“Detagging players and closing accounts of webmaster’s widows”
This year was probably one of the worst years yet. Affiliate Edge can take the blame for most of the grief. Once an outstanding award winning affiliate program (not to mention their line of fantastic casinos), they went full throttle, pedal to the metal into the dark side of unethical roguedom. In my nearly twenty years of dealing with rogue activity, this was probably the worst experience for all that I have witnessed.
Beside a change of operators, these people had no idea on how to operate a casino – much less an affiliate program. They needed advice. So who would you have brought on as an advisor? Personally, I would have brought on someone who had organizational experience from an upstanding award winning popular group. Who’d they pick? They chose some of the people behind AffPower – a known rogue operator who was caught using unauthorized unlicensed software (see worst casino group 2016).
And that was just the start.
Affiliates noticed a serious dip in their revenue in February. Why? Because the persons running the show decided they could make more money by detagging players from affiliate accounts. They also decided to change their terms and conditions forcing affiliates to promote their brands or face a reduction of affiliate revenue to 10%.
The worst is the following: They also cut the revenue to 10% (or zero because of the detagging) to webmasters who had died and their widows were receiving the benefits. That has got to be the most morally bankrupt dickish move I have seen in this industry. Taking he money from widows – and it wasn’t like they would have missed that money.
These operators have no scruples. And when webmasters stand up to them asking them to just pay them what they are owed, they are hit by DDOS attacks (myself included). Coincidence? I think not. It’s either that or these butthurt individuals start sending out lawyer letters. Really? Hop about paying people what you owe them.
They would not have much of a company if it is wasn’t for Casinomeister and a few others who promoted them for years up to now. And yet, this is their gratitude: screw everyone, we want more money.
Awarded the Bag of Dicks award of 2017 – Affiliate Edge is poisoned. Anyone who values their reputation should bail from there.
Worst Affiliate Experience II
This past fall was a time for reckoning for many affiliates. It started with the closure of Sky Betting’s AffiliateHub affiliate program. Skybetting gave affiliates a 28 day notice on September 4th that it was closing shop – a termination of an agreement. That would have made sense if Skybetting was shutting down, but they weren’t. They were shutting off the affiliates from their “lifetime of the players’” revenue share. So much for a “partnership” – should be labeled a “dictatorship”.
Why did they cut off their affiliates from their lifetime revenue? Well the reason they gave was this:
As you will be aware, the regulatory landscape in which the industry operates is developing and maturing and operators are experiencing increased obligations regarding their regulatory responsibilities and level of compliance. In order to continue to operate in a compliant manner, we feel that operating the Programme is no longer viable and that managing the output of affiliates presents a significant risk to our business from a regulatory perspective. It is for this reason that we have chosen to terminate the Programme.
So dealing with affiliates is determined to be a risk. Well that’s all fine and dandy – there are many affiliates that are dodgy, or who rely on spam, or blackhat SEO in order to bring in players. But there are many hardworking affiliates who play by the book, honor terms and conditions and are 100% compliant with any jurisdictional regulation. Why shut off their accounts? Why not continue paying these affiliates for those players that had already been referred? Many of these affiliates are small time mom and pop entrepreneurs and AffiliateHub just cuts them off.
Please be advised that the Affiliate Hub portal, located at affiliatehub.skybet.com, will cease to be available from 2 October 2017 and all commission arrangements for all players will end at this point.
In my opinion, it was a money grab on Skybetting’s part. They showed their true colors by tossing the affiliates into the rubbish bin, while continuing to profit from these affiliates’ players. They could have chosen to do the right thing – but they didn’t.
Worst Affiliate Experience III
Well, it was a “worst” experience for spammers targeting the UK market. LOL. This year marked the year when finally a licensing jurisdiction read the riot act to its licensees. All UKGC licensed casinos will be held accountable for the marketing behavior of their affiliates.
Unfortunately this caused a few programs to panic and send “closure” type statements to their affiliates – or to invoke crazy-town-like terms and conditions, but these were companies in panic mode. As soon as affiliates can confirm that their websites are compliant to the UKGC and ASA, then things should be good to go.
The bottom line it is for the protection of the player, and personally I feel that each webmaster should embrace these guidelines and regulations. At Casinomeister we are – in fact, we have been compliant “in spirit” to anti-spam and anti-deceptive advertising before many of the youngest players were even born; going on 20 years this year.
Worst Affiliate Experience Historical Awards
Worst Affiliate Experience of 2016 – ICO/Quick Think Affiliates
Worst Affiliate Experience of 2015 – Affiliatehub
Worst Affiliate Experience of 2014 – enabling intellectual property theft/copyright infringement
Worst Affiliate Experience of 2013 – Retroactive changes in T&Cs
Worst Affiliate Experience of 2012 – Ladbrokes