unity is strength) is great but NOT when you have a few hundred individuals who still row their own boat, with or without you. To dictate what the members must do cannot work. All we can do is give them as much access to the information as possible and also get as much feedback from the programs and of course give feedback back to the affiliate program.

    If they share their distress and problem with us (lets say that their shareholders said improve the bottom line or shut down), then what do we do?

    1) Do we say that this is your problem, not mine?
    2) Do we say we understand and try and find a workable solution together with them?
    3) Do we stick our heads in the sand and simply accept whatever they come up with?

    3 ways to handle it and I think that number 2 was probably the right one?

    This goes further though, I stand by what I say that if the choice they have made is a bad one, they are NOT going to let pride hurt them and make no changes. I believe that they will still moderate the changes if that is what will balance the books more evenly.

    All in all, it was a difficult phase, especially for me. I am an affiliate and yet I had to adopt the voice of the casino so as to fairly voice and reflect their attitudes and opinions. I have the advantage of many one to one meetings. Hand shakes. Face to face real people. E-mails and board posting have the hideous habit of turning things upside down and raising the ire of all.

    So, please join us in Vegas and get those affiliate managers to talk to you. As I said, there is no way in heck that they are still not open to change (my opinion).
    Have a wonderful day

    Brian
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  5. #5
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    Hi Brian,

    you're too kind and I will certainly take you up on that offer if I'm able to make it out there.

    Yes I agree it can't in any way be a "union" sort of thing.

    And perhaps I didn't make myself as clear as I should have; because I never meant anything like a solid line of collusion to the point where someone could holler jump and everyone would do that; but rather I meant that for instance in respect to the T&Cs, that there be a solidarity in terms of facing the sponsors in question, and having them in turn able to face all of us at once instead of hashing this out at several different forums.

    Its counter-productive from many angles - many of which I stated above.

    I figured the very intelligent and capable powers that be; could figure out a working relationship to benefit all. Perhaps a way of merging all their respective threads (concerning this matter) into one which would then be viewable at each respective site.

    Because I just feel that everyone is being "handled" in this matter, which is a huge one. And I feel that is partially, if not largely due to the fact that the programs in question are able to .... what is the word I'm looking for? .... well to smooth-over things with answers which if they had to face a larger number of us at one time, they'd perhaps not be able to get away with.

    *********************

    Here's an example right here. From what I'm understanding in reading your post; that they told you they are claiming the affiliate side of their businesses is .... can this be right? ... costing them money to the point they'd rather shut down the aff side of the business altogether; rather than keep honoring the agreements they originally formulated themselves and had us agree to.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong.

    See that just doesn't make sense to me at all.

    affiliate programs were designed with an almost fail-safe model IMHO, one which I can't see a way to lose on, ... unless you're already so deprived of actual money-making affs that you're aff program is basically a joke anyway.

    I submit this scenario for consideration. Fortune has long been known by seasoned vets as being a program which is not to be trusted. At least that's my view of them and I can take you back at either CAP or here and show you threads, many of them, where affs have all but come out and said "I know you're screwing me"...

    Now for arguement's sake lets put aside whether Fortune is screwing people or not; and settle for agreeing that for some reason or another, many affs (and I fall into this category), have the belief that Fortune is not going to be profitable for me to run them in any spots where I can run something else because I know from experience that despite the fact they have the same damn software as my preferred sponsor; they will fall far short of earning me anything close to what the other place can earn. Therefore they are shoved to the back of my sites or gone completely. However I still do have the players I did manage to sign there; and rightfully so; and I will continue (or should anyway) to make money off these signups. Fortune doesn't like the idea that now the table is somewhat turned: that instead of my sending potential player after player after player - all the while knowing I'd do much better sending them somewhere else - and therefore I AM, WE ARE; losing money on the deal... That Fortune doesn't like it that now all of the sudden they are the ones who are working harder than I: in order to keep the money rolling in.

    But the point they fail to see; is that is exactly the deal I signed up for. They aren't losing money if I don't send any further new players; but my old players are generating ... say $10k a month in income.

    Somebody please tell me where they are losing money on that? They're still getting 75% of the income - which I remind you would NEVER have been there had I not sent the players!

    Now that's a scenario that is believable to me.

    now to tackle the "The move towards writing off negative balances which most programs followed in order to stay competitive":

    to that I have but a question to ask. Could everyone who has had a big winner that wiped out their earnings for a month; and then had that big winner come back and lose the majority of that previous month's winnings back to the casino, thus putting 25% of that into the affs pocket; please now step up and shout out so that you can be counted.

    I was just talking about this the other day with some peers. The very last time I heard of anyone getting that lucky was myself, back in 2003, ... might have even been late 2002.

    And I sang to anybody that would listen about my good fortune (this was with Casino Rewards).

    I find it funny nobody else has come forward to speak of their good luck in all that time since (that I know about).

    I'm sure it has happened, but I seriously doubt it has happened so often as to be a serious concern to any program.

    again, please correct me if I'm wrong. Perhaps a bunch of you will come forward to say that you had a player win a 100 grand and the following month came back and lost it back, therefore the casino is out 25 grand. Still take a lot of those scenarios to happen before it becomes a concern. Don't you think?

    I just don't buy their excuses. They just don't add up to me.

    and when you apply the above to these questions. the questions are no longer applicable

    quote:
    If they share their distress and problem with us (lets say that their shareholders said improve the bottom line or shut down), then what do we do?

    1) Do we say that this is your problem, not mine?
    2) Do we say we understand and try and find a workable solution together with them?
    3) Do we stick our heads in the sand and simply accept whatever they come up with?
    unquote:
    Last edited by bb1web; 20 July 2005 at 11:08 pm.
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  6. #6
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    Face them LOL

    I did. I did NOT agree with the all changes they made. I did however have the benefit of multiple exchanges with them, face to face. You know, in a post like this, you have voiced but one long argument. I probably said exactly the same things to them and had them say things back. This however added up to maybe 100 exchanges of information.

    Darn pity everyone is a gazillion miles from everyone else right?

    We really do need to sit down with them and I actually think that Vegas is going to be the right place.

    As we said, the GPWA event is open house for the affiliates from any board to simply come and chat to each other. It's not only about a board, it's about a whole industry and an issue like this is common to us all.

    But, no one will ever achieve what they want by e-mail. Phone is a poor relative to face to face but much better than mails and board postings.

    Anyway, Vegas last year showed that we love talking to each other. So much of the "us and them" just dissapeared after that didn't it?

    We hope to have a great turnout, lots of affiliates and so on. Loads of Networking. Great for building your sites, your knowledge, and your opportunities. But more than this, it's a great time to ask questions, face to face.

    I wouldn't recommend that we go in shouting though, they have had that already and it is way way more difficult to get a good dialogue going and a good understanding (both ways) unless everyone is sitting back and attentively listening to each other. Letting each other have their say.

    Anyway, between CAC and GPWA there are a lot of days where affiliates and affiliate managers are face to face. Can you think of a better opportunity to sit down and talk? Can anyone suggest a better time to bring about the change with some understanding to boot? (a result of the dialogue)
    Have a wonderful day

    Brian
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  7. #7
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    True. Can't beat face-to-face dialogue. A lot like playing poker: it helps to see facial/body reactions.

  8. #8
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    Hi again all,

    well if I don't make it I surely will miss the opportunity for enjoying the pleasant company I had last time we were together, and that goes for everyone I met last time out.

    I think that Vegas WILL be a great opportunity not only because of a face to face talk, but also because if anybody else has acted as fast as I have; I think the dis-satisfaction will already have begun to be felt.

    In a sense I wish there was another month in between, to allow those with slower reaction times to have begun their reduction of exposure or outright removal of links, but I think there will still have been time for reaction to have taken toll.

    I'd still like to see the governing powers of the more prominent gambling aff communities to start thinking along the lines of mending any fences that need be; and at least begin thinking in their own minds if no where else; that should the time come when unification is the only obvious answer to something that might threaten the way we make a living...

    that they will not hesitate to do what is necessary. Too many people's way of life may depend upon it for any one person(s) pride to stand in the way.

    I'm not talking union or anything that takes away the individual's right to do as they see best in their interest, but rather for instance, suppose tomorrow the programs were to begin stating they had to cut back our share of income to 8%?

    sounds crazy? I bet a lot of people would have said that very same thing 3 years ago if I'd said that about cutting our income back to 20% just because we didn't send more new players the following month. But it happened didn't it?

    What would have been the result of that if every single affiliate had in unision said "no freaking way!".

    Do you think they'd have kept that in their "new terms"?

    hell no, they'd not have come out with "new terms" period because just like we are doing to ourselves now by not showing more unification; there would have been one or two programs that would have stayed the honorable route (which there are currently and I urge all to support these while ignoring those that have chosen to breach contract) and they'd have had no choice but to do the right thing or face the potential loss of support from the entire aff community.

    But instead everything is a "trickle effect" and that makes for a slippery slope.

    well just by bringing this up I have planted a seed. one I felt was needed and now i'll shut up about it - here anyway.

    thanks for your patience in listening.
    Last edited by bb1web; 28 July 2005 at 6:02 pm.
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